In 1922, Scout Executive Ray Zaner conceived the idea that Scouts might honor all deceased Scouts and Scouters of the council and those of national stature by planting a living memorial tree on the campus of Camp Ganoga. Zaner, a poet himself, later admitted to being influenced toward the idea by the poem written years earlier by Joyce Kilmer. The poem remained with the Chief as one of his personal favorites.
During subsequent years, many memorial trees were planted at Camp Ganoga, in memory of deceased Scouts. In 1945, however, when the old camp was closed by the council, the memorial tree planting practice was discontinued for a few years, while council camping activity was switched temporarily to Camp Conewago near New Oxford.
When Camp Tuckahoe was constructed and opened in 1948, Chief Zaner once again suggested the idea of a memorial tree planting service and the tradition, after a few years’ break, was continued. The memorial trees at Ganoga were too large to transplant to the council’s new camp, but the altar made of 12 field stones, each lettered with one of the scout laws, was brought from the Ganoga Chapel and re-erected about two-thirds of the way up the newly constructed mall at Camp Tuckahoe.
The original altar, now at Camp Tuckahoe, is topped with a monument of bronze tablets containing the story of the original memorial trees and the names of all the Scouts and Scouters who were memorialized by trees at Camp Ganoga.
The building at the top of Memorial Mall at Tuckahoe was built by a group of Scouts to honor Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, one of the chaplains who gave his life at the sinking of the ship, “Dorchester.” Rabbi Goode was a registered Scouter with the York-Adams Area Council at the time of his heroic death.
The chapel building and the memorial tree planting survive as living memorials to the York and Adams County Scouts and Scouters who have died during the council’s history.
Dave Glatfelter, a prominent figure in council Scouting, particularly the present-day Venturing program, took a great interest in the mall during his lifetime, and at his death he made a generous bequest for the continued maintenance of the area.
The Memorial Mall service at Camp Tuckahoe continues to be an important annual summertime ceremony in the New Birth of Freedom Council.
Click on any of the pictures in the gallery to view a larger image and caption.