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

 

We'll continue the tour by hiking around Deep Pond. There's the remnants of a once-paved road that circles the lake, and we'll head off in a clock-wise direction. The camp's Ecology Trail follows much of this route, so keep your eyes open a look at the local inhabitants!

Up on the hill to your left, just after starting on the hike, is Buckskin Cabin, another of the older structures still in use at the camp. Most of these cabins can be rented for weekend use throughout the year, providing an excellent opportunity for year-round camping. My old troop used to spend many weekends at Wauwepex, and the cabins were definitely the way to go in winter. If I remember correctly, all cooking was done outdoors, so they're fairly primitive. They do feature a nice supply of bunks, and some have fireplaces.


Buckskin Cabin - May 4, 2000
   
Up ahead on the right is another small beach. The 2000 site of the fishing dock for summer campers, this was once the swimming area for the camp's Pioneer Division. Continuing past the beach we'll come to the Stone Campfire Ring on the left. This campfire ring is very old, and is constructed out of good-sized rocks cemented together. Being made of stone it has survived where many of the other campfire areas at both Onteora and Wauwepex have been reclaimed by nature. At the head of the ring is a throne-shaped chair, visible in this picture just to the left of the totem pole. Can you just imagine how many songs have been sung around here over the years, or how many ghost stories have scared new campers silly?
Stone Council Ring - September 28, 2001
   

The next milestone on the hike will be the Jewish Chapel, just past the campfire ring, and then we come to yet another beach. This is the former Frontier Division waterfront, and is now the site of all swimming and boating activities for the camp. This view is looking across Deep Pond towards the beach where we started, with the Smith Training Center (old Trading Post) visible through the trees.

While we're resting here at the edge of the lake, it's time to answer the question - how deep is Deep Pond? About 39-40 feet in most places, which may not sound particularly deep until you realize that most ponds on Long Island are less than 10 feet deep. Whatever glacier carved out Wauwepex's lake went unusually deep, leaving us one of the nicer bodies of water on all of Long Island.


Deep Pond - May 4, 2000
   
At both sides of the waterfront area you'll find some tall grass growing out of the water. While they look pretty, the plants are not native to the area, and the camp is trying to find a way to get rid of them. It's quite a problem, as the herbicides have to pass State approval and not harm any of the native plants, so up to now, the plants have been holding their own. There are some advantages, as they provide shelter to some small animals, but unless checked they will squeeze out the local plants.
Deep Pond - May 4, 2000
   
Here's one of the local inhabitants - a baby red turtle. The beach here was covered with animal tracks, and small fish could be seen at the water's edge. More exciting, though, were signs of some larger fish, particularly a few jumping out of the water. It looks like the State's efforts in stocking the lake are paying off.
Baby turtle - May 4, 2000
   
Continuing on our trip, you'll next pass the Protestant Chapel, and further along the trail, you can spot Sagamore Cabin. This building is named for a honor camping group dedicated to supporting the goals of the Council. I'm not sure how one gets invited to join.

Finally, after passing the Smith Training Center/old trading post, we return to the crossroads where we first set off for our jaunt around the lake.


Trading Post - May 4, 2000
   
Rested up and ready for a look at the dining halls, camp sites and C.O.P.E. course? Click here to continue the tour. You can also click here to return to the main Onteora page.