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

 

We'll begin again at the crossroads we first encountered upon entering the camp. Heading off to the left, we're passing through what was once the camp's Pioneer Division. Just beyond the large field on the right that now hosts the Archery Range once stood Pioneer Hall, one of the three dining halls in use at the camp's heyday. It was torn down sometime after the late 1970s, which is the last I can remember seeing it. After it had been taken out of service as a dining hall it had been used for storage until it was eventually torn down. Today, you would never know it had even been there.
Pioneer Hall site - September 28, 2001
   
The 1950s archery range, on the left side of the road, has given way to the Project C.O.P.E. course. This course was named in honor of Art Noble, a long-time Council staffer who was responsible for much of the building activities at the camps. Recently rebuilt and expanded, the course offers Scouters a real challenge as they learn how to scale the towers and cross the ropes. I'm amazed that things like this exist in today's lawsuit-happy society! Sure looks like fun though.
Arthur R. Noble C.O.P.E Course - September 28, 2001
   
Peeking out of the woods on the left, next to the first campsites we come to, is an interesting relic of the past - one of the camp's old entry signs. It was nice to see it there. Many of the campsites in this area are now gone, and others renamed. In the past, they were named after famous Americans. If I can read the names correctly off an old map, the sites in this area were Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, Teddy Roosevelt, Casey Jones, Dan Beard, Sam Houston, George Custer, Lucian Maxwell, Buffalo Bill, Davy Crockett, Kit Carson, Dan Boone and Bull Smith (I'm not sure about that one - can anyone help?) Today, reflecting the camp's use for Cub Scout programs, the area is home to the Bear, Tiger, Arrow of Light, Webelos, Bobcat and Wolf campsites.
Camp Wauwepex sign - September 28, 2001
   
We now come to the site of Hickcox Dining Hall, formerly known as Frontier Hall. Not surprisingly, this is in the former Frontier Division of the camp. Unfortunately, there's not a lot to see here at the moment, as poor old Hickcox Hall burned down in a massive fire on November 1, 2011. The building was completely destroyed. Happily it was fully insured and the Council has announced plans to build a new dining hall on the same spot.
Hickcox Hall fire - November 1, 2011
   
Here's a shot of Hickcox Hall in happier times. As anyone who has attended summer camping at Onteora or Wauwepex will know, the dining halls have always been a first class operation. The Council and camp directors always took a lot of pride in the food served there, knowing this was a key element in overall camper satisfaction. The dining halls were also an important part of the camp social life, with sing-a-longs and other events at meal time. It's great to know a new dining hall will be there soon to keep the traditions alive.
Hickcox Hall - May 4, 2000
   
Out in front of the dining hall is the "Wall of Honor", which was dedicated on July 6, 1996 during the camp's Diamond Jubilee. It's a fitting place to honor and remember those who had made a positive contribution, financial or personal, to the camp. It was sobering to see the names of people I used to camp with there in memoriam on the wall... Still, it was gratifying to see that others have remembered them as well, or made donations to support the camp.
Wall of Honor - May 4, 2000
   
The road ends here, at least for cars, so after making a u-turn, we pass through the crossroads and head towards the other surviving dining hall, Hayden Hall. On the way we pass the rifle range, off to the right, and the sites of many former campgrounds. This was the Indian Division, and gone now are the Cherokee, Peconic, Mohawk, Seminole, Iroquois, Algonquin, Manhasset, Patchogue, Shinnecock, Matituck and other campsites. This area is used primarily for family camping now, on the sites of the former Seminole and Manhasset sites. At the center of this area stands Hayden Hall, the former Indian Hall.
Hayden Hall - May 4, 2000
   
In front of Hayden Hall stands a structure some call Noble's Folly. It's a Long Island Rail Road caboose, moved to the camp even though the railroad never has crossed the property. It seems the LIRR was getting rid of their cabooses, and Art Noble thought one of them would make an excellent office for that section of the camp. After a massive effort, the caboose was trucked on site and placed on a short section of rails, and equipped as an office for the area.

The plaque on the bell, visible in the right corner of the picture above, reads "This bell rings in honor of all the Nassau County Scouts and Scouters who served in our nation's armed forces in war and in keeping the peace". I don't know who put it there or when. Sure is a loud bell though! I believe it came from the vintage steam engine that was forever being restored at the old Mitchel Field site back in Nassau County.


Long Island Rail Road Caboose - September 28, 2001
   
Just behind where the picture above was taken stands a flagpole. This picture shows the dedication plaque at the base of the pole.The Lambert family has a long tradition of service to the Council and this was a nice memorial to someone who did so much for so many. 
Martha R. Lambert memorial - September 28, 2001
   
Well, it's almost time to leave Wauwepex. First, though, here's a picture of Art Noble on the left and me back in 2000 as we take a looked at a computer screen in the ranger's office. Who could have ever imagined years ago that Wauwepex would be part of something as vast as the Internet? My sincere thanks to Art for taking the time to meet my family and take us around the camp. Much of the information here came from him - any mistakes came from me.
Art Noble and Bill Cotter - May 4, 2000
   

That's it for this tour of Wauwepex, but as the "Welcome Back Soon" sign in the picture says, come back soon. I will be updating these pages as I get more information or pictures. If you have anything to share, or corrections to suggest, please e-mail me.

 

 


Leaving Wauwepex - May 4, 2000
   
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