Update on Camp Tuckahoe Timbering Project

Camp Tuckahoe is thriving and in a phase of rebirth following its 2021 Project Hercules timbering project.

In October of 2020, the Council’s Executive Board unanimously decided to close Camp Tuckahoe indefinitely due to concerns about certain species of trees, primarily scarlet oaks, in the campsites and primary use areas. This was a difficult decision and one that was not made lightly but was the best course of action to improve camp safety for its campers.

Work started immediately to resolve the issue. A plan was quickly crafted between the Council’s Executive Board, a consulting Forestor, and Dr. David Foster, Biology and Environmental Science professor at Messiah University, on how to best handle the project.

R&J Logging began removing trees in January and worked through April, removing roughly 3,000 trees from the camp property. These trees were removed from high-use areas, around buildings, in campsites, and around areas of future projects. Custom Ag, LLC was brought in to remove many of the exposed tree stumps left from the timbering process following the tree removal. EB Clearing, Inc was also brought in to chip and spread the woodpiles created around camp from the timbered tree limbs.

Project Hercules service days were held every Saturday at Camp Tuckahoe to clean up behind the timbering crews and restore the camp property. Hundreds of Scouts, leaders, and community volunteers came out to assist in these efforts, with much success and progress being made. Service crews handled projects like splitting logs, clearing brush, piling tree limbs, resetting campsite, and leveling tent platforms.

With the help of Foster and his students, a survey of the camp property was conducted to determine what trees would best handle the various soil environments around camp. They then developed a plan of what trees to replant and where. Roughly 300 trees (provided by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation) were replanted around camp in the spring, with another 700 in the fall.

Camp is now cleaned up, looking much better, and ready for weekend and summer camp visitors. “Camp will look a little different for a while, but in a few years, the timbered areas will be regrown with young trees and a strong understory,” Foster explained when asked about the look of the camp, “and some areas will regenerate even faster, looking normal again in about a year.”

Our campsites now reflect an open concept while still providing ample coverage for shade and hanging hammocks. The open concept offers more room for games, group activities, and unit equipment inside the campsite. As a result, our campsites are also much grassier, giving the perfect bedding to pitch a tent.

There are further plans to continue improvements to the condition of the camp in the coming months. Over the winter, a seed mix will be spread on the hillside coming into camp, which will quickly grow and leaf out, restoring the natural beauty of our lakefront. Another round of trees will be received and planted in the spring, filling out what has already been replanted.

Camp Tuckahoe has come a long way in the past few months and it is beginning to look better than it ever has before. Consider spending a weekend at camp with your unit or making it your summer camp destination; we are excited to have you join us.

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