Scouting in New Hampshire

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Scouting in New Hampshire has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.


Early history (1910-1950)

Originally, the Boy Scouts of America chartered the Manchester Council in 1912 to serve southern New Hampshire. In 1929, the Daniel Webster Council was chartered to cover a more substantial portion of the state. By 1932, the council's service area was firmly established, and since that time, the council service area has been consistent to the present.

Recent history (1950-present)

Originally, Daniel Webster Council operated Camp Manning in Gilmanton and Camp Carpenter in Manchester. In 1945, Camp Carpenter became the official Scout camp for Daniel Webster Council. In 1969, the council, under the leadership of Max I. Silber, established the Lawrence L. Lee Scout Museum at Camp Carpenter, to recognize the council's longtime Scout Executive. In 1971, the Daniel Webster Council acquired Hidden Valley Scout Reservation from Norumbega Council in Massachusetts. Hidden Valley is located near Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire. In the late 1980s, Camp Carpenter became a Cub Scouts camp during the summer months. In the early 2000s, Hidden Valley was renamed the Griswold Hidden Valley Scout Reservation. It was divided into two camps: Hidden Valley and the new Camp Bell.

Hidden Valley and Camp Carpenter are run as traditional Scout camps with full dining facilities and a wide variety of program areas and activities. Camp Bell is run with a higher emphasis on strengthening the Patrol Method. Campers do their own cooking in their sites, and participate in day-long activities as patrols. Camp Bell has a different variety of activities from Hidden Valley, including their "living history areas," and a different set of merit badges are available.

Together Hidden Valley and Camp Bell make up the Griswold Scout Reservation which covers over 3,500 acres (14 km2) including several lakes, ponds, and mountains. The land currently used primarily by Camp Bell has been used as the homes of many other camps, most recently Camp Manning, which after being sold by the Daniel Webster Council to private owners, changed ownership several times and had previously existed as a camp run by various organization such as the YMCA who called it Camp Leo. Camp Bell was named for an attorney member of the Council's Executive Board who was instrumental in reacquiring the property for the Daniel Webster Council.

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