For 85 years, Camp Olmsted has served area Boy Scouts.
On Sunday, scouts paid homage to the camp's namesake. They hiked from the Betts Scout Service Center to George Olmsted's gravesite in Oakland Cemetery where they laid flowers.
Dan Wolboldt, who serves as a scout master, district commissioner and advisor, said scouts all across the country know Olmsted's name. He served as chairman of the Boy Scouts of America National Camping Committee.
Times Observer photo by Colin Kyler
Scouts with a sign thanking George Olmsted are pictured left to right, front row: Brystan Turner, Sawyer Lawson and Owen Welker; back row: Daniel Welker, Cole Chimenti, Brady Etter, Hunter Seelinger, Tristian McKee, Colton Garris, Nick Ditz and Nick Cook.
"We thank the Olmsted family for their contributions," Wolboldt said. "They will continue to be felt for generations to come."
The first 100 years of Boy Scouts were awesome, Wolboldt said. Now they're looking forward to the next 100.
Kevin Bonner, Cornplanter Council scout executive, said the whole Olmsted family pitched in to create the camp, and scouts are grateful for what they did.
"Olmsted's contributions are probably bigger than we can measure," Wolboldt said.
Organizers were trying to get together a group of people to create the camp. Although Olmsted wasn't in the area at the time, Wolboldt said he wired a message he would pay for it if they couldn't find funding.
Each year, Wolboldt said, Olmsted would give area scouts Christmas gifts. They might have been Boy Scout wool blankets or Boy Scout backpacks.
Oftentimes, Wolboldt said, these items can be found in collections of Boy Scout memorabilia. A lot of scouts who couldn't otherwise afford the gear got it.
"Adults would complain because he didn't give them gifts but only the children," Wolboldt said.
In 1926, Olmsted was on the council's executive board when they wanted to start the camp. Wolboldt said the camp has the most challenging terrain of any scout camp, with the exception of Philmont in New Mexico.
From the water's edge, Wolboldt said it's a 3-mile hike to the ranger house. By the time they leave, scouts are necessarily in shape.
It is also a primitive camp. There are few flush toilets, Wolboldt said, which is fine from the point of view of kids.
With Venturing as part of the Boy Scouts program and accepting female participants between ages 14 and 21, Wolboldt said the camp can be challenging as they would prefer flushing toilets. But for an 11-year-old boy, it is quite an adventure.
"The Olmsted family legacy lives on," Wolboldt said.