Scouting in New Jersey
Scouting in New Jersey has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live. The second Boy Scouts of America National Headquarters was in North Brunswick, although it was referred to in BSA publications as being in neighboring New Brunswick.
- 1 Early history (1910–1950)
- 2 Recent history (1950–1990)
- 3 Boy Scouting in New Jersey today
- 4 Girl Scouting in New Jersey
- 5 International Scouting units in New Jersey
- 6 Scouting Museums in New Jersey
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early history (1910–1950)
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Camp Glen Gray, located in Bergen County, New Jersey (Northern New Jersey Council) has been continually active since 1917, and was originally 150 acres (0.61 km2) located in a valley in the Ramapo Mountains in New Jersey. Camp Glen Gray is named after Frank Fellows Gray, (1869–1935) a well known early professional Scouter of that area. It was selected and developed by Gray to give a permanent summer camp for Scouts, and the camp is the first purpose-built Scout camp in New Jersey. Prior Scout summer camping experiments were typically temporary affairs at farm fields or church camps. Frank Gray was one of America's earliest Scoutmasters, having started Troop 4 in Montclair, New Jersey, known as the "Lord Baden-Powell Troop" in March 1909. He also created an honor program that was used in New Jersey and in the Brooklyn Council called "Senior Division". The camp ultimately reached a size of about 840 acres (3.4 km2) and was operated by Eagle Rock Council, then Essex Council, and finally Northern New Jersey Council. In 2003, the camp was sold to the Bergen County Parks Commission and operated through a management agreement by the non-profit group Friends of Glen Gray, and is supported by a group of volunteers known as the "Old Guard". While no longer an "official" Boy Scout Camp, it does continue to host a large number of Scouting groups and activities throughout the year, as well as hosting a summer day camp for an area special-needs school.
Notable Scout Walter Marty Schirra, Jr. (March 12, 1923 – May 3, 2007) earned the rank of First Class in Troop 36 in Oradell, New Jersey. He was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. He was also the only person to fly in all of America's first three space programs (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo).
Cub Scouting Origins – To begin including younger boys to Scouting, James E. West approved the formation of the Boy Rangers of America, a separate organization for boys eight through twelve based on an American Indian theme. The Boy Rangers used the Scout Law and Chief Guide Emerson Brooks was a Boy Scout commissioner in Montclair, New Jersey. The BSA finally began some experimental Cubbing units in 1928 and in 1930 the BSA began registering the first Cubbing packs, and the Boy Rangers were absorbed. The Cub Scouting program used elements of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book series, with the Cubmaster taking the role of Akela and the assistant Cubmaster the role of Baloo. The American program also syncretized American Indian elements, with all Cub Scouts belonging to the Webelos tribe, symbolized by the Arrow of Light and led by Akela. Webelos was also an acronym meaning Wolf, Bear, Lion, Scout. The initial rank structure was Wolf, Bear and Lion, with ages of 9, 10 and 11. Dens of six to eight Cubs were entirely led by a Boy Scout holding the position of den chief.
Mortimer L. Schiff – After a long tenure as vice-president of the BSA beginning in 1910, during which he also appeared on the cover of Time magazine on February 14, 1927, Mortimer L. Schiff was elected as president in 1931, but died after serving one month and Walter Head returned until 1946. Schiff's mother purchased and donated 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land in New Jersey and donated it to the BSA, thus creating Mortimer L. Schiff Scout Reservation as a national training center. Both Mortimer and his son, John M. Schiff, received the Silver Buffalo Award from the BSA.
William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt – William Hillcourt was one of the BSA's most prolific writers. He wrote numerous articles for Boys' Life and Scouting magazines, including a column aimed at patrol leaders under the by-line of "Patrol Leader Green Bar Bill". At least 12,610,000 copies of his three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook were printed. Hillcourt died in Europe while on a Scouting tour in 1992. He is buried with his wife Grace in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Mendham, New Jersey at Row 8, Block I, to be near Mortimer L. Schiff Scout Reservation as he had lived for so many years. His legacy in Scouting and his influence continue in the programs and training of Scouting. Consequently, his writings are still used within the Scouting movement and his material continues to be reprinted in Scouting magazine. The Hiawatha Seaway Council operates the William Hillcourt Scout Museum at Camp Woodland in New York to "keep the traditions of Scouting alive" through the preservation of the history that is a foundation for today's Scouting movement
Order of the Arrow – The first Order of the Arrow ceremony for the Vigil Honor was held in New Jersey by E. Urner Goodman using Scouts from the Treasure Island Scout Reservation. The 1925 and 1936 National Order of the Arrow Lodge Meetings were held at Treasure Island, New Jersey.
Recent history (1950–1990)
In 1954, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America moved its National Headquarters from New York City to a new site at the southwest corner of U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 130 in North Brunswick, New Jersey, although the location appeared in BSA publications as "New Brunswick". The Johnston Historical Museum and a conservation education trail were also located there. The national headquarters moved to Irving, Texas in 1979.
Boy Scouting in New Jersey today
There are seven Boy Scouts of America local councils active in New Jersey.
Washington Crossing Council
The Washington Crossing Council serves scouts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and scouts in two districts located in Western New Jersey that were transferred from the former Central New Jersey Council: The Mercer Area District in Mercer County, New Jersey and the Hunterdon Arrowhead District in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
Garden State Council
Southern New Jersey Council and Burlington County Council merged to form this new council as of January 1, 2013.
- Roosevelt Scout Reservation (Boy Scout camp)
- Camp Diller (Boy Scout tent camp)
- Camp Grice (used for Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills (IOLS)) 
- Pine Hill Scout Reservation (Cub Scout camp)
- Pine Tree Education and Environmental Center (Cub Scout Camp)
Order of the Arrow Lodge
Lenape Lodge #8, a merger of Te'kening 37 (founded in 1999) and Hunnikick 76 (founded in 1935) For more information visit lenape8.org
Jersey Shore Council
Minsi Trails Council
Northern New Jersey Council
The Northern New Jersey Council serves Scouting in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties. The council is divided into three districts: Three Rivers (eastern Bergen County and Hudson County areas), Ramapo Valley (western Bergen and Passaic County areas), and Lenape Trail (Essex County towns). In 2013, this council served over 13,000 youths.
Patriots' Path Council
Girl Scouting in New Jersey
New Jersey is divided into four councils that were created by rearrangement of the previous eleven councils in 2007.
Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey
The Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ covers a bit more than nine counties (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Salem, and parts of Monmouth) and serves over 27,000 girls and 11,000 adults. The council includes 3 service centers, 6 camps and 2 mobile resource centers. It was formed by the merger of Camden, Delaware-Raritan, and South Jersey Pines Councils on October 1, 2007. Planned merger date was July 1, 2007, but due to Delaware-Raritan's changed vote, the councils merged on October 1, 2007.
Headquarters: Cherry Hill, NJ
- Cherry Hill - 40 Brace Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08093
- East Brunswick - 108 Church Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816
- Newfield - 2944 Victoria Avenue, Newfield, NJ 08344
- Inawendiwin in Tabernacle, NJ
- Oak Spring in Somerset, NJ
- Camp Sacajawea (SACY) in Newfield, NJ
- Kettle Run in Medford, NJ
- Shepphard's Mill in Greenwich, NJ
Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey
Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey serves 25,000 plus girls in Hudson, Essex, Union, Somerset, Hunterdon, Southern Warren and parts of Middlesex counties. It was formed by the merger of Great Essex and Hudson Counties, Rolling Hills, and Washington Rock councils.
Headquarters: Montclair, NJ
- East - 120 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ 07042
- West - 1171 Route 28, North Branch, NJ 08876
- Central - 201 Grove Street East, Westfield, NJ 07090
- Camp Eagle Island – in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. It was in use as a Girl Scout camp from 1938 until 2008 but is now closed and the council plans to sell it.
- Camp Lou Henry Hoover - 340 acres (140 ha) in Middleville part of Stillwater Township, New Jersey in Sussex County. It was opened in 1953.
- Camp Agnes DeWitt Day Camp – 152 acres (62 ha) in Hillsborough, NJ
- The Oval in the South Mountain Reservation in Maplewood, NJ
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves some 16,000 girls and has 6,000 adult volunteers in Ocean and most of Monmouth counties. Created in July 2007 by the merger of Monmouth and Ocean County Councils.
Headquarters: Farmingdale, New Jersey
- Toms River, NJ - Ocean Service Center, 1405 Old Freehold Road, Toms River, NJ 08753
- Farmingdale, NJ - Monmouth Service Center, 242 Adelphia Road, Farmingdale, NJ 07727
- Camp Sacajawea is 143 acres (58 ha) in Farmingdale, NJ
- Camp Amity Acres is 57 acres (23 ha) of pine barrens in Waretown, NJ
Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey
Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey serves 20.5% of girls aged 5–17 in 160 municipalities including all of Bergen, Morris, Passaic, and Sussex counties and the northern half of Warren County. As of 2011 there were 33,795 girl members and 17,395 adult members. It was formed on October 1, 2007 by the merger of Bergen, Leni-Lenape, and Morris Area Girl Scout Councils.
Headquarters: Riverdale, NJ
- Paramus, NJ - 300 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652
- Randolph, NJ - 1579 Sussex Turnpike, Randolph, NJ 07869
- Riverdale, NJ - (closed for renovations until late 2011)
- Paterson, NJ - Center City Mall, 301 Main Street, Upper Level, Paterson, N.J. 07505
- Camp Glen Spey - 600 acres (240 ha) in Glen Spey, NY. It includes a 70 acres (28 ha) glacial lake.
- Lake Rickabear – 332 acres (134 ha) in Kinnelon, New Jersey
- Jockey Hollow Camp – 212 acres (86 ha) in Mendham, New Jersey
Camp Mogisca was sold in 2010.
Discontinued Girl Scout Councils
The following New Jersey councils ceased to exist in 2007/2008 due to mergers.
- Bergen Girl Scout Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey in 2007
- Camden Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey in 2007
- Delaware-Raritan Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey in 2007
- Great Essex and Hudson Counties Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey in 2008
- Leni-Lenape Girl Scout Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey in 2007
- Monmouth Girl Scout Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore in 2007
- Morris Area Girl Scout Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey in 2007
- Ocean County Girl Scout Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore in 2007
- Rolling Hills Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey in 2008
- South Jersey Pines Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey in 2007
- Washington Rock Council - Became part of the new Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey in 2008
International Scouting units in New Jersey
Scouting Museums in New Jersey
The New Jersey Scout Museum in Morganville was established as an independent non-profit in 2004 and concentrates on history of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in New Jersey.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Scouting in New Jersey.|
- Price, Luther Edmonds (1941). Thirty Years of Scout Camping:History of Glen Gray and Other Camps in Northern New Jersey with Memoirs of Frank F. Gray. Glen Ridge, NJ: self-published. p. 112.
- The building has been torn down and the intersection reveloped. The Shoppes at North Brunswick retail shopping center now occupies the site of the former BSA building.
- GSNNJ 2011 press release
- Upper Township NJ
- Troop 76 - Greater Sea Isle City Area
- Patriot's Path Council
- Northern New Jersey Council
- Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco
- Monmouth Council
- Jersey Shore Council
- Garden State Council
- Camp Glen Gray