I stumbled across some pictures of Camp Forrester, part of the Massawepie complex of the Oneida Boy Scout Council in upstate New York. As a member of Troop 224, I used to camp here. I went a total of three times, I think, maybe two, but I'm pretty sure three. And always to Forrester, never to Mountaineer where the scouts slept in cabins and had their food cooked for them in a mess hall. No in Forrested, you slept in tents way the fuck out in the middle of nowhere, and cooked your own meals in either the sheepherder or the half barrel.
Here's the main index of photos along with what I remember. For starters, I weaved more than a handful of basketsright here in the Handicraft area. In fact, I sat my ass down on these picnic tables, and washed my hands at this old busted ass sink, before walking out of this door with my basket weaving merit badge.
But the commissary -- which still has the same green roof -- that's where things got really fucking exciting. For starters you could use whatever money your parents sent you with to buy the stuff you needed here at the trail store. Here I purchases at least two Scout knives, a handful of shotgun chits for my rifle and shotgun merit badge, and of course the occasional bottle of Coke. The trail store was at the far right side of the building, because the majority of the building was where they stored all of the food that had to be picked up each morning and returned that evening. No food was allowed to be stored in your campsite itself, so you weren't ransacked by bears.
This big place was known as the Dust Bowl, for obvious reasons. If I have my bearings right -- the place is way overgrown plus it's been like 500 years -- the trail to the commisary was at your 2 o'clock, the archery range was directly behind you, the rifle and shotgun range at your 9 o'clock, and the trail that led to our particular campsite about your 11 o'clock. If it turns out I'm facing the wrong way, just flip that shit. And I do mean shit, because each campsite did in fact have its own outhouse.
I do not recall this climbing/rapelling tower, so it must have been built some time after... ehhh... 1985 or so. It would have been cool as fuck tho. Camp Forrester is no longer in use because from what I could find, they lost their insurance rider because the waterfront area on Lake Massawepie was too deep, or didn't have enough lifeguards or some shit like that.
Oh, and my shooting instructor at the rifle and shotgun range was Mr. Meyering; and he taught me the basics on firearm safety and is the person I would be most embarassed to tell my Negligent Discharge story to. Turns out his wife used to work there too, although it seems she just passed away in May of this year. And now that I read that, I think she was the one who taught me basket weaving back at the Handicraft center. And from her obituary, it seems Mr. Meyering passed away back in 2014. So long Mr M, I promise I won't shoot my kitchen any more. Scout's Honor.
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