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CHIN-BE-GOTA revisited 20 years later

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I was reading through this post about Chin Be Gota. I attended there as a scout and a staff member. As I was reading through the posts, I noticed a posted from Cliff Golden who I believe was the Field and Sports Director when I was there.

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I am the daughter of Lloyd Nelson, Scout Leader from Aurora Il for over 50 years. I fondly remember going to Chin Begota family camp in the 60's. My oldest brother, also named Lloyd, was a counselor then too. I remember the fire pit and camp songs, the Order of the Arrow ceremonies with the Indians crossing the lake with torches, the latrines! My brother probably has lots more memories than I do, and my dad has been gone for over 15 years now. Bit he was a proud Scout leader, eventually a commissioner who won the Silver Beaver award. When asked why he did it for so long, he would say " when you find something that works, you stick with it!" Does anyone remember him?? A great guy!

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I found an old coffee cup dated 1966 with Chin-Be-Gota and Kedeka on it. I am not sure where I got it only it brought back great memories of two summers at CBG when I was a director for two summers. I think it was in '81'82 First year I oversaw the field sports and the next one the food service. Have to pull out my box of boy scout memories to be sure. Sure have enjoyed reading the posts here on this site. Saddened to hear about the camp being sold. 

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I haven't back to this site in a number of years but something back in my head told me to check it out again.  I was in Troop 16 from Marywood from 1960-1965.  Having moved to Marywood from Plano I was invited to join the local troop by a couple of local scouts.  Unknown to me at the time, Troop 16 was sponsored by the local Catholic church.  I was the only and first non Catholic member.  I was lucky to have been selected to work on staff at Chin-Be-Gota from 1961-1963.  As many of you know, it was a life altering experience.  I managed to locate my old Scout master, Bob Forsell a few years before he died.  I'm so grateful I could.  He was the "difference" in my growing up years.  As were Pete Klienpaste and Rich Johnson.  Can anyone give me details where these men might be or what happened to them?  I would like to pass on my appreciation to them or at least tell any relatives their influence on me as a boy.  Also like to hear from any of my old Troop 16 members or camp staff.  

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I am the daughter of Lloyd Nelson, Scout Leader from Aurora Il for over 50 years. I fondly remember going to Chin Begota family camp in the 60's. My oldest brother, also named Lloyd, was a counselor then too. I remember the fire pit and camp songs, the Order of the Arrow ceremonies with the Indians crossing the lake with torches, the latrines! My brother probably has lots more memories than I do, and my dad has been gone for over 15 years now. Bit he was a proud Scout leader, eventually a commissioner who won the Silver Beaver award. When asked why he did it for so long, he would say " when you find something that works, you stick with it!" Does anyone remember him?? A great guy!

Hi,  I saw your post, (mine is July 2015) sounds likely that I may have known your brother.  As you can see from my post, I was on Staff in early 60's.  I was on the aquatics staff, in the evening I cleaned the latrines and sprayed the campsites with DDT to rid the mosquitoes.  Like to hear back  

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As Boy Scout in Troop 3 and Explorer Post 3 at New England Congregational Church in Aurora, IL in last half of 1950's, and reading posts on http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/23865-chin-be-gota-revisited-20-years-later/page-1, I felt like old woman at start of Titanic movie, who lived the start of a story, while others told told her tale before she returned Le CÅ“ur de la Mer to the Atlantic at the film's end in the urls' topic and 65 replies.

 

During those Scouting years, I knew and remember fondly three camps: KeDeKa, Blackhawk and Baker Lake.  In Internet search to find more about them to enhance memories, I came to learn how the Baker Lake Wilderness Camp I first visited in April 1958 and then again for two week  camp session that summer led to the wonderful tale and memories captured in above Chin-Be-Gota linke, before it's sale after end of 1986 summer.   

1958 Two Week Summer Camp at Baker Lake Wilderness Camp Troop 3 Aurora: Waterfront, Troop 3 Campers; Jungle Hammock Camp

2016 Baker Lake Google Satellite View, Former Chin-Be-Gota Camp 1959-86

  

1958 Baker Lake Summer Wilderness Camp Path; Order of Arrow Wiyapunit Lodge 106 Aurora Council; Richard Noll, Post 503 Leader

What I recall from Aurora Council's new Baker Lake property in 1958 is that it was all wilderness, including the farm in photo above to East.  The three photos above the current Baker Lakes aerial view would all be from where the camp buildings shown in the aerial photo were eventually built.  The Troop picture is in front of our temporary canvas shelter where meals were prepared, just as waterfront picture at left was downhill to Lake and jungle hammock campsites in woods further from Lake.

 

For all the wonderful memories of campers and staff during the 1959-86 life of Chin-Go-Beta in the replies of above url, it is not completely clear where Shibonna Wilderness was located.  All the replies referred to it being near  Chin-Go-Beta, but Little Lake Archibald in other replies, is far away.    This is much less significant than the memories recalled and leaders lauded in the 60 plus replies to revisit 20 years after camp closed.

 

My memories of two weeks  in a jungle hammock have augmented now by reading of what Baker Lake Wilderness Camp became in later years and how Scouts and staff remembered their years at Chin-Go-Beta.  Those memories make all the work clearing and building trails to campsites and waterfront  seem more important now than then.  Most remembered respites were waterfront at day's end to wash away dust and dirt of day followed by dinner and campfire.  I also recall blazing trail around lake through often thick underbrush to lake's edge.  After swimming out to raft of beautiful warm night,  I continued to swim across lake and back, only to be chastised on return about whether that was a very good and responsible decision that was an undue risk.

 

Since post wouldn't allow photos, I will try to include them with other Scout Camp memories in email to Rich and Cliff Golden if their emails are still operable.

 

Rod Handeland

rhandeland@gmail.com

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Having worked on staff at Chin-Be-Gota 62-64 can anyone tell me the outcome of two of the most memorable men that I knew at the time:  Camp director Pete Klienpaste and Rich Johnson? 

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I enjoyed CBG from 1962 -1967.  It helped shape my life as an eagle scout and OA, brotherhood recepient.  The calling out at the firebowl was a wonderful memory which is seared in my memory.  I enjoyed scouting with Troop 1 and Troop 81 in North Aurora, and would go to Hoke's bait shop on the west side of the North Aurora dam and they would let us use a net to get crawdads which they paid us a penny a crawdad.  That and selling golf balls at Fox valley country club from the cornfield on hole 3 paid my 24 dollar week camping fee.  Three times I spent back to back weeks, and I fell in love with nature and now own two campgrounds, one in Illinois called campingislands.com and one in Florida called little pelican bayou.  We have made beautiful natural areas where families can connect with nature and share the joy I had as a scout.

I am now on the final leg of my battle with cancer and as I look at those things which shaped my life, I can say without a doubt it was CBG.  I was angry when it was sold because young kids need that exposure.  My fondest dream would be to repurchase CBG for scouting but that boat has passed as I fade away with fond memories of a magical place.  Thank you for this blog.  I think about trolling baker lake in a row boat with red and white daredevil spinners killing the bass and dropping those tasty white meat into a frying pan of butter......paradise, freedom, and self reliance perfected.

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Hi and welcome to the forum, @seaoat. Your post is a testimony to what scouting is about. 

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Thank you for sharing your story @seaoat. I share MattR's sentiments, that is what scouting is all about. God speed on your final journey.

Edited by Rick_in_CA

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Posted (edited)
On 7/24/2017 at 6:12 AM, cartridge said:

Having worked on staff at Chin-Be-Gota 62-64 can anyone tell me the outcome of two of the most memorable men that I knew at the time:  Camp director Pete Klienpaste and Rich Johnson? 

Pete Kleinpaste , as I recall, passed away in 1990 according to an article in the DeKalb Chronicle June 1, 1990 .  (edit- RS)

Pete was the live-in caretaker at the then-new Two Rivers camp near Rochelle, Illinois. 

I served on aquatics staff in 77 and 78, and as aquatics director in 84.  I have so many fun memories of that place.  What a shame to lose it, and Chief Shabbona in Lakewood/Townsend (that lake was so cold and deep!).

Edited by RememberSchiff
Unable to verify. News article, obit are in paid-to-view archive.

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