The number of area Boy Scouts who spent part of their summers at Camp Potomac may run into the tens of thousands.
It’s a tradition that goes back more than 60 years. There, on a 114-acre tract near Oldtown, boys learned life lessons about teamwork, responsibility and other values that they continue to rely on as adults ... and they had a lot of fun.
More than 360 of them went last year to Camp Potomac, which no longer host summer camp — although it will remain open for some Scout programs and rental by other organizations.
Scouts who wish to attend summer camp will now have to go to Farmington, Pa.
Scout Executive Doug Olson of the Scouts’ Potomac Council, which operates the camp, said finances, as well as a desire to provide a better camping experience, are what drove the decision. He said opportunities not available at Camp Potomac can be had at the 2,000-acre Heritage Reservation, which is affiliated with Laurel Highlands Council.
That no doubt will be the case. Still, for many men of all ages who once came to love Camp Potomac, there will be a tang of nostalgia, the memory of something good that will be no more.
What happened there? Consider this, taken from the 2012 Camp Potomac Leader Guide:
Camp provides a setting in which a boy can learn the following, through example and practice:
• A sense of duty to himself and his community.
• A feeling of responsibility for his acts and the need for self-control.
• The ability to stand on his own two feet, self reliance and personal confidence.
• Knowledge of and ability to use leadership skills.
• A willingness to assume leadership when qualified.
• The ability to manage emergencies.
• A willingness, and skills needed, to help others.
• A knowledge of healthful living and personal fitness.
• An understanding of the interdependence of people of all races, creeds, and cultures.
• The recognition of his partnership with God.
Those who of us who once went to Camp Potomac can say that’s just what happened.