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Scouting in New York
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Scouting in New York

Scouting in New York has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live. In fact, the first National Boy Scouts of America Headquarters was in New York City, and the Girl Scouts of the USA National Headquarters is located at 420 5th Avenue, New York, New York.


Early history (1910-1950)

On September 10, 1910, S. F. Lester of Troy, New York, became the very first person to hold the Scouting leadership position of Scoutmaster (commissioned by the BSA). He received his certification from the BSA headquarters in New York City. In 1910 he led a group of 30 scouts at Camp Ilium, in Pownal, Vermont. Camp Ilium was the starting point of the Boy Scout Movement for Troy, NY and Pownal, VT which is only away from Troy, NY. [1]

The 1924 National Order of the Arrow Lodge Meeting was held at Tuxedo Park, New York, and the 1929 National Lodge Meeting was held at Kanohwahke Lake, New York.

Most Girl Scout units were originally segregated by race according to state and local laws and customs. The first troop for American Indians was formed in New York State in 1921.

Recent history (1950-1990)

In the 1970s and again in the 1990s, upstate New York went through a huge consolidation of small, historic councils.

Scouting in New York today

There are twenty-two Boy Scouts of America local councils in New York.

Allegheny Highlands Council

Allegheny Highlands Council The Allegheny Highlands Council serves Scouts in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties in New York and McKean and Potter counties in Pennsylvania.[2] It has two camps: Camp Merz and Elk Lick Scout Reserve. The council is divided into 2 districts: While originally intended to be a high adventure camp, Elk Lick is now a traditional summer camp, with emphasis on nature and other outdoor related merit badges. It is currently run by Camp Director Wayne Schuver Jr. Camp Merz is located on Lake Chautauqua, in western NY. Its merit badge program focuses on water related badges, as well as technology related ones (computers, photography, etc.) It is currently run by Camp Director Joe Debiso.

  • Western Gate District

Order of the Arrow  Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge 165

Baden-Powell Council

Baden-Powell Council

Baden-Powell Council was formed in 1998 by the merger of the former Baden-Powell Council (headquartered in Dryden, NY) and Susquenango Council (headquartered in Binghamton, New York). The council's new headquarters are in Binghamton. The council covers five counties in New York State Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Tioga and Tompkins as well as Susquehanna County in Pennsylvania.[3]

As of late-2006, the Council has five districts:

  • Chenango District (Chenango County and part of Broome County)
  • Delahanna District (Susquehanna County in Pennsylvania)
  • Hiawatha District (Tioga County and part of Broome County)
  • Taughannock District (Cortland and Tompkins Counties)

The Baden-Powell Council operates two Scout Camps:

Camp Barton is a Boy Scouts of America camp located on on Frontenac Point on the west shore of Cayuga Lake in New York State's Finger Lakes. It is approximately nine miles north of Ithaca.[4]

Camp Barton has nine summer camping sites with 2- and 4-man platform tents, as well as winter lean-tos in one of the two gorges which surround the camp.[5] The camp facilities include many water-based activities on the camp's half-mile of waterfront, including rowing, motorboating, sailing, waterskiing and swimming, as well as handicrafts, nature, rifle and archery ranges, and scoutcraft areas. Camp Barton also has a special Intro to SCUBA course.[6]

The camp's buildings and cabins are available for off-season use by Scouting and other youth organizations. For more information contact the Council Office.[7]

Camp Tuscarora is a Boy Scouts of America camp located on 1100 acres (4.5 km ) around Summit Lake in New York State's Southern Tier.[8]

The camp has twelve summer camping sites with 2-man platform tents.[8] It also has four winter units with a center lodge equipped with wood stoves, refrigerators and electricity and four 8-man lean-tos. Camp Tuscarora also offers a renovated Nature lodge, dining hall, a nationally known Handicraft program, and a climbing wall.[9]

Cayuga County Council

Cayuga County Council served Scouting in the Cayuga County, New York and Red Creek, New York area. Camp Rotary in Niles, New York on Owasco Lake is a camp. It provides a summer program for Cub Scouting and year-round camping for all Scouts. The Order of the Arrow is represented by Tahgajute Lodge.

The council had been in financial trouble for several years; in 2008 it was granted a provisional charter by National. A new charter was provisional on a new financial plan, else a merge with neighboring Hiawatha Seaway Council should be considered. Hiawatha Seaway Council approved the merger on Jun 10, 2008; on June 24, 2009 a proposal to merge was tabled by the Cayuga County Council executive board. National did not renew the Cayuga County Council charter on July 1, 2009 and the council was absorbed into Hiawatha Seaway Council as Cayuga District.[10][11]

Connecticut Rivers Council

The Connecticut Rivers Council serves Fisher's Island in New York in addition to the majority of the State of Connecticut. Order of the Arrow - Tschitani Lodge 10

Seneca Waterways Council

The Seneca Waterways Council is a 2010 merge of Finger Lakes Council and Otetiana Council and serves Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca and Yates counties.

Five Rivers Council

Five Rivers Council Five Rivers Council serves Scouts in the Southern tier of New York and the Northern tier of Pennsylvania. The council is divided into four districts:[12]

  • Andaste District
  • Indian Waters District
  • Williamson Road District
  • Thunderbird District

Order of the Arrow  TK en D D Lodge #30

It operates two camps: Camp Brul , in central Pennsylvania, and Camp Gorton on Waneta Lake in New York.

Camp Brul (pronounced "Brul-a"), named after tienne Br l , is in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. It was founded by the General Sullivan Council with headquarters in Athens and jurisdiction over Bradford, Tioga and Sullivan Counties.

The camp covers the forty two acres of Elk Lake and of forest land bordering it. Pancost Hall and Crandall Hall are memorials to Alfred H. Pancost, Chief Scout Executive and founder, and to Harry H. Crandall, first president of the Council.

On the parade ground a native boulder bears a bronze plaque in memory of Eagle Scout twin brothers from Troop 2, Towanda, Pennsylvania, Air Force Lieutenants John R. and William G. Winter. Born August 11, 1925, they were killed in action in World War II on August 11, 1945. The plaque was erected by employees of the Patterson Screen Company.[13]

Greater New York Councils

The Greater New York Councils mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character that make the world a better place. The Girl Scouts of Greater New York serves Girl Scouts in all five boroughs of New York City. The first Girl Scout troop was started in 1913.

Currently, Barbara Murphy-Warrington serves as the CEO.

For more information visit

Greater Niagara Frontier Council

Greater Niagara Frontier Council serves the territory of Erie and western Niagara Counties. The Boy Scout summer camp is Schoellkopf Scout Reservation. The Cub Scout camp is Camp Scouthaven. The council is organized into four districts:

  • Venturing/Exploring District
  • Red Jacket District
  • Onondaga District
  • Polaris District serves the Niagara County portion of the council

Order of the Arrow  Ho-De-No-Sau-Nee Lodge

Longhouse Council

Longhouse Council was formed in 2010 as a merger of Hiawatha Seaway Council and Cayuga County Council. The Hiawatha Seaway Council was formed in 1999 as a result of the merger of the Hiawatha Council and Seaway Valley Council.[14] The council is headquartered in Syracuse, NY. The council currently owns 2 camps, including Sabattis Scouting Reservation and Camp Woodland.[15] The council covers six counties in New York State  Cayuga, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, Onondaga, and St. Lawrence.[16]

The council is divided into seven districts:[16]

  • Cayuga County District (the former Cayuga County Council area)
  • Interlakes District (Western Onondaga County)
  • Northern Lights District (St. Lawrence County)
  • Oneida District (Northern Onondaga County)
  • Onondaga District (Southern Onondaga County)
  • Ontario District (Oswego County)
  • Tri-Rivers District (Jefferson and Lewis Counties)

, Longhouse Council acquired a seventh district: Cayuga County.[17] This was previously Cayuga County Council, which lost its charter.[18]

Order of the Arrow  Lowanne Nimat Lodge 219, formed January 1, 2010 from Kayanernh Kowa and Tahgajute lodges.[19]

The World Brotherhood Camporee is a weekend-long camping trip that Boy Scouts from Canada and the U.S. participate in. The camporee is an annual event and takes place either in the Hiawatha Seaway Council, New York or in the Loyalist Area of the Voyageur Council, Ontario, Canada.

The main events include Council Strip trading and a dance party.[20]

Hudson Valley Council

Hudson Valley Council

The Hudson Valley Council is headquartered in Newburgh, New York, and also serves Scouts in Pennsylvania. The grave of Daniel Carter Beard lies within the Hudson Valley Council, where an annual service is held.

Dutchess contingent at the 1977 national Scout jamboree, held at Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania
Dutchess contingent at the 1977 national Scout jamboree, held at Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania

Its districts are: Rockland, Heritage, Delaware River, and Dutchess.

Order of the Arrow Lodge  Nacha Nimat 86

Iroquois Trail Council

Iroquois Trail Council, with its headquarters in Batavia, New York, serves Scouts in western New York. It was created in 1994 from a merger of two councils: Genesee (Genesee, Livingston, and Wyoming Counties) and Lewiston Trail (eastern Niagara and Orleans Counties). It has two camps: Camp Dittmer (Boy Scout) and Camp Sam Wood (Cub Scout). As of 2007, the council is divided into three districts:[21]

  • Nundawaga District (Livingston and Wyoming Counties)
  • Seneca District (eastern Orleans and Genesee Counties)
  • Towpath District (western Orleans and eastern Niagara Counties)

When the two councils merged, it originally had four districts.

  • Niagara District (Niagara County)
  • Orleans District (Orleans County)
  • Genishaua District (Genesee and northern Wyoming County)
  • Letchworth District (northern Livingston and southern Wyoming County)

Order of the Arrow  Ashokwahta Lodge No. 339

Otschodela Council

The Otschodela Council of the Boy Scouts of America provides among the highest quality scouting programs, training and events. Serving the needs of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties in upstate New York.

Otschodela Council was formed in 1924 as the Otsego-Schoharie Council; the third county added in 1926 and the name changed to Otschodela (OTsego-SCHOharie-DELAware). Otschodela Council, headquartered in Oneonta, NY, has retained its name and three-county borders ever since. It is divided into two districts:

  • Deerslayer District
  • Foothills District

Onteroraus Lodge

Within its programs the council provides opportunities for scouts to participate in summer camp at Boy Scout Camp Henderson, camporees, day camps and more. It provides valuable leader training at all levels of scouting.

Henderson Scout Reservation

Henderson Scout Reservation is made up of over of woodlands and is home to a lake that are both managed and maintained for the best possible Scouting experience. It has twelve campsites located in close proximity to the program facilities. It runs six weeks of Boy Scout Summer Camp Programs and Webelos Summer Camps. The camp also provides year-round camping at any of its lodging facilities, campsites or lean-tos.

Located 20 minutes away from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta. The Otschodela Council with the National Baseball Hall of Fame has developed a Boy Scout national patch for the Baseball Hall of Fame Scavenger Hunt.

Revolutionary Trails Council

Revolutionary Trails Council serves a portion of central New York.

Rip Van Winkle Council

Rip Van Winkle Council serves scouts in the Ulster and Greene counties of New York. The council's camp, located in the Catskills, is Camp Tri-Mount. We have the distinction of having 6 of the first 21 Eagle Scouts from the Class of 1912, the first class of Eagle Scouts. The council is divided into two districts:

  • Algonquin District
  • Mohican District

Order of the Arrow  Half Moon Lodge

Suffolk County Council

Suffolk County Council Suffolk County Council serves scouts in Suffolk County, on Long Island, New York. Baiting Hollow Scout Camp is the council camp. It is located in Calverton, New York. The council has 4 districts:

Order of the Arrow  Shinnecock Lodge

Theodore Roosevelt Council

Theodore Roosevelt Council supports Scouting in Nassau County, New York.

Twin Rivers Council

Twin Rivers Council is based in Albany, New York. It serves a large geographic area that encompasses 13 counties of Northeastern New York. On February 14, 2006 the Adirondack Council and the Twin Rivers Council merged to form the Twin Rivers Council #364. This merger was the result of recommendations made by both of the respective Council Executive Boards with National that neither council could continue to exist financially and both would need to merge to become a new solvent council. The new council has within its boundaries much of the Adirondack Park, one of the Northeast's wildest places and a haven for Scouting activities.


It currently encompasses seven districts:

  • Fort Orange District
  • Mahikan District
  • Schenectady District
  • Sir William Johnson District
  • Saratoga District
  • Wakpominee District
  • Adirondack District

Rotary Scout Reservation

Rotary Scout Reservation is a camp of the Twin Rivers Council, located in Poestenkill, New York. The original part of the camp was donated by the Troy Rotary Club in 1922. Summer camp program areas include the Trail to First Class Program, where young Scouts can work on requirements needed to earn Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks. RSR offers 40 merit badges in 9 program areas. In addition to the merit badge option, RSR offers an open schedule which allows Scouts to plan their day with a variety of outdoor experiences. The camp also offers several additional program areas designed to appeal to older Scouts, which include COPE, Mountain Biking, Chillicothe, and Thunderbird Corps.

RSR's totem is the Thunderbird.

The Chillicothe program at RSR offers Scouts and Leaders a look at American Pioneer life in the 19th century. Scouts are encouraged to try their hand at activities such as candle making, flint and steel fire starting, blacksmithing, woodsman tools, tin-smithing and more. Chillicothe is a program unique to RSR, and it is an often underutilized program. It was designed to encourage the return of older Scouts who had earned most of the merit badges offered by the camp.

Camp Wakpominee

Camp Wakpominee is a large wooded camp located in Fort Ann, NY, within the boundaries of the Adirondack Park. It has a large lake, and facilities for:

  • In-season fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Ice Skating
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Orienteering
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Snowshoeing

Year round visitors can stay in one of several winterized buildings that can house troops and groups of all sizes. There are also Lean-to's and Tent Campsites that are perfect for year round camping. The Adirondack area is known for beautiful foliage in autumn and a large amount of snow by mid winter. The heavy snowfall also makes the camp a perfect place for winter training and igloo building. Snowshoes can be rented from the Camp Ranger for a nominal fee.

Winterized Buildings

  • Gelder Lodge 50 people
  • Rotary Lodge 20 people
  • Finlayson Lodge 22 people
  • Thomas Lodge 15 people
  • Director's Lodge 18 people

Lean-To and Tent Sites

  • Mohican 32 people
  • Algonquin 24 people
  • Frontier 24 people
  • Tahawus 24 people
  • E.U. Goodman 20 people

Woodworth Lake Scout Reservation

Woodworth Lake Scout Reservation, located in Gloversville, New York. Situated in the Adirondacks, Woodworth Lake is an excellent starting point for a hike into the Adirondacks. There are no resident summer programs run out of this camp, however it is open for weekend camping trips as well as a summer Cub Scout day camp.

Camp Boyhaven

Camp Boyhaven, located in Middle Grove, New York. Each summer, it runs a resident Cub and Webelos Resident Camp for five weeks. It runs a total of seven sessions. Each summer it camps up to 1000 campers.

Camp Bedford

Camp Bedford, is located at 10424 State Rt. 30, Malone, NY (near the Meacham Lake NYS DEC Campground, north of Paul Smiths, and south of Malone, NY). The camp encompasses , 2 large ponds for boating and fishing, and over of State Wild Forests border the camp. Charles E. Bedford donated to the Adirondack Council in 1943 to establish the camp, making it at the time the largest donation of land to any council in the USA.

Camp Bedford closed in 2005 as a summer Scout resident camp after sixty-two years of service. This was due to increasing financial costs such as: staff wages, construction estimates to build new older boy program areas (COPE, mountain biking, and treks), and the construction costs of a new electrical system. With a decreasing membership in the Scout units of Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties, this also translated to fewer campers who attended camp, which caused less camping and popcorn sales revenues to be available to operate the Adirondack Council and Camp Bedford.

On February 14, 2006 the Adirondack Council and the Twin Rivers Council merged to form the Twin Rivers Council #364. This merger was the result of recommendations made by both of the respective Council Executive Boards, the Area Director, the Northeast Region Professional Staff, and the National Strategic Long-Range Planning Committees that neither council could continue to exist financially and they would need to merge to become a new solvent council.

Since August 15, 2005, Camp Bedford has operated as a year round multi-use facility to be available for a single day, a weekend, or as a base camp for a week for Scouting, community, or private groups. Twin Rivers Council believes that Camp Bedford serves as an example of how a Scout resident camp can be redeveloped as an outdoor adventure area for Scouting units and the public to enjoy. This is clear statement of excellent stewardship by the Council to sustain and improve this facility for all to explore this pristine part of the Adirondack Wilderness. For more information visit the Twin Rivers Council website or call 518-869-6436.

Kittan Lodge

The Order of the Arrow Lodge for Twin Rivers Council is Kittan Lodge.

Westchester-Putnam Council

Westchester-Putnam Council serves Scouts in southeastern New York State.

Girl Scouting in New York

Girl Scout Councils in New York State

New York state is served by 12 (soon to be 8) Girl Scouts councils. In addition the Edith Macy Conference Center belonging to the national organization is in Briarcliff Manor and the national headquarters is in New York City.

National Headquarters

The national headquarters has been in various places in New York City since 1916 when it moved there from Washington, D.C.. It has been at 420 Fifth Avenue since 1992. Small groups can visit with prior reservations and visiting girls may be able to take part in a focus group meeting.[22]

Edith Macy Conference Center

Edith Macy Conference Center is a national conference and training facility of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) It is located in Briarcliff Manor, New York. The site has had four names: Camp Edith Macy (C.E.M.) - University In The Woods, Edith Macy Training School, Edith Macy Girl Scout National Center and since 1982, Edith Macy Conference Center. However, it is often simply referred to as Macy. The John J. Creedon Education Center and Camp Andree Clark are part of the complex. Macy hosted the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Fourth International Conference in 1926. Camp Andree Clark hosted the GSUSA's Silver Jubilee Camp in 1937.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut

Fishers Island in Suffolk County, New York is served by the Girl Scouts of Connecticut due to the close ties between the island and Connecticut. See Scouting in Connecticut for more information.

Headquarters: Hartford, Connecticut

Girl Scout Council of Greater New York

Girl Scouts of Greater New York serves some 25,000 girls and has over 8,700 volunteers in New York City.

Headquarters: 43 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY

The council camp is Camp Henry Kaufman in the Hudson Valley.

Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson

Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson serves over 34,000 girls in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.

Headquarters: Pleasantville, New York


Girl Scouts of Nassau County

Headquarters: Garden City, New York

Camp Blue Bay in East Hampton, New York is the council camp. Camp Tekakwitha was sold in June 2007 to Southampton, NY which will retain it as open space.

Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York

Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York was created in June 2007 from the union of four Girl Scout Councils (Hudson Valley, Mohawk Pathways, Adirondack and North Country) and now serves Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Greene, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Montgomery, Hamilton, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington Counties and a portion of St. Lawrence County.

It serves over 14,500 girls and has over 6,500 adults and volunteers.

Headquarters: Albany, NY


  • Camp Little Notch is in Adirondack Park
  • Hidden Lake Camp is in the southern portion of Adirondack Park
  • Lake Clear Camp is on Lake Clear in Adirondack Park
  • Camp Is-Sho-Da is in East Greenbush, New York.
  • Camp Meadowbrook
  • Camp Wood Haven

Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways

NYPenn Pathways was formed in June 2009 from five legacy councils - Seven Lakes Council, Central New York Council, Foothills Council, Indian Hills Council and Thousand Islands Council. NYPenn Pathways serves girls in 24 New York State counties and 2 Pennsylvania counties with a total girl registration totaling about 27,000.




NYPenn Pathway's Original Five Councils

  • Central New York Council served Cortland, Onondaga, Oswego and portions of Madison County
  • Foothills Council served Herkimer and Oneida Counties, most of Madison County and parts of Otsego, Lewis, and Hamilton counties
  • Indian Hills Council served Broome, Chenango, Delaware, parts of Otsego County
  • Seven Lakes Council, the largest of the original five, served Allegany, Cayuga, Chemung, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Yates and Wayne Counties; and in Pennsylvania: Bradford and Tioga Counties
  • Thousand Islands Council served Lewis, Jefferson, and St. Lawrence Counties

Girl Scouts of Suffolk County

Girl Scouts of Suffolk County serves more than 43,000 girls and has more than 9,000 adult volunteers. The first troop in the county was started in 1915.

Headquarters: Commack, New York


Girl Scouts of Western New York

Girl Scouts of Western New York was created on July 1, 2008 from four legacy councils: Girl Scout Council of Buffalo & Erie County, Inc., Girl Scouts of Genesee Valley, Inc., Girl Scouts of Niagara County, Inc., and Girl Scouts of Southwestern New York, Inc. The council serves some 25,000 girls within Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Genesee, Livingston, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, and Wyoming counties.

Headquarters: Buffalo, New York


Scouting museums in New York

International Scouting units in New York

In addition, there are Armenian Scouts and Estonian Scouts in Exile in New York City, and K lf ldi Magyar Cserk szsz vets g Hungarian Scouting maintains two troops in New York City and one in Buffalo. Also, there are large contingents of active Plast Ukrainian Scouts in New York City.

West Point Camporee

The West Point Camporee annual Invitational event, started in 1963, run by a Cadet Officer, held around the first week of May since 2001 on the grounds of the Academy. Cadets are allowed to invite their home Scouting Units (Boy Scout and Girl Scout). Managed by the Scoutmasters' Council.

See also

External links


  3. a b
  4. Historic Hodge Podge
  5. a b
  9. LA World Brotherhood Camporee

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