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Bill Dwyer: Memories of Camp in the 1940s


The Ad Altare Dei award

Three religious awards were recognized during the late 1940’s: The Ad Altare Dei award for Scouts of the Catholic faith, the God and Country award for Scouts of the Protestant faith, and the Ner Tamid award for Scouts of the Jewish faith.

I received my Catholic award in June of 1949 at a gathering at the seminary grounds by Bishop McVinney in Warwick.  It was presented to me as the first Scout in all of New England to ever receive it. I wear it proudly every Scout Sunday each year.

The mid 1950′s and the program called “ADVENTURE TRAILS”

After serving on Yawgoog’s staff for two years, I was called by Chief Williams for an important meeting in his Providence office.  I met a group of guys, some of which I knew. Chief talked about a new program for the ensuing summer.  Six outpost camps would be determined with a theme for each program.  For example, “Ashaway” for fishing and “Polaris” for star gazing.  My selection was “Camp Sourdough”.

Bill wearing his original Scout hat and merit badge sash

Bill wearing his original Scout hat and merit badge sash

Each “Hikemaster” would take a selected troop out into the woods for an overnight stay and conduct their specialty.  My program taught Scouts how to prepare and bake an apple pie over an open fire utilizing a Dutch oven. My outpost camp had an adjoining blueberry field. Needless to say, we baked many blueberry pies and not so many apple.  They always came out wonderful.

That summer was wonderful.  I had so many friends including Rod McGarry, Frank Dutra, Dick Guindon, J. Ross McAnna, Tom Whittingslow and many more.

Though I cannot find any old photos from my Scouting career, I did find my original Scout hat that I wore on my first week at Yawgoog in 1949. I also found my merit badge sash.  I’ve kept them for 67 years.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this,


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Hopkinton, RI 02873