Onteora News - The Nassau Charger, February/March 2000 Edition


At the December Executive Board meeting of the Theodore Roosevelt Council, the board designated $253,000 for Onteora Restoration. This is in addition to the $78,000 designated last December.

"It is the desire of the Council Executive Board to move forward as quickly as is fiscally prudent to make major renovations at Onteora Scout Reservation" stated Council President Andy Cangemi. "We have a wonderful group of volunteers running an outstanding summer camp for a week in the summer. It is our goal to make the necessary capital improvements so the camp can ultimately employ a staff and open for a full summer season."

The $253,000 came from two sources. $175,000 has been designated from the recent sale of some stock owned by the Theodore Roosevelt Council. The remaining $78,000 (like the $78,000 from last year) is interest earned from the note the council still holds on the former Shelter Rock property. While this money was earned both last year and this year, the payment is deferred until January 2000.

In 1998, the Council Executive Board appointed an Onteora Action Chairman, board member Steven Grosskopf. Steven was given the task to recruit a committee and develop a plan for the restoration of Onteora, and then to carry out this plan once the money was raised.

The total plan developed by this committee will eventually make Onteora into a first rate facility, designed to meet the camping needs of youth into the twenty-first century. The total plan has a price tag of 2.4 million dollars. The over three hundred thousand dollars now set aside for Onteora is a great start toward the total capital building projects now planned.

For the summer of 2000, Onteora will again open for one week under the leadership of Camp Director Jim Kent. In 2001 the camp will be opened for two weeks, with Jim still expected to be camp director, utilizing a volunteer staff.

Troops are encouraged to plan now to be at Onteora in both 2000 and 2001 for a great summer camp experience.


This beautiful up-state location of over 1400 acres is our scout camp. From the first time you enter the camp and look across Orchard Lake and the woods around it, the magic will hit you. For generations, boys attended Onteora. When it closed, it was like losing a good friend. Now, we're back, and watch us grow.

Some have wondered if these past two years were a test. Well, if it was, we passed with flying colors and we're here to stay. This year one week and next year two weeks. Come be part of the experience.

Onteora offers everything you expect to find at a Boy Scout summer camp and a few surprises. 40 different merit badges are offered, and that's just the beginning.

In addition to all the traditional camp programs, Onteora offers a number of special programs that you'll definitely want to check out. A blacksmith shop with a working forge. Learn about wilderness survival techniques and find out how to live with nature. Need a little action? Spend an afternoon as a Buckskin Ranger, but be prepared to crawl through some mud. Or check out the challenge course or the mountain bikes. Yes, we have something for everyone. From the first or second year scout (Dan Beard Program) to your older scout (Venture Program) and yes, even the Scoutmaster (Scoutmaster Merit Badge).

The Order of the Arrow, a vital part of the council camping program, will hold full Ordeal inductions at camp for Scouts selected in elections held prior to camp. An Order of the Arrow Brotherhood induction will also take place.

Other camp-wide activities include an all faith service led by our full time camp chaplain, a camp-wide game, and everyone can earn beads for the Aroetno Award Program.

Even if your troop is not going to Onteora this summer, consider coming as part of our council troop. You can have a great time under the supervision of camp provided leadership.

Only 5 campsites remaining so register now! To reserve a campsite please contact Martha Fiamma, Program Secretary at 797-7600, ext. 108. For other questions or information, please call Jim Kent, Camp Director, 933-7391 or Kathy Brown, OSR Business Manager, 797-7600, ext. 122.


Back in August of 1999, the Onteora Buckskin Camp was in full swing. Scouts were hard at work on merit badges and participating in a variety of programs offering good old-fashioned fun!

As the summer camp was drawing to a close, a chance encounter between a leader and a camp staff member began the ball rolling and the results of that encounter are now coming to fruition!

Roger Csajko, Director, Regulatory & Regional Relations, Government & Regulatory Relations of KeySpan Energy realized that the needs of the Project C.O.P.E. program at the Theodore Roosevelt Council to upgrade and rebuild the C.O.P.E. course so to be able to meet the current standards of the National Council and to provide an outstanding program to the Scouts and Scouters of our Council and surrounding areas.

Upon returning home from Onteora, Roger began making inquiries which has resulted in a commitment from KeyStone Energy to assist our council with the acquisition and installation of five utility poles for a new tower at Schiff Scout Reservation and ten utility poles for the revitalization of the high course at Onteora.

On Monday, January 3, 2000, the poles were put into place at Schiff! The plans for delivery of the Onteora poles are now being finalized!

Through the dedication of persons such as Roger and the commitment of KeySpan, our council and it's C.O.P.E. program can move into the new millenium and provide the best program possible to our young people, to our leaders and to our community. BULLY!