Goose Pond Scout Reservation
Goose Pond Scout Reservation is a summer camp operated by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, Boy Scouts of America. The camp is located near Lake Wallenpaupack, in Paupack Township, Pennsylvania. Goose Pond, the lake around which the whole camp is based, is a glacial lake covering more than 65 acres surrounded by hillsides of forests rich in evergreens, hardwoods, and other fauna. The total area of the camp is 542 acres (2.19 km2) which includes the lake's area. Goose Pond Scout Reservation has been in continuous operation since 1920.
Goose Pond's summer camp season runs seven weeks from late June through mid August during which more than 1100 scouts and leaders visit the camp. Registration for the summer program typically starts at the end of the previous season. During summer camp, a staff of scouts and adults provide merit badge courses that scouts can attend during the week. Available merit badges include outdoor-oriented badges such as Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, Fishing, Nature, Climbing, Astronomy, Camping, Wilderness Survival, Cooking, and Environmental Science and traditional indoor merit badges such as Leatherwork, Wood Carving, Basketry, Sculpture and Chess. The summer program also sponsors other activities such as the voyager program in which older scouts plan their own weeklong adventure program with whitewater rafting, water skiing, long-distance hiking, etc. It also sponsors a Pathways program for first year scouts to help them develop outdoor skills and learn about the patrol method.
Goose Pond Scout Reservation also supports other events such as Order of the Arrow Ordeal weekends, Cub Scout programs, council leadership courses, and the Council's annual winter Klondike Derby. The camp also supports a high and low Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE) Course throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.
The camp features 11 campsites: Beaver, Capouse, Delaware, Iroquois, Lenape, Niagara, Pawnee, Pioneer, Seneca, Shawnee, and Slocum. All are available in the off-season for unit camping. During the summer camp season, the Pawnee site is reserved for camp staff. All except Pioneer offer platform tents during the summer season. Pioneer is a primitive site for units seeking an outpost-style experience, complete with pit latrines. Most of these sites were established in the early 1950's, though the Delaware and Lenape sites were established in the 2000's.
The Joseph J. Jermyn Assembly Hall (colloquially known as the Dining Hall) was built in 1923 with an expansion added in 1993. It serves as the camp's main dining facility, serving thousands of meals in a summer. During the off-season it is used for OA Ordeals, Klondike Derbies, Council-sponsored training events, Camporees, and more. Hundreds of plaques donated by troops, patrols, and camp staff cover the upper walls and rafters. The earliest plaques go back to 1951. A support post in the building was signed by William Hillcourt (Green Bar Bill) in 1992, at a Wood Badge course.
The Dickson Lodge serves as the summer camp program's headquarters for its nature badges and is available as a camping lodge (capacity: 16) in the non-summer seasons.
The Handicraft Lodge serves as the summer camp program's headquarters for its craft-oriented badges and as a camping lodge (capacity: 30) in the non-summer seasons. The building was constructed in 1930. It was most recently renovated in 2009.
The Joseph J. Jermyn Administration Building, better known as the Administration Building or just "the ad-building," was constructed in 1926. It houses the camp office and trading post on the first floor along with some storage rooms. The second floor contains an office for the program director and program staff, a staff lounge, and a conference room for staff and troop leader meetings.
The Shapiro-Everly Reception and First Aid Building, best known as the Health Lodge, is located right beyond the main entrance gateway to the camp. The building is divided in half with one half serving as the nurse's station and quarters and the other half serving as the quarters for the camp director. It was constructed in 1957.
In addition to the primary buildings, there are various other smaller structures such as the pavilion across from the dining hall, the Cook's Cabin for the kitchen staff, the shower house, the pump house, and the maintenance shed (originally a pasteurization plant for the early camp). The shower house, renovated in 2014, features individual shower/restroom rooms.
Camp History Highlights
William Hillcourt attended a Wood Badge course held at Goose Pond in September 1992 by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Boy Scout Council, at which time he signed a post in the camp dining hall. Since Mr. Hillcourt departed soon afterward for a trip to Sweden, during which he died on November 9, 1992, the camp claims its Wood Badge course was the last official US Scouting event attended by William Hillcourt.
Goose Pond's annual summer camping program has been continuously held since 1920. The camp claims its summer camping program is tied with Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, AR, for the fifth longest running program in the United States. [note 1]
Early in its history, Goose Pond Scout Reservation often sent hiking contingents to Daniel Carter Beard's Outdoor School 12 miles away in Lackawaxen Township, Pennsylvania. The camp is in the process of incorporating the last log cabin (Dan Beard's 1926 Kiva style headquarters cabin) from this site into its own facilities.
- "Goose Pond Scout Reservation" Official Website
- "Northeastern Pennsylvania Council" Official Website
- "America's Oldest Boy Scout Camps" US Scouting Service Project site
- David L. Eby's research on the oldest boy scout camps in the United States of America identifies many of the camps founded in the US in the 1910's period. News announcements about camp closures or conversions to non-boy scout camping programs show several of these no longer operate as boy scout summer camps. Camp Book II, a report from over twenty years of research on camp openings and closures that cross-references dates of camp patches for patch collectors, agrees with the dates in Eby's work and lists only four camps that have been running boy scout summer camp programs longer than Goose Pond Scout Reservation.
- Kameroski, Thomas A. (2011). A History of Goose Pond Scout Reservation.
- "Goose Pond Scout Reservation Troop Reservation Form". http://gpsr.nepabsa.org/files/reservation%20form%20gpsr.pdf. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
- "Explore Goose Pond". http://gpsr.nepabsa.org/sites/beaver.html. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
- "America's Oldest Boy Scout Camps". http://scoutcamp.org/oldestcamps.asp. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
- "Camp Book II". http://scoutinghotfinds.com/campbook. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
- "Saving Dan Beard's Cabin". http://www.nepabsa.org/danbeardcabin. Retrieved December 12, 2016.