Connecticut Rivers Council
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|Connecticut Rivers Council|
|Owner||Boy Scouts of America|
|Headquarters||East Hartford, Connecticut|
The headquarters of the Connecticut Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America is located in East Hartford, Connecticut. The present council was formed as the result of the merger between the Indian Trails Council of Norwich, Connecticut and Long Rivers Council of Hartford, Connecticut. Now it is the largest council in the state with a youth membership of over 28,000 and a volunteer base of nearly 10,000 adults,serving for over half of the state.
The council's camps include the June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation in Ashford, Camp Mattatuck in Plymouth, Camp Workcoeman in New Hartford and the Mark Greer Scout Reservation (a.k.a. Camp Tadma) in Bozrah. See Boy Scout Camps in Connecticut, past and present below for more information on the individual camps.
The council's Order of the Arrow Lodge is the Tschitani Lodge.
Connecticut Rivers Council is divided into the following districts:
- Hockanum River District serves the following communities: Andover, Bolton, East Hartford, Ellington, Glastonbury, Hebron, Manchester, Marlborough, South Windsor, Tolland and Vernon
- Mad River District serves the following communities: Beacon Falls, Cheshire, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Oakville, Plymouth, Prospect, Terryville, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown and Wolcott
- Mark Twain District serves the following communities: Avon, Bristol, Farmington, Hartford, Newington, Plainville, Rocky Hill, Unionville, West Hartford and Wethersfield
- Matianuck District serves the following communities: Bloomfield, Broad Brook, Canton, Collinsville, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Hartland, Simsbury, Somers, Suffield, Weatogue, Windsor and Windsor Locks
- Mattabesett Trail District serves the following communities: Berlin, Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Higganum, Kensington, Killingworth, Middlefield, Middletown, Moodus, New Britain, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook
- Mohegan District serves the following communities: Bozrah, Colchester, East Lyme, Fishers Island NY, Franklin, Griswold, Groton, Jewett City, Ledyard, Lisbon, Lyme, Montville, Mystic, New London, Niantic, North Stonington, Norwich, Oakdale, Old Lyme, Preston, Salem, Sprague, Stonington, Taftville, Uncasville, Voluntown and Waterford
- Nipmuck District serves the following communities: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Columbia, Coventry, Danielson, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Lebanon, Mansfield, Moosup, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Quinebaug, Scotland, Stafford, Stafford Springs, Sterling, Storrs, Thompson, Willimantic, Willington, Windham and Woodstock
- Northwest Hills District serves the following communities: Bantam, Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Burlington, Canaan, Colebrook, Goshen, Harwinton, Kent, Lakeville, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, New Milford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Southbury, Torrington, Warren, Washington, Winchester, Winsted and Woodbury
- Scoutreach Division
June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation 
|June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation|
The camp is located in the scenic New England Town of Ashford, Connecticut. Originally opened as Camp Ashford on June 28, 1964, today the reservation occupies 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of land and a 30-acre (120,000 m2) man-made lake named Goss Pond. The camp is located on the farm once owned by Lt. Col. Thomas Knowlton, hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill and a commander in the Continental Army. The reservation has two camps; Camp Akela and the Resident Camp. In 1963, Eastern Connecticut Council sold Camp Quinebaug to purchase 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) property with a 25-acre (100,000 m2) lake in Ashford, Connecticut. The camp was named Camp Ashford and was officially opened on June 28, 1964. After two years of operations, the name was changed to June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation after a donation on behalf of June Norcross Webster, of the Norcross Greeting Card Company. A land donation was also made by the Brand Trust. Camp Ashford is the semi-official name of the Resident Camp. The reservation has been operated by three different councils: Eastern Connecticut Council (Norwich CT) 1964-1971, Indian Trails Council (Norwich CT) 1971-1995 and Connecticut Rivers Council (East Hartford CT) since 1995. Camp Akela is located on the June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation in Ashford. This camp is home to the Akela Cub Day Camp and the Connecticut Rivers Council National Youth Leader Training. The camp consists of the Perreguax Activity Center, Mordavsky Pavilion, Knowlton Field, Goss Brook, the Harvard H. Ellis Reservation Director's House and several patrol campsites.
Mark Greer Scout Reservation 
The Mark Greer Scout Reservation is located in Bozrah and is currently operated by Connecticut Rivers Council. It is home to Camp Tadma, a Cub Scout summer resident camp and is also the newest home to Camp Wakenah, a Cub Scout day camp previously located on Gardner Lake in Salem. The reservation was known almost exclusively as Camp Tadma until the sale of the Camp Wakenah property in Salem, Connecticut in 2004 and its operations moved the western edge of the Bozrah property.
This 340-acre (1.4 km2) camp is located in Bozrah, Connecticut and was established in 1947 by the Middlesex County Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It was the chief summer camp for Boy Scouts from this small council from 1947 until a merger of five councils in 1972. The Long Rivers Council, which resulted from this merger, used this camp as a Boy Scout summer camp up until 1976, when a declining Boy Scout-aged population forced the council to end the summer camp program. By the mid-1960s, the Camp Tadma property also became known as Mark Greer Scout Reservation in honor of a local scouting patron.
There were five campsites available: Pioneer, Mohegan, Kiehtan, Tantaquidgeon and Uncas. The dining hall was also a small operation and could not have fit much more than 120 scouts. During its last year of camp operations in 1976, the Tadma kitchen was run by Joe Grillo, who would go onto become the famous PGA caddy Joe "Gypsy" Grillo.
The council attempted to make the camp a high adventure base in 1977 and 1978, but demand was not there. It ran a pilot cub scout day camp during the summer of 1977. In the 1990s, Tadma's Venture Post number 78 was chosen to represent the year, 1978, that the council decided to make Camp Tadma strictly a Cub Scout resident camp during the summer camp season. In 1979, Long Rivers Council reopened summer camping at Camp Tadma for Webelos. Its program was one of five camps in the nation that was used to create the Cub Scout Camping Program in 1984. With the Long Rivers-Indian Trails Council merger in the 1990s, Camp Tadma retained this summer camp program.
Camp Tadma currently operates over the summer as a Cub Scout (including Webelos) resident camp, while offering weekend camping to Boy Scout troops over the fall, winter and spring. Immediately west is the Wakenah Cub Scout Day Camp that opened in 2006 after the sale of the Camp Wakenah property on Gartner Lake in Salem.
The Camp Tadma portion of the property radiates from the central parade field, which is ringed by the camp office, nurses cabin and trading post. The newly-renovated dining hall sits immediately north up a small hill. Most summer sites are located north of the dining hall along the dirt road from the parade field. The dirt road splits west to the back entrance and rangers station and east to the BB and Archery ranges at the northern tip of the pond. East of the parade field is the Council Ring, where evening campfires are held with an impressive view of Tadma Pond. The newly-expanded waterfront is located south of the parade field, along a dirt road somewhat inland of the pond. The road bends along the dam at the pond's southern end, where it passes the A-frame chapel and heads into the undeveloped eastern shore of Tadma pond, which is popular for backpacking campouts.
In 2004, Camp Wakenah's day camp program was moved into the Mark Greer Reservation and shares Tadma Pond with the resident camp. Tadma's Camp Director holds the task of the Mark Greer Reservation Director.
Tadma made it to the national spotlight in April 2010 when a staff member wrote a grant proposal through the Pepsi Refresh Project campaign (sponsored by Pepsi Co.) and won $50,000 to renovate the camp's waterfront. The lifeguard who applied for it reached to all corners of America to collect votes in support of his efforts. The project has brought new light to the camp and has spurred new interest in camping to local packs. Construction is due to be completed in May 2011.
Frederick Sprague Barbour Scout Reservation 
The 106-acre (0.43 km2) camp is located in Norfolk, Connecticut. It is suitable for wilderness camping. The camp was devastated after an ice storm. However, in November 2010, a campwide project was held to restore the camp. Around 70 scouts from the Connecticut Rivers Council helped to refurbish the camp, which is now usable again.
Camp Workcoeman 
Camp Workcoeman is located on the shore of West Hill Lake in New Hartford, Connecticut. Established in 1924, it is one of the oldest, continuously-operated scout camps in the country. For over 85 years, thousands of scouts and leaders have experienced Scouting at its best at Camp Workcoeman. It is also home to Laurel Music Camp. In 1994, Camp Workcoeman was part of a study conducted by the National Boy Scout Council for exemplary Scout camps in the country.
The program includes Swimming and Boating on the West Hill Pond (sail boats, snorkeling, Sail Boarding, Underwater Nature Hike, team Canoeing, Campwide Aquatic Meet, kayaking and Polar Bear Swim). Older Scouts can use the Shawtown Wilderness Trek. For younger Scouts, the Tenderfoot's Compass Program is offered. This program, based around the patrol method, focuses on teaching basic Scouting skills and includes Swimming Merit Badge. Each week a number of campwide activities are scheduled, including Aquatic Meet, Scoutmaster Shoot-Off, Friday Night Campfire, Saturday Court of Honor and Family Bar-B-Que.
Camp Mattatuck 
Camp Mattatuck is located in Plymouth, Connecticut. Mattatuck Council purchased 170 acres (0.7 km²) in 1938 and the camp opened the following year. The original 170 acres (0.7 km²) included wooded areas, open fields and Lake Kenosha. The first campsites were built overlooking the lake on the west. Additional properties were purchased to comprise the 500 acre (2 km²) camp today.
The camp hosts its own Cub Scout Day Camp in addition to its resident Boy Scout camp, which serve about 400 Cub Scouts and 1,100 Boy Scouts each summer. Seven cabins on the camp grounds allow for winter camping. An extensive Challenge Course and Climbing Program are also available to scouts, school systems and corporate groups.
Order of the Arrow 
Tschitani Lodge No. 10 is the Order of the Arrow lodge for the Connecticut Rivers Council. The name translates to "stronger one" in Lenape. Their totem is of two Americans Indians shooting arrows. The lodge was created with the merger of Sassacus and Eluwak in 1995.
Before the merge, a joint meeting between the two lodges was held at Camp Tadma in the spring of 1995. In fall, a joint lodge conclave was held, hosted by Sassacus Lodge, at June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation in Ashford. On September 17, 1995 the membership voted on their by-laws, chose the name Tschitani for the new lodge and a slate of officers were elected. An Official Charter was given to the Tschitani Lodge on January 1, 1996, and the first Lodge Chief was Brian Dabkowski of Middlebury, CT.
In the spring of 1996 and again in 2001, Tschitani Lodge hosted the Section NE-1B Conclave at Camp June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation. The theme for the weekend was "The Journey Starts from Within." 2003 saw a slight change in the by-laws to allow the election of two lodge vice chiefs and changed election procedures.
At the 2005 National Order of the Arrow Conference, Tschitani Lodge received the 2004 and 2006 NOAC Spirit Award and the ceremonial team received Honor Medals. The lodge received the National Quality Lodge award in 1997 and 2002. As the first lodge in the state, it was recipient of the National OA Service Grant in 2005.
- Pepsi Refresh Project. "Save one of the nation's first Cub Scout camps from being shut down". April 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
See also