New Birth of Freedom Council

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New Birth of Freedom Council #544
New Birth of Freedom Council CSP.png
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Country United States
Founded April 1, 2010
Scout Executive Ron Gardner
 Scouting portal

The New Birth of Freedom Council is a council of the Boy Scouts of America serving South-Central Pennsylvania. The council was formed by a merger of York-Adams Area Council and Keystone Area Council on April 1, 2010.


The council is divided into:

  • Battlefield District: Adams county and Hanover. The name Battlefield reflects the Battle of Hanover and the Battle of Gettysburg, both fought during the American Civil War.
  • Conococheague District: Franklin and Perry Counties. The name refers to a creek in Franklin County, Pennsylvania and a mountain of the same name in Perry County, Pennsylvania. The mountain is a significant portion of the Tuscarora State Forest, and the creek is a tributary of the Potomac River. The word Conococheague is translated from the Delaware Indian spoken language to mean water of many turns. The area along the creek was home to the first settlement in the area which was referred to as the Conococheague Region and eventually developed into present-day Chambersburg.
  • Indian Rock: Southern York County. The name references the many American Indian settlements that were in the area. The Lower Susquehanna Watershed has the highest concentration of petroglyphs in the Northeastern United States with over 1,000 carved designs at a recorded at 10 sites.
  • Keystone Capital District: Dauphin County. This district includes the Pennsylvania state capital city, and the name references the state nickname of the Keystone State. Pennsylvania was called this because of its central location, and also due to its commercial and political importance among the 13 colonies.
  • Pioneer District: Cumberland County. The name reflects both the first pioneers to cross over the mountains to western Pennsylvania who started their journeys from this area and the name of one of the first steam locomotives running on the Cumberland Valley Railroad beginning in the 1850s.
  • Susquehanna Trail District: Northeastern York County. Originally used by the Susquehannock, the trail began common use in the colonial period as a major travel route from York to Harrisburg.


The New Birth of Freedom Council owns four council camps, Hidden Valley Scout Reservation, Camp Tuckahoe, Camp Conewago, and Wizard Ranch.

Hidden Valley Scout Reservation[edit]

Situated on 830+ acres near Loysville, PA in Perry County, with the scenic Sherman’s Creek and it’s exciting fishing opportunities running through it, Hidden Valley has been in operation since 1927. It is one of four camps operated by the New Birth of Freedom Council.

Hidden Valley offers six weeks of Boy Scout summer camp as well as a Trail to Eagle Camp.

For Scouting units and non-stop groups looking for year-round outdoor opportunities, Hidden Valley also offers a wide variety of comfortable cabins, with capacities ranging from 10 to 65 people.

Hidden Valley is the camp at which the fictional story of alleged Boy Scout Teddy Braybill originated. The story, conceived by Edward Craig, tells of a scout named Teddy Braybill who was sleeping in the Kiwanis II campsite when a storm hit. His entire troop was alleged to have crossed the bridge over Sherman's Creek to get to the safety of the mess hall. The next day when Teddy's troop returned to the campsite, Teddy was gone.

Craig later developed this story, getting more into depth with each trip to Hidden Valley, and used strange occurrences to scare the scouts. At one point, a mattress was found atop a pavilion, the mattress was said to be the sleeping place of Teddy Braybill, and was not to be disturbed.

Approximately five years after Craig first told the tale of Teddy Braybill, the story ended when his son requested that it be put to a stop. Craig no longer told the tale, and the story was left to the scouts to develop and spread.

Camp Tuckahoe[edit]

Camp Tuckahoe is the largest of four camps owned by the New Birth of Freedom Council, and is currently operated for use by both Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. The 1,300-acre (5.3 km2) site is located in York County, Pennsylvania a few miles west of Dillsburg.

The site was formerly a hunting camp which the Council purchased on March 21, 1947 to replace Camp Ganoga. Construction on the property started in the spring of 1947, and the first camping season got underway the next year on June 27, 1948. Many of the later facilities where not present that first season, including the lake, troops cabins (the boys all slept in tents or lean-tos), and the memorial chapel.

From the purchase of the land until part way through the first season, the camp was referred to as "South Mountain Camp" and also "South Mountain Memorial Scout Camp" (as a tribute to WWII servicemen). During the initial camp season, a contest was held to choose between the names "South Mountain", "Tuckahoe", and "Whippoorwill", and Tuckahoe won out. The name Tuckahoe is attributed to mean "Land of the Deer and the Fawn" in a Native American language.[citation needed]

The Memorial Mall and adjoining Chapels are the centerpiece of Camp Tuckahoe. The Mall is an open area lined by hemlock trees that is often used for camp ceremonies and quiet activities. Each of the hemlock trees has been dedicated to a member of the "Council Eternal" (a Scout or Scouter who has died). Additional dedications are made annually when new names are added to the Memorial Wall. Another feature of the Mall is a reflection area where Scouts can read a bronze plaque bearing the words of Rudyard Kiplings's poem If— The recently renovated indoor chapel at the top of the mall was dedicated in memory of Rabbi Goode, one of the Four Chaplains from the troop transport Dorchester.

An area of Camp Tuckahoe called "Cub World" is segmented off for use just by Cub Scouts. It is a special place within the camp that has programs and facilities specifically designed for boys ages 6–10.[1]

Themed areas include the Pirate Ship, Medieval Castle, Frontier Fort, and the Native American Village. Sleeping arrangements are available in all four areas. Other more general use areas include the Nature Tree House,a Mine, Physical Fitness trail, Cub Activity Field, and Cub Pavilion. Additionally there are Air Rifles, Action Archery (a sling shot course), and Archery Ranges, which tend to be heavily used during summer camp sessions. Sleeping arraignments are available in four large tepees in the Native American Village.

Each year, during the designated Cub Scout weeks, the activities in camp are based on a theme. During the week there are many activities centered around the theme of the year. These themes rotate between Safari (2002, 2006, 2010), Wild West (2003, 2007, 2011), Knights of the Round Table (2004, 2008, 2012), and Pirates of Camp Tuckahoe (2005, 2009, and 2013).

The other Council camps are Camp Conewago and Wizard Ranch.[2]

Sasquesahanough Lodge[edit]

Sasquesahanough Lodge was formed in 2010 from the mergers of Tuckahoe Lodge and Susquehannock Lodge. Sasquesahanough is the 1612 spelling of Susquehanna and reflects the geographic area covered by the lodge. The lodge totem is the phoenix, reflecting the new council name.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°05′53″N 77°05′43″W / 40.098°N 77.0954°W / 40.098; -77.0954