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Hawk Mountain Camp

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Hawk Mountain Camp is a private Boy Scout camp located in East Brunswick Township, Pennsylvania, outside the Borough of New Ringgold, Pennsylvania. The camp is operated by the volunteers of Oreland Boy Scout Troop 1 and is curently a year-round facility. The camp is 17.52 acres, and is 21.28 acres if you include the railroad right of way. The camp is a 3 mile hike from the Appalachian Trail and the Hawk Mountain Bird Sanctuary. [1]

The camp exists to develop the leadership of the scouts in a rustic environment. The camp has no electricity or running water and continues to be largely undeveloped. The camp allows scouts to explore the natural environment, develop self-relience, and allows thems to discover and learn new skills.[2]



The camp lies between two landmarks. To the North is Indian Run Road, (or Township Road 755) a light-duty paved road. To the South is an old Lehigh Valley Railroad branch line embankment.[3] This branch line was built in he 1890's and ran from Lizard Creek Junction (near Lehighton) to Blackwood (near Tremont). There are two stone arch bridges at either end of the camp that span the Indian Run as it enters and exits the camp.

Natural Features

The Indian Run (a tributary to the Little Schuylkill River) bisects the camp. It is the main feature of the camp and was one of the reasons why the camp was established there. Its average daily discharge was measured to be 15 cubic feet per second (0.4 m³/s).[4] The estimated discharge at flood stage is approximately 85 ft³/s (2.4 m³/s) and the highest estimated discharge, observed in August 2004, was 250 ft³/s (7 m³/s).

The underlying bedrock of the camp is composed of the mapped Bloomsburg Formation, which is defined as a red to greenish-gray sandstone, siltstone, and shale.[5] The dominant rock types observed in the outcrops surrounding the camp are siltstone with shale partings. The outcrops to the north of the camp are dipping steeply (75° to 90°) but the south outcrops have a gentle dip of 15° to 30°. This might imply a fault running through the camp closely following the track of the Indian Run.

There are two ponds in the camp. The east pond (also known as the Fishing Pond) is an artificial pond measuring 50 feet by 100 feet (15.2 by 30.5 meters). It is 4 feet (1.2 m) at its deepest spot and stocked with bass and panfish. The west pond (also known as the Swimming Pond) also is a man-made pond measuring 50 feet by 75 feet (15.2 by 23 meters). It is 8 feet (2.5 m) deep at its deepest spot. Both ponds host a variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic wildlife including Green Frogs, Eastern Newt, and Northern Water Snake.

At the east edge of the Fishing Pond is a swampy area. This area is largely wild and contains a wide variety of plants, including Cardinal Flower, Red Maple, and Red-Osier Dogwood.

There are maintained grassy fields that were once fallow. These fields are utilized as tenting areas, parade activity fields, and parade grounds. The rest of the camp is forested with White Ash, Eastern White Pine, and American Sycamore trees as the dominant speice. The camp also has two state threatened American Holly trees.


The main structure up at camp is 48 foot by 48 foot (14.6 by 14.6 meters) 'pavilion' or main cabin. This cabin was completed for use in November 2006 after the previous cabin burned to the ground. The cabin features a dual fireplace, large kitchen and prep area with a twelve burner and 2 ft X 3 ft(61 by 91.5 cm) griddle, and three ovens. There are two iceboxes, seating for over 100 people, and a wood burning stove. In warmer months, the cabin is left open with no windows or doors and in the winter, plastic enclosures and doors are put in place.

There are a total of seven lean-tos used for bunk houses. Four of these shelters are located just west of the main cabin and accommodate six campers each. The other three shelters are in individual camping areas around the Fishing Pond.

There are three storage sheds that the troop uses for on-site storage.

A pit latrine exists in one of the fields.

A 174 ft (53 m) deep well is next to the main cabin.


Early Beginnings

In September 1961, the land that would become the Camp was purchased for the price of $100 per acre. The orginial estimated total acrage of the land at the time was 15 acres.[6] Construction immediately began on a stone fireplace, a bridge over the Indian Run, and a 40 ft by 16 ft Main Cabin. These structures were completed in time on August 4, 1962 for the 1st annual Hawk Mountain Summer Camp was. Seven areas were also cleared for campsites and a well was dug prior to the trip.[7]

A tremendous amount of work was completed after the first Summer Camp. The two ponds were created, four lean-tos were constructed for the staff, and all of the campsites were formally established with fireplaces and picnic tables. Several flood control devices and bridges were added around the main use area. In August 1969, the first camporee at Hawk Mountain Camp with Canadian Scouts from Toronto's North Peel District was held.[8] The dedication of the Memorial Chapel to honor former troop member Lt. David R. Wilson who was killed (and listed as missing) in the Vietnam War also occured.[9]


The troop formally started to offer other troops in the area to utilze the camp at this time. Many Philadelphia area troops, as well as local units began camping at Hawk Mountain in steady numbers. The troop decided to construct three additional lean-tos at the established campsites to better serve those utilizing the camp. A formal campfire site was also established for ceremonies.

Over the past few years, many structures at camped were replaced, modified, or rebuilt. All of the bridges were replaced. Many flood walls were also repaired. In March 2003, a 16 ft by 20 ft addition to the Main Cabin was added expanding the kitchen area. The new addition sadly, was short lived has the Main Cabin was burned to the ground. The Main Cabin was rebuilt in under a year to its current size.

Trails winding through the areas less traveled have been constructed over the years. A memorial nature trail and a boardwalk through the swamp have all been completed to allow the visitor a glimpse into these often inaccessable areas.

See Also

External links


  1. Schuylkill County Recorder of Deeds, Book #1093, pages 745-749
  2. *
  3. New Ringgold 7.5 Minute Quadrangle, Department of the Interior, USGS.
  4. Penzone, J. M. (2003) "Climate and Its Effects on Stream Flow in the Appalachian Physiographic Province". Unpublished Paper, West Chester University.
  5. Berg, T.M., Edmunds, W.E., Geyer, A.R. and others, compilers, (1980). Geologic Map of Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Geologic Survey, Map 1, scale 1:250,000.
  6. Schuylkill County Recorder of Deeds. Record 166, pages 274-278, November 11, 1961.
  7. "Oreland Scouts Camp at Hawk Mountain", Springfield Sun, August 30, 1962.
  8. "Oreland Boy Scouts Host Canadian Scouts", Springfield Sun, September 4, 1969.