Back in the 1960s and 1970s one of
the duties of the Order of the Arrow was to help promote summer camping at
Onteora. The Council prepared a set of slides that could be shown at troop
or committee meetings. I was fortunate to get most of the slides from one of
these presentation kits. They provide a fascinating look back at the Onteora
almost a quarter of a century ago.
is shown with the original number stamped on the slide frame. Numbers not
included here represent the slides that were missing from the original set.
The slides were not dated, but
based on patches and neckerchiefs in some of them it looks like they were
taken during the 1976 summer camp season, and thus were likely used in
presentations for the 1977 season. Please let me know if you can
identify any of the faces.
Reborchick has provided some
information on these slides. First, they were the work of Matthew 'Daddy
Zach' Richter. Here's some more from Mike:
At the time Zach was the newly
elected Lodge Chief for Buckskin Lodge #412. The photos were done, as
mentioned, as a camp promotion presentation package for us to use at troop
meetings, open houses and the like. The slides were duplicated and made
available to members, district committees etc. '76-'77 I was the Lodge
Elections Chairman, my district chairmen had a set to use when visiting
units to conduct the elections. Zach served as Lodge Chief for two
consecutive terms from 76-78. The camp promotion slides are referenced in
the history section of the lodge handbook, under Zach's write-up.
Many thanks to Yasushi Takeda of
Sapporo, Japan for the donation of the original slides. He was an exchange
Scout who served on the staff in 1967 and came back to Onteora for the 2009
02 - Two Schenck busses on
the road from the
Ranger's House to the main parking lot
03 - Entrance sign next to
the Ranger's House
Unloading the busses
on the left is wearing a Webelos uniform.
When were Cub Scouts allowed to stay at Onteora?
member on the right is Dave Grupp.
07 - The
Scoutmaster of Troop 195 from Glenwood Landing signs in at the
like the staff member may be wearing a 1976 staff neckerchief. If
this is indeed 1976 that might be Keith Newberg. Troop
195 still exists today; perhaps someone can see if anyone there can
recognize the Scoutmaster.
09 - The
next step was to line up for a physical at the Health Lodge.
Nurse examining Scout at the Health Lodge
is listed as the nurse in the 1976 staff directory.
Looks like a high tech process, doesn't it?
being pronounced healthy and fit it's time for a refreshing dip in
the always cool waters of Orchard Lake.
Buddy tag board
Scout was given a tag with a color code showing their swimming skill
level. To go into the water you needed to find a swimming buddy,
then place both your tags together on a hook under your campsite
name. Woe to any Scout found in the lake without a buddy!
picture of the board shows mostly Tribes Camp campsites, reflecting
the fact that the lowered number of campers had led to the
abandonment of much of the Chiefs Camp area by this time. It would
seem to indicate there was only one swimming dock in use by 1976.
like Johnny Cash may have had an influence on whoever did this
board, for it shows there was a campsite named Sue. Happily it was
still on the maps then as Sioux.
Sorting out the footlockers
this picture bring back memories of move-in days. One of the joys of
working in a program shelter was loading hundreds of these very
heavy trunks onto the camp trucks, then all too soon having to
unload them again. Then back for another load, repeating the process
until your arms turned to limp spaghetti.
of these trunks were incredibly heavy. There was one that took four
of us to get on the truck. At the campsite a Scout yelled for us to
be careful with it as his barbell weights were inside. Like there
weren't enough rocks he could have lifted all over camp? We decided
to take the easy way out in unloading it off the truck by just
tipping it over the edge. It made quite a crash as it came apart...
Preparing the campsite
the tents and platforms were all set up during Staff Week, the
campers sometimes liked to set up their campsites to meet their
particular troop and patrol arrangements. After moving one or two
platforms, though, they usually decided to leave things the way they
were. Off to the right side is a supply of No. 10 tin cans, which
were hung from the tent platforms full of water for use in case of
fire. We were always having to remind campers to change the water to
reduce the mosquito population and to make sure they were full.
of the campsites in Tribes Camp had lean-tos, which were generally
claimed by the adult leaders and Scouts with seniority. There were a
few lean-tos out in the Al Nassau Program Shelter area as well. I
did all of my camping and staff years in Tribes Camp so am not sure
if there were others in the Chiefs Camp.
the original lean-tos have had to be removed due to wear and weather but several
new ones have been added in recent years.
There are lots more pictures from this presentation.
Click here for slides 17-29.
Click here for slides 31-45.
Click here for slides 46-60.
Click here for slides 61-75.
If you have any photos of
your own please let me know. In the meantime, you can head back to the
main Onteora page or the main Photos Page.