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CHIN-BE-GOTA revisited 20 years later

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I was aquatics staff in 1968 and staff cook in 1969. For a number of years I taught Red Cross Swimmin. I still cook for 25 people at holiday dinners. Great start at CBG. Lodge Chief for a year. Lots of fine memories. Saturday nights in Wausau. Laundry runs to Mattoon. Canoe trip when Jim Rumchack had to bend a Grumman canoe in half to get it out from under the water roll. Waterskiing with Pete Kleinpaste. Train stories from Cecil Piggott.

Drove nearby last week (august 2009) and I searched my GPS for the lake near Birnamwood, but I could not recall its name. Darn busy life. Baker-\ oh yeah- found in this thread thanks gang.

Did not read all the posts yet- hi to former quartmaster Dan Starck.

 

My old confirmation watch is at the bottom of that lake- we tipped a sailboat and I almost choked to death with the mast pinching my neck to the deck. Buddy system worked.

 

Still in touch with Harlan Wolfe from that era. He can fill you in on some stories.

 

Sorry to hear about Gerry Streit's 2002 stroke in his 50s.- we touched base about 10 or 12 years ago. I had a stroke in 2005 at age 52 but survived it and continued to work at rehab. Weird coincidence, except stroke is 2nd leading cause of death worldwide.

 

I used my experience at Chin-Be-Gota to become Scoutmaster of an inner city Troop in Chicago, taking them to Owasippe Scout Camp in Michigan for 13 years, and on High Adventures too, and monthly camping trips out of the city.

My ex-mother-in-law told my teen daughter I was basically a liar when I claimed to have cooked over a thousand chickens one summer. It gave me the chance to review all the details of our Saturday chicken lunches for campers and families. Whee ha.

Pet skunk on staff row. OA inductions in the campfire bowl. Delivering food to ground iceboxes by tractor, or the world's most beat-up but forgiving truck. Wrestling in the dining room. Moving tents and platforms on Saturday afternoons.

Paul Hanlon used to say- It's a democracy, but a controlled democracy.

One of my inner-city Scouts sent me a photo by email last year- himself, and two kids and wife on top of Mt Katadhin in the snow. Thanked me for sparking his interest in the outdoors. I thank Scouting. At an environmental lecture four years ago, E O Wilson (42 merit badges) said Scouting is one of the great self-instruction programs in the world. But much more of course.

Sad to see old camps go, and numbers continue to drop.

Really wonderful to hear stories about CBG from those who came before, after, and at the same time. I am not alone in fond memories, I see.

Rick Rayfield rickrayfield.com Waitsfield Vermont

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Chin Be Gota

GPS lat/long

N 44 58.380' W 89 05.154'

Elevation 777

 

Baker Lake not shown on Garmin Nuvi

 

Go to Google Earth and just punch in Lake Drive, Birnamwood, WI and it'll take you there.

 

 

 

Best,

 

Rick Rayfield

Waitsfield Vermont

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OK so now I am trying to track down Little Archie Lake where the Chief Shabbona Wilderness Camp was. I was a roving aquatics staffer there for a week, and the troop out on the "island" did not need any help. SO I "chased" loons in a canoe and tried to keep the raccons from stealing Chuck Wagner's wife blind.

 

Anyone recall the nearest town, or road names, or other hints?

 

Bets on which Troop it was? Patrols took turns asking Scoutmaster and staff to dinner. Had their own buddy board. Staff was all Eagle Scouts from that Troop.

 

Best,

 

Rick Rayfield

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I believe it was near Lakewood, Wisconsin.

 

I only went to Chief Shabbonna a few times, as I was one of those rare Eagle Scouts who took advantage of the brief period of time when the Swimming Merit Badge could be substitute with the Physical Fitness Merit Badge. If anyone still knows Sam Berkes please tell him at age 38 Bob Bales finally learned how to swim, I know that was definitely a source of contention with him about me, among other things!

 

Bob

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I believe it was near Lakewood, Wisconsin.

 

I only went to Chief Shabbonna a few times, as I was one of those rare Eagle Scouts who took advantage of the brief period of time when the Swimming Merit Badge could be substituted with the Physical Fitness Merit Badge. If anyone still knows Sam Berkes please tell him at age 38 Bob Bales finally learned how to swim, I know that was definitely a source of contention with him about me, among other things!

 

Bob

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I believe it was near Lakewood, Wisconsin.

 

I only went to Chief Shabbonna a few times, as I was one of those rare Eagle Scouts who took advantage of the brief period of time when the Swimming Merit Badge could be substituted with the Physical Fitness Merit Badge. If anyone still knows Sam Berkes please tell him at age 38 Bob Bales finally learned how to swim, I know that was definitely a source of contention with him about me, among other things!

 

Bob

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Little Archibald Lake is located off Rt 32 between Lakewood and Townsend, Wisconsin. It's final camping season was 1986 and the camp was subsequently sold as was Chin-Be-Gota. It has been subdivided into large lots and now homes line parts of the lake. At least there is a decent set back requirement in that area so they're not right on the lakeshore.

 

I first attended Little Archie in 1967. The camp's name was changed to Chief Shabbona Wilderness Camp after Chief Shabbona Council merged with Kedeka Area Council in 1968. Since their camp in Sugar Grove was named Camp Kedeka they wanted a camp to contain the words Chief Shabbona to memorialize both former councils. I attended camp at Chief Shabbona Wilderness (LIttle Archie) again in 1969. Our troop went before the regular season started and we had the camp completely to ourselves.

 

One of my favorite places was called "Cathedral of the Pines", a place dominated by very tall pines. Hopefully there's not a house there now. Bald eagles used to nest at Little Archie, now wealthy vacationers do.

 

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Little Archie can be seen at Google Earth at

 

N45 18' W 88 34'

 

or go to Google Earth and search Little Archibald Wisconsin

 

How funny that what we recall as wild areas were less than a mile from lots of farms, etc. I drive by other Scout Camps in my travels and wonder how they can stand being so close to civilized areas. Duh.

That does not lessen the experiences we had. And there is a difference in the air, the smells, the moss on the trees etc the further from home you are. Where I live in Vermont is same latitude as our summer cabin near Hayward Wisconsin. The same in many ways- birch, damp, rocky, and yet so different- lakes vs mountains, rock types, birds, and more.

I took city kids on a bike trip down to Kankakee Illinois. We had a standing snack stop next to a pasture, and the Scouts were absolutely mesmerized by the cows in the field. They rode their bikes to summer camp near Muskegoen Michigan the next year, and you should have seen these kids biking across the upper penisula of Michigan the following year! (My solution to parents who were "too busy' to drive us to outings.)

I remember a kid from my hometown Princeton Illinois staring at Lake Michigan from the museum parking lot with his eyes agog and asking, This that the ocean? The rest of the world may be only a few miles away, even with the internet. The real world smells, squeaks, roars, blinds, awes, and pinches.

The opportunities to meet great people, to develop on your own, making choices, so much richness to this program it is no wonder we have strong emotional memories.

Best,

 

Rick

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I recently came accross this forum and immedially was interested in the topic of Chin-Be-Gota. I worked on the camp staff durning "62-64". I have some items from the camp and many stories if anyone out there is interested.

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Hey Cartridge,

I was a scout during your years at CBG. Does your name imply that you were on field sports staff?

Dan Starck (Jr.staff '67,'68, Sr. staff '72,'73)

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I worked on the aquatic staff teaching swimming and lifesaving. You might remember the guy that use to drive the jeep around every night spraying the campsites for mosquitoes, that was me.

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I was going through my old Scouting stuff this past weekend to put together a presentation on patch colleting and trading for a troop of scouts I am taking to the National Jamboree from Alaska. I ran across a neckercheif still in plastic from Two Rivers Council (I grew up in Aurora, Il) with Chin-Be-Gota, Chief Shabbona, Kedeka, and Rotary MacQueen on it. Hadn't thought about Chin-Be-Gota in a while so I did a web search and found these postings. Great members and thanks for all who have posted. I attended in the late 60's early 70's.

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I used to belong to Boy Scout Troup 30 from Aurora, Il.. Our troup was there when CBG first opened in 1959. Oh how I remember my first time at that camp. It was awsome to me and the others. I remember the Kybos and the Kybo passes. I learned how to shoot a rifle and bow and arrows while there. One year my dad was picked out for the "Order of The Arrow". I think my eyes bugged out when this Indian came from across the lake and slapped my dad on his sholders I think 3 times and then took him away. I didn't see my dad for three days. And when it was over, the work that he told me that he had to preform and in silence was unbelieveable but true. Oh my memories are going a hundred miles an hour. Maybe someday I to will go back to the CBG camp and maybe they will let me take pics of this awsome place that I have fond memories of.

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