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Jamboree Recreates the First Scout Camp

Among the Jamboree’s great opportunities for participants and staff members is an exhibit that reenacts the first-ever Scout camp in America, on Silver Bay in Lake George, New York, where approximately 120 boys and leaders camped for two weeks during the summer of 1910.

The campers stayed in homemade tipis while several different organizations, such as the YMCA to British Scouting, conglomerated into an experimental Boy Scout camp. This camp emphasized many things that the Boy Scouts emphasize in 2017: the patrol method, character development, awards and youth led action.

The reenactment occurring at the Jamboree offers authentic outfits, games, books and information that will be sure to excite anyone passionate about Scouting. The thousands of dollars and thousands of hours spent researching, stitching, building and setting up are quite apparent when viewing and interacting with this museum-quality show.

The exhibit adheres to a quote from the 1907 book Camping and Woodcraft: “It is one of the blessings of the wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be happy.”

The diverse staff members coordinating the reenactment have enjoyed getting into the spirit of the 1910 mindset, despite any difficulties they encountered setting up the large and awkward tipis. The 14 men and women, aged 18 through 81, have also enjoyed seeing the similarities between the past and present, especially with discovering how inclusive Scouting was towards boys of various ethnicities and religions in 1910.

The reenactment is the first exhibit on the left at the Garden Ground Mountain. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, giving everyone an opportunity to explore the past and see old photographs come to life.

All who attend the 20-to-25 minute reenactment (complete with four enticing games) will receive a free patch while supplies last.