John F. Gardner - Pine Hill Scout Reservation
John F. Gardner's
BSA Web Site

Pine Hill Scout Reservation
1947 Thru 1956





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I joined BSA Troop 56 in 1947 and we were one of the first Troops to use the then brand new Pine Hill Scout Reservation. From then until 1956 I was a regular camper at Pine Hill.

In 1952 I served as 'Nature Study" Staff. The Nature Study site was in a Tent nearby the Dining Hall. I brought two tamed Crows and a baby racoon from home that Summer. Hank Watson (Summer Camp Director) named the racoon 'Zoom Golly'. Hank took a real liking to the racoon and at dinner time the campers would march around the outside of the dinning hall in a single line chanting "Zoom Golly Golly' while Hank would be leading the racoon in front of the marching campers.

Another recollection I have is a winter camping expedition. some of us 2nd class scouts went down to Pine Hill over a winter break for a 4 day camp out. We stayed in one of the new Lean-tos. We had a great time. It snowed and snowed, but we didn't care, we just built a bigger fire and stomped around the woods having fun. The day before we were to go home Ed Manners and Archie Hall came stomping through the woods looking for us. It seems there was a major blizzard in South Jersey. Our parents were worried. They called the State Troopers who could not respond because of other problems. So Ed Manners and Archie Hall borrowed a four wheel jeep and spent 2.5 hours getting from Brooklawn to Pine Hill (12 miles) and another hour stomping in the woods to 'rescue us" We didn't need rescuing and did not want to go home a day early. But the Adults ruled, so we went home. I guess our parents were happy, but we weren't.

Following is an excerpt about Pine Hill Scout Reservation taken from the report at the First Fellowship Conference Area 2c Order of the Arrow 1951
For twenty-five years' Camden County Council's Summer Camp was on, an island in the Delaware River. This present camp site was opened in 1947, when the 250 acre tract was purchased by the Council.

During 1949, Mr. Warren W. Webster, past president of the Council and a member of Leaku Lodge Order of the Arrow, donated Webster Lodge in memory of his father.

The Health Lodge was the gift Camden County Mothers' Auxiliary.

The Ranger's residence was pro¬vided through the generosity of W. William DeKrafft a prominent citizen.

The Camden Rotary Club financed the building of the new dining hall which has just been completed this year. It will be known as the Camden Rotary Lodge.

The Arrow Ring, Council Ring, and many other projects were made possible by members of the Lekau Lodge, Order of the Arrow.

Last year, the Leonard Memorial Adirondack Lean-To was constructed by Mr. J. Joseph Leonard, our present Council president and also a. member of the Order, it being built in memory of a son who was a Scout. Other Lean-Tos' are and will be made possible by money donated by the Elks Club of Camden, Camden City District, and the Jamboree boys who turned over their refund to the Council for one.

A tremendous amount of work has been put into developing PINE HILL, SCOUT RESERVATION, but much remains to be done. And so Pine Hill is growing

This is a work in progress. I appreciate any help anyone can give. (john@johnfgardner.com) I am now 83 years old and need to get things in order (even though I plan on reaching 100) John

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