Keep Camp Babcock-Hovey BSA Open!

Keep Camp Babcock-Hovey BSA Open!

June 11, 2022
Signatures: 2,219Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Michael Kirsch

Hello Scouts, Scouters and Non-Scouters/Scouts at heart,

My name is Michael Kirsch, I'm 14 years old and I am currently a Life Scout out of Troop 60 in Victor, NY. There is a scout camp called Camp Babcock-Hovey in Ovid, NY right on the bank of the beautiful Seneca Lake which is a part of the famous Finger Lakes. It has been open for 85 years and our council, Seneca Waterways Council (SWC), has put up a motion to sell this camp. I would like your support to keep this camp open

Why should you support this petition?  Here are some reasons:

Camp Babcock-Hovey has offered both Cub Scouts Resident Camp and Scouts BSA Resident Camp.  It is the only SWC camp of the three that does this.  It is also significantly closer to our  council’s territory than Massawepie (the other Scouts BSA camp).  This makes parents more comfortable with their children’s first experience away from home.  It also has better communication with wifi and cell service; the other two council camps do not have this creating safety concerns.

Camp Babcock-Hovey is ADA approved, and a camp for differently-abled people is held there annually called ONSEYAWA. I have seen many differently-abled scouts go to this camp program and have had life changing experiences there.

Friends and I had planned to work at Hovey this Summer for our first working experience. We all have other commitments that conflict with the distance and time commitment required to work at Massawepie.  For example, it is much more difficult to visit home on the weekend, or commit to sports or other scholastic activities that start ramping up in early August.

There are many Troops that are out of council that come to Camp Babcock-Hovey annually as many of their own camps have closed. Closing Hovey will also impact others out of our council as well.

There was a lack of proper communication on SWC’s plans. We were promised that when the Summer program at Hovey was canceled, they claimed there were no plans to sell Hovey whatsoever. I feel very betrayed. I had high hopes for the future with this camp, but all of those things might go away. Programs like Top Shot, Challenge Trophy Camporee (attended by hundreds of Scouts from the US and Canada), and others may go away if Hovey gets sold.

I've been going to Camp Babcock-Hovey since I was 5 years old and a Tiger Scout attending the camps Cub Resident Camp program in 2014. I attended the Cub camp until I crossed over to Boy Scouts where I have attended the Boy Scout camp and even staffed a Cub camp for a year. I've led many younger scouts on numerous campouts here and taught many life lessons and life long memories. I've completed my OA Ordeal and earned my Brotherhood there and attended my first Conclave there. So many memories and so many more memories to make. More memories might not be made there and younger Scouts may not be able to learn the lessons I did if this camp gets closed.

I am going to Massawepie this Summer, but my troop has seen a 50% decline in Summer Camp attendance due to the distance and other concerns about Massawepie, especially with the younger Scouts, and also adult leaders. If young Scouts don’t have a Summer Camp experience like I’ve had, they may not stay in Scouts.

In conclusion, please, on behalf of many scouts, don't close Babcock-Hovey. And if you've had memories of this camp whether it was your child or yourself feel free to share them in the "Reasons Why" section.


Michael Kirsch

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Signatures: 2,219Next Goal: 2,500
Support now