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Beechwood State Park now, but always Camp Beechwood to me

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Beechwood State Park now, but always Camp Beechwood to me

Postby BBraun » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:36 pm

Recently, I came across this website which contained recent prohotogaphs of Beechwood State Park. While the photos were beautiful, for me, they were particularly hauting and served as a reminder of a bygone era. This past Saturday, I picked my son up from summer camp, which brought back fond memories of my own camp experience--at Camp Beechwood. While the current landscape depicts decay; I can only look at the pictures and associate them with great experiences. The now rotting swimming pool once played host to endless games of Marco Polo and it was where I would meet my fellow polar bear club members for our pre-breakfast swims. I can still envision the sign-in/sign-out board emblazoned with painted red washers. The now-empty dining hall, which was across the road from the nurses cabin, still echoes with 100+ girls singing grace and laughing over bug juice served in aluminum pitchers. As a camper, I felt as if I had won the lottery when I was placed at Eastwood (the camp site with the lean-to's); although smaller than the canvas covered platorms, the leam-tos were very cool. I remember skits by the campfire, cleaning laterns with newspaper and using the latrines. During the 1970's and 80's when I attended camp, there was limited electricity in each campsite and no flush toilets. Each campsite had a drinking fountain/water spiggot near the center of the campsite and a galvanized steel sink at the latrines which looked more like a giant tray. We also had sleepovers in the pines where you could fall asleep counting the seemingly millions of visible stars. Although it appears to have been reclaimed by nature, there was a large fire pit near the lake, where each week we would have one large camp-wide campfire and sing classic camp and girl scout songs.

Every morning reveille and the flag raising ceremony. Every evening taps in the main field, followed by a walk back to our campsite.

When the summer was over, my girl-scout troop often camped at Beechwood as a troop. In the fall, the Camp had a different persona and it wasn't uncommon to hear the wind howling through the trees, reminding us that winter was just around the corner.

It was at Camp Beechwood where I first learned to build a fire, sail, tie knots and cook over an open fire. We made sit-upons, candles in the sandy soil, and macrame bracelets. It was also at Camp Beechwood where I learned how to live with people who weren't my family, live independently (even if for a short while), and work with others toward a common goal. Some may look at the remnants of Camp Beechwood and wonder about her past. I however, feel blessed to have shared in her magic and feel saddened that a new generation of campers doesn't even know of her existence.
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Re: Beechwood State Park now, but always Camp Beechwood to m

Postby Matt » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:38 am

Thanks for posting this.
Although I never knew Beechwood as an active camp, whilst walking through it I could feel that some parts were not long abandoned.
Luckily the BSA is refurbishing some of the large structures there.
Will it ever be resurrected as a camp? Only if the Sate economy lifts.

For folks stumbling upon this page, here is the link to the photo gallery and information.
http://www.nyfalls.com/lakes/ontario-beechwood.html
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Re: Beechwood State Park now, but always Camp Beechwood to m

Postby horseymom1 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:16 am

I too remember Beechwood as a girl scout camp. My sister and I both went there for many years. all that you wrote about sparked many great memories for me. I still talk about the bike program where we rode to alexandria bay and back. Also I remember the Horse camp that I attended there a couple of times. Many many fond memories :D
my 5yr old and I looked at all the pictures of the buildings and grounds and the decay there and I explained to him about all we used to do there. It was a sad sight, but at the same time my son and I are looking forward to going and hiking around the old campgrounds and enjoying the area again. He is very interested in the old building. It would be wonderful if it was resurrected as a campsite.
Does anyone know if horses are allowed there? I would love to trailor in my horse and ride the old trails :lol:
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Re: Beechwood State Park now, but always Camp Beechwood to m

Postby Matt » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:08 pm

yes, horses are allowed, but be careful close to the camping areas and buildings, a lot of rusty nails.
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