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Massachusetts summer camps

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I'm in a MA council (Yankee Clipper), but our camp in actually in New Hampshire, as is one of the Boston Minuteman Council camps.

 

We have gone to the YCC camp called Wah-tut-ca, and it is fine, but I have no real basis of comparison (other than spending a couple of weeks at a camp in Rhode Island called Yawgoog -- which is itself a fine camp).

 

Some other local troops go to the BMC camp called T. L. Storer, which is not far from Wah-tut-ca in New Hampshire.

 

Boston Minuteman has another camp, I think, at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton. Camp Sayre, I think. And then one council, I'm not sure which one, has a camp called Squanto, which is near Plymouth.

 

There are a few others around, but other than Wah-tut-ca in NH, I can't really comment.

 

Our troop is considering a Daniel Webster Council patrol-oriented camp, in New Hampshire, called Camp Bell (part of the Griswold Scout Reservation), for this year.

 

There are tons of options.

 

Guy

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I'm also in a MA council (Nashua Valley) whose summer camp is just over the border in NH, Camp Wanocksett. Wanocksett has a great program, and the weeks that I have been there, there are usually a couple of troops from outside our Council, which I think is a good indicator of the quality of their program. They run 6 or 7 weeks at full capacity every week, and they are expanding with new campsites to increase that capacity.

 

I have also heard good things about Camp Resolute in Bolton (part of Knox Trail Council).

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We are part of the Western Massachusetts Council. (Formed with the recent merger of the Pioneer Valley Council and the Great Trails Council. This new Council has two separate camps:

 

1) Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation in Russell, MA. This is the camp that our troop has attended for many years. We absolutely love it there. 1600 acres of woods and water (and hills!). Great staff, a great waterfront, and a great advancement program. It is about 20 minutes from the Westfield exit of the Mass Pike.

 

2) Chesterfield Scout Reservation. I have yet to visit this camp, so I really can't comment on it. It is smaller than Moses. A couple of our boys did their OA ordeals there this fall.

 

 

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Have to put a plug in for Camp Squanto in Southeastern MA, just west of Plymouth.

 

See http://campsquanto.net/

 

Great Waterfront on a kettle pond with some of the cleanest, warmest waters you'll find in NE. As noted, just west of Plymouth, MA, the Mayflower and Plymouth Plantation. Within an hour of Cape Cod and 35 - 40mi. south of Boston.

 

Again they get Out of Council units fairly regularly.

 

SA

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Our troop is in Old Colony Council, we go to Squanto for lots of troop camping trips but the scouts like to travel for summer camp. Last summer we went to Camp Resolute in Bolton, MA (Knox Trail Council) and it was OUTSTANDING!!! It's a relatively small camp (good for new scouts) with a great variety of merit badges. Take a look, you won't be disappointed.

 

EL

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I am also from Western Mass Council and can comment on Chesterfield,

 

Great program (because it is the same as Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation)

Great Staff (because it is the same staff as Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation)

 

You see the summer camp staff spends two weeks at Chesterfield in the beginning of the Summer and three weeks at Moses after that for the Boy Scout program.

 

Moses has a better waterfront and Chesterfield has a better COPE area. Our troop just prefers Chesterfield.

 

Ether way you can't go wrong in Western MA.

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If you planning a Massachusetts Summer Camp trip in 2011, you can cross off Western MA. as of today...

 

Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation- closed for resident camping

Chesterfield Scout Reservation - closed for resident camping

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http://www.wmascouting.org/pdf/WMC%20Camping%20Program%20Changes%20FAQ%2012-10.pdf

'Financially sustainable' = cut expenses by cutting programs, selling camps. As stated in above FAQ, they are still running some programs at those camps this summer; I wonder if they would allow a troop to run their own summer camp week? They mentioned the $100/scout subsidy but no mention of FOS in this. I thought we were funding this scout subsidy in our FOS contributions? I wonder if they still plan to rent out Chesterfield for the Mass Junior Conservation Camp as they have in past summers?

It is interesting that Western Mass Council did not partner with any of the few remaining Mass camps.

'Financially sustainable' - I wonder what council services are? Training? Council Award Dinners? What money is coming in and where is it going? Do we really need a council if we have no camp?

Sorry for the ramble, I am not optimistic about the continued existence of local scout camps or 'non-financially sustaining' high adventure camps in the next 100 years.

My $0.01

(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Interesting idea,what if several troops wanted to camp the same week with no "official" summer camp program. Hmmm... several of us are also merit badge councilors...

 

 

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Worth a try. Might be a farewell to that camp and the return to an old way of doing scout summer camp ... patrol cooking what a concept.

Closing a scout reservation (make that TWO scout reservations) for summer camp usually leads directly to the selling of "under-utilized assets".

Also there was no explanation as to why Western Mass troops choose to summer camp elsewhere.

My $0.02

Edited by RememberSchiff
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I find it interesting that the Western Mass document points units to camps in both NY and CT (and not to other camps in MA). Granted a couple of those are probably closer, but Rochester, NY certainly isn't.

 

Since I responded to this note, about a year ago, I've researched our local camps in much more detail, and I've come to the conclusion that it is a buyer's market. From where I sit, in NE Mass, I can think of at least 8 camps that are less than 90 minutes away, and I may be missing a couple.

 

After several years of going to our council camp, we broke ranks this year and went to an out-of-council patrol-oriented camp (Camp Bell, mentioned above, which is run by Daniel Webster Council). We had a fantastic experience, and will be returning this next year. We're also adding a week at another camp, for a regular MB program equivalent. For next year, we're looking to add a week at a Canadian scout camp.

 

Guy

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My Understanding is that the "Partner Camps" were all kept in NE Area 2 (Of which WMC was the only MA council in Area 2) All of the Other Mass Councils are in NE Area 1.

 

The partner camp exception being High Adventure in Senica Waterways Council. The other two Connecticut Rivers (South) and Twin Rivers NY (West) surround the Council.

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Seems like Western Mass Council is looking at selling Moses. They probably want to sell Chesterfield too, but the deed requires that it can only be sold as one complete parcel, no subdividing.

There was a meeting this week with about 50 concerned scouters. A Friends of Moses Scout Reservation non-profit is forming to raise $100K to save Moses. Donors will be refunded if the camp is closed. More details in this article

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/western_massachusetts_boys_sco.html

where there is an interesting sentence:

"To save the camps, Boy Scout leaders are going to have to find solutions to a number of problems, including programming, a lack of communication, dropping membership, recruiting and fund-raising..." Interesting in that only "programming" is a camp problem. Maybe camps need to be separate from councils? I think we might preserve our camps and consolidate under-performing councils.

Another note about Chesterfield, the Mass Junior Conversation Camp has again reserved the camp for two weeks this summer - same camp as the Boy Scouts used except their program is coed, age 13-17, oh they shoot pistols and have no problem fully booking their two weeks at our camp.

http://juniorconservationcamp.org/aboutthecamp.htm

My $0.02

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What disconcerting news. I just happened upon this news while searching for places to sell my Scout patch collection, many of which include HA Moses patches.

I spent many years at HA Moses SR as a Scout, a Scoutmaster with my troop, and a District leader. I completed my Woodbadge at HAMSR. Because I lived over the hill on Birch Hill Rd. I was very familiar with the camp and its history.

Furthermore, Boy Scouts and this camp were a large factor in my development and career. I spent 33 years in law enforcement and the ideals from Scouting were always present with me. The loss of this camping experience to thousands of boys in the future is devastating. Horace A. Moses left his property to the Scouts to be used in perpetuity for the character building of the youth of the Council.

He did not expect that the management would NOT be prepared! Or should I say mis-management. He is turning over in his grave at this news. To think of this gift made to the BSA being turned into the possible sale of the property is barely understandable. I am now retired but live in Eastern Mass., but if I were there, I would be fighting daily to keep this camp open.

Now Scout Troop leaders must find ways to not only pay for summer camp for their Scouts, they must find transportation to camps further away. The 1600 acres at Moses SR is one of the best in New England in my memory. And it was right at the doorstep of so many Scouts. With the merger of the councils, it would seem there would be more boys to take advantage of the camp. So now any moneys will be going to the outside council camps for their operations and nothing left for WM Council.

I wish everyone the best in their fight, and it will be a fight, to keep this camp open. When I win the lottery, my first donation will be to the preservation of HA Moses SR and the memory of Mr. Moses. I will be following this closely to see if there is any other option that I can participate in.

 

David M. Mason(This message has been edited by mabloodhound)

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