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 These news articles contain the latest information available; other pages on the camp website may be out of date.

Economic Recovery

After twelve years of depression, the American economy finally recovered by 1941. Even if the gross domestic product of 1937 exceeded that of 1929, the population increase during those years meant that the average consumer received little comfort from that parity. However, by 1941 gross domestic product per capita exceeded 1929 by ten percent, enough to compensate for the increased government expenditures of New Deal programs and rearmament. That year, the Northern Litchfield County Council set its annual campaign goal at $7,100, and raised enough funds to open Camp Workcoeman for five weeks, the first five week season since 1934.

The stronger economy and the successful fund drive also allowed for facility improvements at camp. The council paid to upgrade the plumbing in the kitchen and replaced the stovetop boiler with running hot water, for washing dishes. Council Finance chairman Floyd Pearce persuaded The Exchange Club of Torrington to donate a Handicraft Lodge to the Scouts; Pearce phrased his pitch as a challenge from the Canaan Exchange Club, who had already committed to buying new rowboats and canoes for Workcoeman. Exchangites donated lumber and helped with most of the construction; one of their number, Herbert Jones, brought his carpentry class from the trade school to camp to complete the rough framing. Club members also installed the hot water system the council bought. The Exchangites collected used hand tools from Torrington citizens, then repaired and sharpened the tools to supply not only a building but also the materials for a camp program.

To staff the new lodge, Council Executive Palmer Liddle sent Assistant Camp Director Carl Bergquist to National Camping School, to participate in the Handicraft Section. Liddle did not join the 1941 staff himself, and brought in former Aquatics Director Clarence Rosenbeck to serve as Camp Director. Rosenbeck was Scoutmaster of Troop 14 and of the 1937 Jamboree Troop. Back in 1929, Rosenbeck had played camp director when the campers took over Workcoeman’s operation. In 1942, he brought back this program feature, and campers ran the Workcoeman program on the third of July. However, the highlight of the first week was a fireworks show, put together by the District One Committee, composed of Scouters from Torrington and Harwinton. The fireworks show helped to boost the numbers of campers during the sparsely attended week one. During the other four weeks, Workcoeman was full, with seventy-five campers, and a season total of one hundred and seventy-four separate Scouts.

The image below shows the Handicraft Lodge during the 1940s. The structure now serves as the Trading Post.

Handicraft Lodge (1940s)