The Nassau Charger
Volume 37 No. 4
August/Summer 2000

OSR: Y2K Ready!

    All systems are ‘go' at Onteora for this summer. We've completed a review of all our systems and, as we thought, Onteora is Y2K ready to go. A volunteer staff of 90 Scouters and 20 counselors-in-training are all set to make this summer unforgettable for the 350 Scouts and 90 unit leaders expected at camp. The year-round efforts of our Ranger, Glenn Gabbard, and the over 2,000 volunteer hours invested over the past year have improved many aspects of the camp. Camp Director Jim Kent and his staff have been meeting throughout the year to help prepare a tremendous summer program for the 27 home troops and council troop that are signed up. A full Summer 2000 wrap up report will appear in a future edition of The Charger.

   If you have questions about home troop or council troop camping at Onteora Scout Reservation, contact Camp Director Jim Kent at 933-7391; Camp Commissioner Dave Barkstedt at 599-8495; Camp Services Director Rick Balla at 678-0032, or Camp Business Manager Kathy Brown at the Council Office at 797-7600, ext. 122.


Onteora Beaver Days:
The Tradition Continues

    The great tradition of Beaver Days continues at Onteora. On April 1, 2000 a total of 80 Scouts and Scouters were treated to a beautiful sunny day in the Catskills. T-shirts and shorts prevailed in the 70 degree temperature, at least for those optimistic enough to bring them. Building upon the advance work done by our Ranger, Glenn Gabbard, and the early birds that arrived on Friday, an amazing amount of work was completed. Volunteer sweat was bolstered by a $5,000 investment in the camp from our friends in Buckskin Lodge, who generously donated the sum towards the purchase of much needed materials and supplies. Following a hard day's work, dinnertime came, and just as we were about to begin our traditional steak bar-b-q, a forecasted rainstorm descended upon the camp. Following dinner, undeterred, work continued (mostly in the dining hall) while others enjoyed the warmth and storytelling while gathered around the Long House fireplace.

   If the tremendous (if not last minute) turn out for this weekend was not enough of a surprise, imagine our reaction to awaking Sunday morning to find our camp blanketed in nearly a foot of snow, and it was still coming down! Many of the Scouts and even some Scouters were experiencing Onteora for their very first time and were given a very special treat - consecutive days of summer and winter weather in the Catskills. Unfortunately the snow put a bit of a damper on plans for projects on Sunday morning, though we managed to squeeze a few in. A big "Bully" goes out to all who attended and made the weekend a big success, and especially our cooking crew for the weekend, headed by Ken Guarino.

   On Memorial Day Weekend, a second crew of workers descended on Onteora. Again, eager beavers arriving on Friday helped set the stage for the work that was to take place on Saturday, along with all the preparatory work done by Ranger Glenn. In all, we were 37 strong. Work began almost at day break as we sought to complete a long and diverse list of projects throughout camp. Again, beautiful weather was on our side. We worked through the day and, after dinner, taking advantage of the late setting sun, many set back out into the camp to complete "just one more thing" until darkness fell. In fact, many projects in and around the dining hall continued well into the evening. The highlight of the night, though, was probably the Onteora staff members in attendance honing their skills in preparation for OSR's coveted "Box Burning Merit Badge" (ask Les Cox if you want some background on this or information on the requirements).

    Sunday morning, we were treated to another beautiful day - even the bugs were leaving us alone. Over half those present the previous day took advantage of this and put in another full day of work before calling it quits and heading home. A big "Bully" goes out to our cook, Lynn Iredell, and all the Scouts and Scouters who worked so hard over the course of the three days.

    These two scheduled weekends are only a part of the Onteora Beaver Story. We are indebted to those Scouters who are assisting in the planning and recruiting for these weekends and the gathering up of donated equipment, materials and supplies, as well as those who are up at OSR at other times, lending a hand and being an extra set of hands to our Ranger. In particular, Ed Flanagan, an alumni staff member, continues to be an important behind­the-scenes player on the team that literally keeps OSR running. Thank you, Ed.

    Beaver weekends are a long-running tradition. Space prevents us from listing all the participants and all the work that has been accomplished. Thank you to all who help out, with perspiration and inspiration, both on Long Island and in the Land in the Sky, through contributions of time, talents and treasures to make Onteora the best Scout camp in the United States.

   If you want to help (including providing or arranging for donations of materials) or have questions about volunteering at Onteora Scout Reservation, please contact Rick Balla at 678-0032.