Camp Pahaquarra Closing
Camp Pahaquarra History

(Here are some addition comments from Larry Gering about the closing of Camp Pahaquarra. Received on August 8, 2008. - jos)

The last summer camp at Pahaquarra was 1971. It was a full summer session, not abbreviated. The National Park Service sells a booklet that lists all the camps in the area. Unfortunately, the booklet lists the closing incorrectly as 1969.
After summer camp season in 1971 (end of July?) everything that was movable was stored in either the barn or the dining hall. There was no place to put hundreds of mattresses, etc. Troops used Pahaquarra in Fall 1971 for overnight trips. There was no water but latrines were still usable
In October 1971, Council was closing on a deal to buy land for Yards Creek Scout Reservation. I remember going on a bus trip (charter bus, not school bus) from Council Headquarters on Route 1 up to Yards Creek. Looked pretty dismal - just an old farmhouse and a bulldozed but rutted dirt road. By end of year (December?) everything had been moved from Pahaquarra to YCSR - overloading barns and out-buildings. Stuff stuffed everywhere. That met our mandate of being "out" of Pahaquarra by December 31, 1971. The government took ownership and we were out. (At that time, Council Headquarters were in Lawrenceville, NJ-jos)
During the next few years, things still happened "at" Pahaquarra but it was mostly "hike over mountain and see the old campgrounds." No overnights were allowed (doesn't mean they didn't happen). That kind of died off as new Scouts who knew nothing of Pahaquarra came, and older Scouts moved on. In Fall 1972, the government bulldozed all the Pahaquarra buildings because of problems with squatters moving into all the deserted buildings in the Tocks Island Dam site.
After some time, the Tocks Island Dam project was desanctioned by Congress and the dam was completely written off. The land was kept by the government and the area became the Delaware National Recreation Area. The land was never offered to, nor returned to, prior owners.
George Washington Council received payment for their land, as did the other owners, and in the process lost all rights to the land. Some properties (old buildings that weren't bulldozed) have been leased to various non-profit organizations. Other buildings are used as National Park Rangers housing. There is no private ownership of property within the Delaware National Recreation Area.

Larry Gering
Camp Pahaquarra 1969-1971
Sanhican Lodge Chief 1974
PhD in Forest Biometrics 1985

Previous page
Camp Pahaquarra History Home Page