Camp Cowaw in the mid-1940s
Some of the Daily Activities at Camp
The daily program varied, but usually followed a basic format. Reveille was sounded by the camp bugler, followed by the waiter's call. The waiter's call signaled the Scout assigned to be waiter for his group's table to come to the mess hall. Every meal was followed by a sing-along, lead by Scouts or leaders. Each boy had his turn as a waiter and also as a clean-up person. This required him to deliver all the dirty dishes and silverware to the kitchen, wash the table top and sweep around his table. Before he was able to leave the mess hall, he had to ask one of the staff to inspect his area for cleanliness.
Hikes to all different areas surrounding the camp were very popular. Over-night trips were limited to First Class Scouts and a canoe overnight as part of the swimmer requirement. One of the hikes was the The Bomber Hike to the location of an Army Air Force B17 that had crashed into a nearby mountain. Hikes were also taken to Sun Fish Pond, Camp Mohican, Bushkill Falls, and along the Appalachian Trail.
An area was set aside for the camp chapel with a small wooden altar, to be used by all faiths.
As with all organizations, hazing of first time campers was frowned on, but was still done covertly by older Scouts. Many young campers were sent on wild goose chases to get Tent Stretchers, Buckets of Steam, and Knot Busters, etc. Other cruel tricks were to put toothpaste on the new camper's pillow, or to slip a salamander into his sleeping bag when he wasn't looking.
Scouts, fourteen years old or older and of the proper rank, were hired to be a part of the camp staff. The Camp Staff would arrive a week or two before camp opened and would get the camp ready for opening. The scout staff members were not paid. You worked for your food and a place to sleep with one night off to go into town (Columbia or Strasbourg, PA) on Sunday for a movie of ice cream. Some of the staffers walked the six miles there and six miles back, because finding a ride to Columbia was difficult.
Because of the length of this article, this is page 2 of 2 pages. This page mainly discusses the daily routine at camp. After reading these two pages, I am struck by how familiar the experiences sound. Although my experiences as a leader came many years later, life as a Scout does not appear to have changed very much. (jos)
This text was supplied by Jules Sabo. Do you have some memories of past camping experiences in the Thomas A. Edison Council that you would like to share?
Camp Setup, in mid-1940s * Camp Cowaw History
November 3, 2000