Old Colony Council
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|Old Colony Council|
|Owner||Boy Scouts of America|
The OCC represents 265 active Scouting units in 41 communities around Boston, including Abington, Avon, Braintree, Canton, Bridgewater, Brockton, Cohasset, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxborough, Halifax, Hanson, Hanover, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Norwood, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Randolph, Scituate, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, West Bridgewater, Weymouth and Whitman.
The Old Colony Council was once the Plymouth Council. In 2017, Old Colony Council merged with Knox Trail Council to form Mayflower Council.
Old Colony Council is split into the following districts:
Until 1995, Old Colony Council owned two camps, Camp Child and Camp Squanto. Currently, the sole camp of the council is Camp Squanto.
Camp Harrison H. Child
Camp Harrison H. Child was a summer camp in Plymouth, Massachusetts, run by the Old Colony Council of the Boy Scouts of America from 1925 through 1995. It provided a typical summer Camp experience for young men in a structured environment.
Summer activities included the teaching of such outdoor skills as: camping, cooking, safe boating, swimming, archery, rifle shooting, hiking, field sports, nature appreciation, wilderness survival, and many other skills, most geared to the earning of merit badges.
Typically, established Boy Scout troops from communities of the South Shore in Massachusetts would arrive with their own leadership and camp for one or two weeks at a time. However, individual Scouts could attend and form a “provisional troop” which was led by the camp's staff. The camp staff, mostly former campers and all Scouts, would teach classes, set up camp, run activities for the campers, provide food in a dining hall environment (or delivered to the campsite by truck or canoe), and otherwise help provide an enjoyable summer experience. The camp was rather large, so two swimming and boating areas at either side of the lake, as well as two Scoutcraft training areas, were consistently maintained.
The camp completely surrounded a spring fed lake known as Morey’s Hole which provided clear water for the nearby Briggs Reservoir and cranberry bogs. A mix of Conifer forest with deciduous trees, oak, birch and maple intermingled. The camp had numerous hiking trails, running along the low rising hills which surrounded much of the pond, the most prominent height was Hio Hill, which was accessible by the Yellow Dot Trail and rose 204 feet (62 m) above the camp providing excellent views.
Camp Child had colorful names for local features such as "The Phantom Forest" and "Bird Point" which jutted into the heart of Morey's Hole. Near the lake, there existed a "bent stump" which later rotted away but remains as a centerpiece in Camp Child stories today.
- In 1963, Camp Child hosted the Lithuanian Scout National Jamboree which ran from August 17 to September 1, 1963.
- From 1969-1970, Old Colony Council (OCC) merged with Squanto Council of Brockton, Massachusetts. This left the new OCC with two summer camps: Camp Child and Camp Squanto. The land Camp Child was built upon was acquired by gift and was held by the Old Colony Council by title.
- Beginning in the 1970s, facilities began slowly expanding at Camp Squanto, while no significant improvements were made at Child, just routine maintenance. As time went on, the land at Camp Child became increasingly valuable as potential residential real estate. Old Colony Council, feeling a decline in the number of Scouts (part of a national trend) and otherwise experiencing financial pressure, sold the camp in 1995. The site is now made up of residential communities.
- A loose association of former staff members exists and maintains a website  for keeping in touch and swapping stories and memorabilia.
- Andrew H. Card, Jr., Former White House Chief of Staff under George W. Bush, worked on the staff of Camp Child.
Camp Squanto is a 650-acre (2.6 km2) camping facility located in Plymouth, MA, deep in the woods of Myles Standish State Forest. For seven weeks in the summer trained staff run a long-term camping experience for troops and individuals totalling nearly 2,000. During other weekends throughout the year Camp Squanto is available to various groups and activities, such as Troop or Webelos camping, band camps, retreats, Order of the Arrow events, Klondike Derbies, Parent-Son Weekends, among others. The camp attracts 20,000 weekend visitors annually.
1925-1949: Bloody Pond
Although the Brockton Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the precursor of the Squanto Council, was formed in 1919, the first Camp Squanto was not opened until 1925.
The new camp was located on an 18.5-acre (75,000 m2) site on the west side of Bloody Pond in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In the Spring of 1925, after an old farmhouse on the property was taken down, a combined dining and recreation hall was built. This building had facilities for 125 campers and staff, including a stone fireplace, a kitchen, storerooms, and an office for the camp.
A waterfront area with a U shaped swimming dock, a lookout tower, and a fleet of canoes and rowboats was set up on the shore of the pond. An old bog on the former farm was converted into a sports field, and a campfire ring was built on a knoll near the waterfront. Parking and service areas were laid out in the rear of the dining hall, and an old farm woodshed was repaired for use as a crafts center during the camping season as well as off-season storage.
The first camping season started in the first week of July, 1925. It was decided to call the new facility Camp Squanto, in honor of the Patuxet Indian, Tisquantum, whose aid to the Pilgrims in Plymouth helped them survive the first few difficult years of their settlement.
Although the first Scouts to camp at Camp Squanto lived in tents, these were gradually replaced with Adirondack shelters. The Scouts were divided into tribes, the Dakota, Comanche, Blackfoot, and Apache, thus establishing a tradition of naming campsites after various Indian tribes which continues today at Camp Squanto.
In 1932, the Brockton Scout Council which had previously included only the city of Brockton was expanded to take in the surrounding communities of Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Duxbury, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Marshfield, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, West Bridgewater, and Whitman and the new council adopted the Squanto name.
1950-present: Fawn Pond
In the 1940s, the increased number of Scouts in the Squanto Council could no longer be accommodated with the limited facilities at the Bloody Pond site and a search was started for a larger area. In 1948/1949, a site containing several 100 acres (400,000 m2) was found which included the north and west shores of Fawn Pond in Plymouth. This land was given to the council by LeBaron R. Barker, a local cranberry grower and landowner.
In July 1949 a group of staff leaders and Scouters surveyed the new area and marked out the locations for future development. in the fall of the same year, a formal survey and layout of the camp was made. Since the winter of 1949/1950 was a mild one, many of the Scout troops in the council were able to work at cutting out brush and trees to prepare the sites for buildings and roads.
During the spring of 1950, some thirty-five new buildings were put up with the help of construction crews and the Engineering Service of the National Boy Scout Council. The first building constructed was the Director's Lodge, followed by the Staff/Office/Trading Post, and the Health Lodge.
The Dining Hall was put up in May and June and was ready for the opening of camp in July. In the meantime, leantos, toilets, a craft building, and winter lodges were built throughout the camp. With the completion of the chapel near the waterfront in the second week of the camp season, the first phase of development in the new camp was over.
In addition to the many buildings, a water system, sewage system, unit camping areas, a waterfront area, sports area, campfire/amphitheater, nature study areas, rifle and archery range, and other facilities were set up to make Camp Squanto one of the finest in the United States, a distinction it has maintained throughout the years.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Squanto Spirit made itself evident in many ways. The Feast of Mondamin, an interpretation of the Song of Hiawatha paying tribute to the Great Spirit of the Indian nations, attracted over 2,000 spectators and was broadcast on the Boston television stations. Each of the troops in camp built a mound or small hill, reflecting the activities of various Indian tribes which had contributed to the history and growth of the philosophy of brotherhood which characterizes the Spirit of Squanto.
In later years, this Feast of Mondamin was incorporated into the impressive camp opening and closing ceremonies, which are witnessed annually by hundreds of campers, Scout leaders, parents, and families. This yearly reminder of the Spirit which is Squanto continues to be one of the highlights of each camping season at Camp Squanto.
The Spirit of Squanto showed itself again during this period, when the adjoining Camp Cachalot was burnt to the ground by a forest fire which ravaged the area, but spared most of Camp Squanto. The staff, Scout campers, and Scout leaders of Camp Cachalot were made welcome at Camp Squanto and shared the camp facilities until their own camp could be rebuilt.
One of the most active areas of camp during these years was the waterfront. The natural sandy beach on Fawn Pond was cleaned and extended to provide space for additional aquatic activities. The first watch tower was built out of logs by the camp staff. Later, with funds from the George W. Magee Memorial Fund, a more permanent tower was put up. Although the design of the dock and the composition of the waterfront fleet has changed over the years, some of the original boats and canoes are still in use after providing thousands of hours of pleasure and instruction to many Scouts during the years. Some of the most popular of these watercraft were the "whaleboats," old Navy launches which were donated as training craft and swimming platforms.
With the opening of camp in July, 1950, a new era of camping in the Squanto Council was initiated. Since then, Camp Squanto has continued to grow, improve, and provide for the needs of Scouts and Scouters. An important factor in this growth has been the Squanto spirit, which has distinguished the camp since its beginnings. This growth has been especially pronounced from 1969 to the present time.
In 1970, the Squanto Council and the Old Colony Council merged. The tremendous growth in Scout attendance at camp coupled with the need for year-round building maintenance was recognized, and a year-round camp ranger was hired. Since the new Old Colony council took in most of the South Shore of Massachusetts from Weymouth and Braintree on the north to Plymouth in the south and Walpole on the west with a total of 41 towns, the need for more open space to provide for the needs of the Scouts and Scouters in the area became very real.
One of the first acts of the new council was the purchase of additional area abutting Fawn Pond which made it possible for the camp to control two thirds of the land around the pond. An added bonus was the working cranberry bog included in the purchase. With the help of the Order of the Arrow and countless other volunteers, all the camp buildings were repaired and repainted.
Old Colony's Order of the Arrow lodge is Tisquantum #164 , which was formed when Tisquantum Lodge #518 and Manomet Lodge #164 merged in 1969. There was a bit of confusion when the National Order of the Arrow Council declared that Lodges no longer needed numbers, incorrectly dubbing the lodge "Tisquantum Lodge #249" (which was first seen on the infamous "Mario Patch," Tisquantum's NOAC flap from 2004) - this misunderstanding persists to this day on Tisquantum's lodge flaps. The proper name for the lodge is now "Tisquantum Lodge, Old Colony Council #249."