The only electric that we had was in the dining hall and the headquarters building. Flashlights were used for walking around, but not for use in your tents. We had a homemade lantern; a juice can or bean can with a hole cut into it, and a candle inside. Of course, this could have been dangerous, but we were fortunate. No fires occurred from this. I guess this was an indication that we were careful.
Since this was old Indian territory of the Lenni Lenape tribe, you would find an arrowhead now and then. The State of New Jersey had a large dig there in the 1940s and the 1950s. That's where I met Dr. Dorothy Cross, a well known archaeologist of New Jersey. Seton Hall later had a dig there in the 1960s, with Dr. H. Kraft in charge.
The road at camp was the startof the olderst road in America. The Dutch built it after discovering copper ore in the region. This road ran to Kingston, NJ. There has been much written over the years about the mining at Pahaquarra. The mining operation lasted until after the first World War. In the early years, you would find good examples of the ore. Today, it's very hard to find. Mining stopped because it became too costly to mine. Most, if not all, of the th ehigh grade ore was gone.
My first year at camp, we were all on the lower land. They had army type tents that held four boys. One area had tepees and a few two man tents. Later, they built sites up on the mountain side.
I know my parents scraped to send me to camp and I found out you could go to camp free or for a slight wage. I applied for staff. A friend of mine, Thomas Maquire and I were accepted as dish washers. That was all they had, no modern stuff, no wages, just board. You had one day off, if you were lucky one of the staff's parents would take you back to Trenton and return you.
Next three of four years, I ws selected for staff, being assigned to the Craft Shop. I think the pay was $2.00 a week. I remember you could get a kit to make a kayak. It cost about $10.00, meaning not too many scouts could afford this, but I did help with the construction. It had canvas covering that they could paint any color and design they wished. Some were really far out.
In 1934, we had a C. Prentiss Ward as a first aider. He was an intern. I'll bet he became a good surgeon. He would take three or four of us on the staff out on the float in the river, where no one would disturb us. He would have a fish, or a snake, or a frog, that he would disect and show us its vital organs.
September 12, 1999