A Tour of
Camp Wauwepex/Schiff Scout Reservation:
Page One

Deep Pond, 1998 (14079 bytes)As the maps and pictures from the prior page show (you did get your map, didn't you?), Wauwepex is centered around Deep Pond, a 20-acre picturesque body of water fed by an underground spring. The camp is basically spread out in two arms that encircle the lake. Like Onteora, Wauwepex was once divided into three camps, each with a dining hall and waterfront. In addition to tent platforms and the cabins, there are also numerous lean-to's around the property.

As you drive onto the camp property, you'll pass the ranger's house off to your left. Just past that, also on the left, is the Hendrickson Service Building, site of the maintenance shops. This, in turn, brings you to a crossroads. Off to the left the road leads to Hickox Dining Hall, and to the right, Hayden Hall. We'll continue through the intersection and head down towards the lake.

After passing the parking lot on your left, you can spot the camp's Health Lodge through the trees on the left. Due to a change in New York State laws, the building can no longer be called a health lodge, so it's now known as the Grace Building. It's one of the older buildings on the property, and I believe the name restriction is due to a lack of handicap access. The building has a basement, used for storage, and years ago I found an ancient candlestick phone down there. I still have it, and someday hope to find the parts to restore it.

Next you'll come to a small field that looks like it was once used as a parade ground. The most interesting thing here is a memorial to F. Howard Covey, "The Wise Old Owl". Looking for all the world like a tombstone, it marks were Covey, one of the founders of Buckskin Lodge of the Order of the Arrow, watched as the Scouts passed by in parade. There's a small plaque underneath the stone marker that supposedly tells you all this, but it's so worn from the weather that it's impossible to read now. I used to have a copy of the wording and if I can find it I'll add it to the site. Can anyone else help?

There are several buildings off to the right side of the road. many of these have been used for different purposes over the years. What is listed as the Camp Office on the 1950 map is now the Christiansen Cabin. The former Craft Lodge is now the T.R. Pavilion, which hosts an indoor BB gun range. The former Trading Post is now the Smith Training Center, with a nice view of the lake.

Just before you get to the lake you can spot a marker for the beginning of the camp's Ecology Trail. Running around the lake, it offers hikers a chance to learn more about the flora and fauna of the area. Several stations have been set up to explain what is in the area, and Scouts can earn patches for completing the trail and answering questions on what they have observed. Trail guides are available in the Trading Post when the camp is in operation.

Finally, we arrive at the lake. Back in the 50's this area was the site of an amphitheatre and dock, but all signs of both are long gone. All that remains today is a sandy beach. This view looks across the beach to the other side of Deep Pond, where the swimming dock is set up in Summer (these pictures were taken April 10, 2000, so the camp was not in operation). Off in the woods to the right of this picture you might find the crumbling foundation of the camp's first dining hall.

The beach is a nice spot to spend a few minutes enjoying the animals that live in the camp. Raccoon and deer tracks are easy to spot, and we found some baby turtles during our recent visit. There are often some beautiful butterflies and birds passing by, making it a nice retreat from the homes and businesses that now circle the property.

For the 2000 season, the camp waterfront was moved back to this area after many years at the far end of the lake.

Ready for a tour around Deep Pond? Click here to continue the tour, and to find out how deep the pond actually is. You can also click here to return to the main Onteora page.