We Visit Camp Buccou

building

One of the old, fallen down buildings on the camp. Can you identify the building? Doug rescued a large chestnut log from the building, 3 foot long and maybe 10 inches diameter, which he cleaned up and donated to the Bucks County Council. It will look great with a coat of vanish.

(Through the efforts of Doug Kiovsky, Hunterdon Parks and Recreation, the current owners of the property arranged for a visit to the location of the former Camp Buccou. This was too generous an offer to refuse, so September 21, 2003, Doug, two Scouters from Bucks County Council, Rosemary and myself came to visit. During our visit, the owners donated an old relic from the camp to Bucks County Council. Each of us offer our appreciation to our hosts for their very kind and generous offer.)
 
Let me say up front, that the camp was not at all what I expected to see.
 
The camp was located at the top of a very high hill, dare I call it a mountain. Fortunately, our hosts had a big 4x4 that they used to ferry us up the long, steep drive. About half way up, the road became dirt, with many, many rocks. Imagine the Scouts that, each day, would make the long, steep walk down to the river to swim, and then the longer, steeper walk back up the hill for lunch or dinner. They probably slept well at night. I had really expected that the camp would be located in the flat fields along the river. Perhaps that land was too valuable as farms in those days.
 
The camp, in its day, had been well developed. I had not expected to see the remnants of so many buildings. The camp had a dining hall, sleeping quarters, several other buildings. Many of the structures are still visible, although mostly fallen down and quite unsafe. We saw several foundations, and a very attractive gazebo around an open water fountain. Fresh water comes from springs at the top of the mountain. There was a lot of water flowing down through the camp, probably drinkable.
 
At one time, the forest was full of chestnut trees. Some of the trees were used to build the cabins and a log barrier called the stockade (like the old frontier forts) before a blight wiped out the trees. In 1930, 15,000 evergreen seedlings were planted by the scouts on the slope. (We saw quite a few evergreens during our visit.) The total acreage of the camp was 84 acres and stretched from the wooded hill down to the South Branch of the Raritan River. The acreage included a meadow near the water where scouts could swim and boat.
 
There is a lovely view of the river and the valley from the camp. However, most of the view is obstructed by the second growth of trees. The camp is pretty overgrown now. It must have been a lot of fun at one time.
 
(The former Camp Buccou is on private property and is not open to the public.)

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Oct 15, 2003