Camp Workcoeman

COVID-19 Update

9 August 2020 — A hybrid Swimming merit badge class will be offered August 17–21; it will consist of virtual classroom instruction combined with in-person swimming sessions at camp. Visit the Council website for more information and to register. Additionally, The Great Workcoeman Boat Race will take place at camp on Saturday, August 22, 2020.

14 July 2020 — Fall programs are being planned for both Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA. Reservations are now open for the 2021 summer season; register your troop by 1 October 2020 to earn loyalty benefits.

21 June 2020 — As of 17 June 2020, units in the Connecticut Rivers Council can resume in-person activities per updated state guidance. Please see for full details.

16 June 2020Camp Workcoeman has now reopened in a very limited capacity, but all regularly scheduled summer programs remain canceled. There will be no camping until further notice, but limited work days have now resumed while following Council, state, and CDC guidance.

10 June 2020 — The 2020 camp patch is now available for order. Click here for more information.

29 April 2020 — A new Scouting at Home section of this website has been created to catalog weekly videos and challenges posted to camp social media channels aimed at keeping you occupied and engaged during these difficult times.

More details and updates are available under the News & Events section of this website. These news articles contain the latest information available; other pages on the camp website may be out of date.

Beginnings of Scouting

The story of Camp Workcoeman begins with Scouting itself. Before William Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America in February of 1910, various character building groups for young men already existed in the United States. Ernest Seton and Daniel Beard ran the two largest associations, the Woodcraft Indians and the Sons of Daniel Boon, respectively. When Boyce brought Robert Baden-Powell’s British Scouting model to the United States, he only owned the Boy Scouts of America name and had permission to use Baden Powell’s Handbook, Scouting for Boys. Edgar Robinson of the Young Men’s Christian Association ended up providing the organizational skills and the national network to get the BSA off the ground. Robinson pulled Seton, Beard, and two other Scouting associations together to form a nationwide movement.

While Robinson was providing the first organization, the very first troops were already meeting. These groups formed along the same chaotic lines as the National Council. Often boys from a civic club or church started a patrol; some used Scouting for Boys before 1910. Sometimes these troops did not receive official charters from the national office in New York City, and many others gathered together and split apart without the Boy Scouts of America being the wiser.

The first formally chartered troop in Litchfield County, possibly in Connecticut, was made up of the boys of the First Baptist Church, in Winsted. The Reverend Franklin Elmer provided the momentum for the troop and served as Scoutmaster. The photo below shows Winsted Scouts on a hike around 1910. Of the eleven Scouts in the photo, twelve if the photographer is included, some may be, Stanly Colt, Lester McFarland, Harold Sanford, Willys Sanford, Harold Smith, or Ralph Smith.

Winsted Scouts