Revolutionary Trails Council

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Revolutionary Trails Council
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Utica, NY
Country United States
Founded 2001
Website
rtcbsa.org
 Scouting portal

Revolutionary Trails Council serves a portion of central New York. The council provides Scouting to Herkimer, Oneida and Madison Counties as well as part of Hamilton, Otsego and Lewis Counties.

History[edit]

In 2001, the Land of the Oneidas Council and General Herkimer Council merged forming the current council.

Organization[edit]

Revolutionary Trails Council is divided into 4 districts:

  • Aplin District
  • Diamond District
  • Mohawk/Cayuga District
  • Seneca-Tuscarora District

The council maintains 3 Scout camps: Cedarlands Scout Reservation, Camp Russell, and Camp Kingsley.

Camps[edit]

Camp Russell[edit]

Camp Russell
Founded 1918
Website
http://www.rtcbsa.org/Camp_Russell.cfm

Camp Russell is one of the nation's oldest Scout camps. Founded in 1918 by Samuel T. Russell, the camp is on White Lake, New York in the southern Adirondack Mountains. Russell also maintains a Conservation Area and white pine tree farm. For those who visit, they can see many totem poles decorating the base camp. These totem poles are the work of Frank Devito, a lifelong Scouter and Camp Russell staff member from 1927-1999. Also La Maison de Devito, commonly referred to as the "Brown House" is the original camp building built by Samuel T. Russell and the first Boy Scouts to attend. It currently is open as a Camp Museum during the summer. The camp is also occasionally served by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. A more in-depth history of the camp was written by Jeffrey Steele, one of the many long-time staff members in honor of the 75th anniversary of Camp Russell in 1993. A copy of that article is now published online. [1]

A decision was made in December of 2014 to sell the Camp Russell property to help cover significant cash flow problems. At this time, current/former campers, staff alumni, parents, and family members have been rallying on Social Media [2] to potentially save Camp Russell from being sold. The Facebook Page gained over 2,000 likes over the course of a few days.

Cedarlands Scout Reservation[edit]

Cedarlands Scout Reservation
Website
http://www.rtcbsa.org/Cedarlands.cfm

Cederlands Scout Reservation is a 5,000-acre (20 km2) Scout camp situated in Long Lake, New York. In years past, the Reservation had a traditional base camp program for younger Scouts and a high adventure program for older Scouts. For 2014 and the foreseable future, there will not be any resident camp for scouts, nor will there be any opportunity for merit badges.

In the heart of the Adirondack Park Cedarlands is a two and a half hour drive from Utica. Cedarlands boasts three mountains (OA, Walker and Masters), Lake McRorie and Scout Pond. Both Lake McRorie and Scout Pond have islands on them for exploration. Cedarlands was different from most council-owned camps as Scouts were given the opportunity to cook their own meals three times a day. There were barbecues on Sunday and Friday nights. A climbing program was offered on a thirty foot climbing wall. Merit badges consisted of the traditional merit badges offered at a Boy Scout camp. Embarking for Cedarlands, a Scout could plan to hike a mountain or two, go snorkeling, sailing and mountain biking on camp owned bikes (or bring their own).

History[edit]

Lake McRorie from OA mountain

Cedarlands Scout Reservation started out as a Greatcamp in the Adirondacks, owned by the Walker family. It is the largest campgrounds in the adirondacks and boy scout troops from Vermont, Maryland and Pennsylvania make the trip to stay for a week of fun. The campgrounds were privately owned and had two large mansions on the premises. One of the mansions burned down prior to Boy Scout ownership, and the other after. Originally the campsites were situated around the perimeter of Lake McRorie, but over the years they have migrated to one side of the lake and scouts are no longer required to kayak across the lake to get food from the commisary.

Logging[edit]

In order to help raise money for the camp, a 10 year logging program began in 2008. The first area harvested is the base camp, with successive logging efforts to occur during winters. The logging program has generated significant controversy, with some members feeling that the program was pushed through without notice or discussion, and that poor forestry is being practiced.[3] The DEC did inspect the camp following the first phase of logging and found that all work had been completed within the guidelines of the camp's approved forest management plan and the project is being overseen by a certified forester. Discussion about the logging at Cedarlands began in late 2006: the forest management team gave presentations at work weekends, troops were forewarned in the summer of 2007 and many former staff members were asked their views on this project. The damage from the logging is evident, however ground cover and newly leafed out trees are covering much of this.

Dissolution[edit]

In order to help cover significant cash flow problems with the Council, a decision was made in December of 2014 to sell the Cedarlands property.

Order of the Arrow[edit]

Ga-Hon-Ga Lodge
Ga-Hon-Ga Lodge.png
Website
http://www.rtcbsa.org/GaHonGa_Lodge_34.cfm

The Order of the Arrow is represented by the Ga-Hon-Ga Lodge. The lodge supports the camping programs of the Revolutionary Trails Council through camp promotions, camp service weekends and positive leadership.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]