Organized by the Perth Amboy District, Boy Scout Troop 91 of South Amboy is one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the United States, dating back to when it was formed as Troop 1 in 1916. John Tracy Dill, a freight conductor for the Pennsylvania Railroad and known to his friends as "Skipper", served as the first Scoutmaster.
In 1925, interested members began to look for property as a possible site for outdoor education. A farmer and stone mason by the name of Theodore Sutton, and his wife, Carrie, were willing to lease 7 1/2 acres of wooded hillside used for cattle grazing, to the Troop for $25 each year. In 1930, the Suttons offered to sell the land for $400 and would accept the $25 per year as payment. The Camp Dill Foundation was incorporated in 1937 and took full title to the land at that time. As is still currently the case, the original Trustees of the Foundation were all "Old-Timers" of Troop 91.
Since a road easement from the local County road was not granted until 1937, original access to the site could only be done by boat. Once the site was cleared and leveled of rocks and vegetation, it was utilized for camping and other activities. Achievements included the establishment of a springhouse with a pipeline for washing and sanitation and an outhouse made from boards of a condemned house. Camp cooking was done initially by Mr. Dill, then later by an Oriental gentleman by the name of Quon Lee. The camp fee in 1925 was $4.50 for nine days and most of the Troop's 40-plus members had to work all year to earn the money.
In 1932, Mr. Dill contemplated the idea of constructing an activity cabin. After three years of contacting several contractors who were interested in the project, the estimates seemed beyond the financial scope of the troop. It was then decided that in order to save money, they would take on the task of completing the project themselves.
Fieldstone was gathered along the hill and transported to the cabin site on the flatbed of a stripped down 1928 Ford Model T. Theodore Sutton, the former property owner and stonemason by trade, took part in the construction. In what seemed to be an arduous task, members of Troop 91 worked on the cabin on weekends for 11 years, mixing sand and cement by hand, building the cabin walls, and assembling the roof trusses. Dynamite was used to blast rock for the foundation and loose rocks were positioned in a three foot deep and one foot wide trench. $300 was raised through bake sales to pay for construction materials. Sadly, after serving 28 years as Scoutmaster, Mr. Dill did not live to see the final completion of the cabin and died in 1944 in his early 70's. Two years later, the cabin was finished as it stands today. A plaque in memory of John Tracy Dill was installed above the cabin's fireplace in 1960.
To compensate for the continuing needs of the Scouts, the land was cleared again and the tents were placed higher on the hill. More activity brought more Scouts to the camp. As the years went on, more projects were completed on the camp. In 1976 and 1977, additional land was cleared for camping and recreational use, establishing "Eagle Hill". In 1986, electricity and a water purification system were installed, followed by the drilling of a 250-foot well in 1990. In 1994, the Camp Dill Foundation acquired an additional 3.5 acres of the original Sutton homestead.
The Camp Dill Foundation remains as committed today as it was in 1937 to the youth of South Amboy. For more information about the Camp Dill Foundation, please send a letter to The Camp Dill Foundation, 3 Strek Drive, Parlin NJ 08859
Rev: Dec 21, 2003