(This was adapted from a history prepared for the Garden State Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches. Rosemary and I visited the camp during our research, where we were greeted in a very pleasant manner by the camp director and his wife. They generously gave us a copy of the above history, dated June 3, 2003. I have adapted parts of the history to protect privacy. The dining hall and the two cabins are the only structures that date back to when scouts were on the island.)
History of New Life Island
Back in 1786 a treaty was signed between the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey which stated that Delaware River islands would be considered a part of the state which was nearest to the island. This treaty made our island part of Pennsylvania.
Our island has had many names. It has been called Bennington's, Wyker's, Yerkes, Godshall's, Fabian's and Pennington Island. It is listed on many maps as Pennington Island. The Boy Scouts called it Camp Minitink.
The island was purchased by the Camden Council of the Boy Scouts of America sometime around 1917. The selling price was $500.00. The Boy Scouts built the dining hall, the huts and a few other buildings.
The Boy Scouts sold the camp in 1946 to the Philadelphia Presbytery. The Presbyterians built most of the buildings in the early 1950s. Some have dates written in or on them.
In August of 1955 two hurricanes, Carol and Diane, came roaring up the coast and right up the Delaware Valley. In less then two weeks northern Pennsylvania received more than 18 inches of rain. This caused the highest flooding in recent history. High water marks found in the dining hall show that the water was approximately 2 1/2 feet deep inside the building.
The island was purchased in April of 1972 by the Garden State Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches at a cost of $174,500.00
The following information was contributed by the historian for Bucks County Council: "Camp Miniitik was operated by the Camden Council from 1935 to 1946. There was a patch for it." (Anyone have this patch?)