Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp


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Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Kchi (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: February 14, 2011 09:26AM

As a Cub Scout in the 60's, we used to have a annual event in the Fall at Fort Dearborn Boy Scout camp near O'hare airport. We would gather wood and build a big bonfire sing songs, roast marshmallows, and drink hot chocolate.

I was too young to remember much about the camp, but I remember seeing cabins there. Does anybody remember this camp from earlier days. I would have to assume that this camp was built years before the buildup of the airport and the surrounding suburbs. I can't believe, if the camp still existed that they would allow open fires.

What was the exact location of the camp? Does it still exists? If not when did it close and what happened to the land.

Later as a Boy Scout, I remember camping at Kiwanis,Crete and Owassippi.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: WayOutWardell (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 14, 2011 09:50AM

The entrance is on Higgins Road, just east of River Road. My dad used to talk about camping there and pointed it out to me whenever we passed it. Up until a few years ago, the Camp Fort Dearborn sign was still over the entrance, but I think it's gone now, although it looks like it's still Forest Preserve land. I'm headed that way this morning, so I'll check for you.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: tseals (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 14, 2011 10:11AM

Blackhawk! GO! Troop 920// Cub scout pack 3920. Those were the daze..Also YORKVILLE

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: WayOutWardell (63.226.79.---)
Date: February 14, 2011 08:26PM

Passed by the camp today...it's on the north side of Higgins just east of the Des Plaines River. The entrance has a yellow gate and is overgrown now.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: SmoothRT (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: February 19, 2011 03:28PM

A little off-topic, but you mentioned Camp Owassippe. That camp is still there and run by the Chicago Area Council. Even though it is in Michigan, the run it on CST due to all of the Chicago-area campers there. I was there as a camper and have gone a couple times in recent years in the fall for personal camping. It is still great.

Camp Hoover is sadly gone, but I believe Camp Lakota is still running in far northern Illinois, as is Napowan in Wisconsin (other popular BSA camps for Chicagoland scouts).

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 22, 2011 08:17PM

Anybody know about Camp Harrison in Dolton, Illinois? My first camping was there in Oct 1948. It I think was on Chicago Road. No cabins or buildings and we camped out in pup tents.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: ChiTownJim (---.public.wayport.net)
Date: October 15, 2011 08:06AM

I was in Boy Scouts in the early '80s and I remember going to Fort Dearborn for a few Scout functions such as helping out with Day Camp. I don't seem to recall any cabins. I also remember Camp Hoover and Kiwanis where we used to hike to the Little Red Schoolhouse and hike the trails.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: geffertz (---.albq.qwest.net)
Date: October 18, 2011 09:55PM

I was in the Boy Scouts in the early 60's, and I remember spending a cold winter night in a cabin at Dearborn. Our troop didn't usually camp in the winter, so this was notable. I can't remember much detail, except that there was snow on the ground.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 20, 2011 08:33PM

What about Camp Kiwanis in Willow Springs, Illinois?

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Bruce Kelleher (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 06, 2011 01:37PM

Went to both Camp Harrison and Camp Ft. Dearborn in the 50s and 60s. Have a site on facebook for our troop called...Troop 64 - St. Bonnies/Chicago, IL circa 1960..Have quite a few pics posted of Camporees/jamborees/Pow Wows. Check them out and us. Richard, we also went to Harrison. SW Chicago somewhere. Went to Kiwanis too in Willow Springs. Summer camp in 58 & 59 and then graduated to Oweasippe. Great fun and still in touch with guys I've been able to locate. Had a reunion a few weeks back at Malnattis in Schaumburg. I encourage all to look for the old friends of your scouting days..they're out there..maybe on facebook.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Bruce Kelleher (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: November 06, 2011 01:41PM

Also went to a survival weekend at Camp Crete. I think it was some land a farmer let the scouts use back in the day. Used to compete against the Post from the Midwest Buhdist Temple in those years. Our specialty was building rope bridges at all Lincoln Park Council campouts.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Stae11078 (---.lightspeed.cicril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 16, 2012 02:49AM

When I was last there in '61 there was a cabin and the entrance was on the west side of Torrance in Dolton. Also camped at Fort Dearborn

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: August 16, 2012 05:20PM

I'm glad to see that somebody remembers camp harrison and kiwanis.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Bruce Kelleher (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: September 07, 2012 12:49PM

What Troops were you guys in? We always had a great competition with some Explorers from the Midwest Buddist temple in our day. Ft. dearborn PowWow comes to mind. Have some patches posted on our Troop 64/St. Bonaventure group on facebook. Lots of pics too....

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: September 09, 2012 08:16PM

I was with throop 468 of SS Cyrils parish also joined The see scouts at St augustine on 5oth & laflin. That was ship 5480. We did a lot of sailing on lake michigan in the summer.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: rjmachon (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: September 10, 2012 04:38AM

I was in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in the 1960's. My troop was out of St. Sylvester's Parish in Chicago. The number of the troop was 3061 for Cub Scouts and Troop 61 for the Boy Scouts. In the Boy Scouts we went camping every month, rain or shine, warm or cold. Our Boy Scout leader was a US Marine Reservist. I remember camping at Fort Dearborn, Yorkville, Camp Owassippe, White Pines State Park and other places as well. What a great time I had, and my Dad was happy to get me out of the house as well for the weekend.

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: Bruce Kelleher (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: September 11, 2012 12:13PM

Ft. Dearborn was great because it was so close....went to White Pines only once but loved it. Kiwanis, Harrison were mainstays too. The Crete camp in our day was just a few acres of farmland that the owner allowed the scouts to use. Lots of Poison Ivy as I recall. Not as much as Indiana Dunes tho. We had an instance where the farmer had a horse(pinto) that fell in love with one of our leaders and pursued him everywhere. One morning we awoke to the clop, clop clop of horseshoes only to see the horse looking for the guy. He was sleeping in a hammock between a couple trees and the horse stuck his nose in and started nuzzling the guy. Really freaked him out..

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Re: Fort Dearborn Boy Scout Camp
Posted by: billschr (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: November 02, 2013 09:22AM

Just found this website and it brought back some pleasant memories.
Spent many Boy Scout weekends at Fort Dearborn in the 40's. Enjoyed pup tents in the summer and cabins in the winter. Earned my Hikers merit badge hiking to FD from my house (14 mi). Went to Owassippi for area jubilees.

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