A tribute to our sister camp
In July 1945, the Massillon Area Boy Scout Council purchased the F. C. Nydegger property near Beach City, Ohio for $3,000 and, in 1946 the property was dedicated and formally named Camp Buckeye. The summer of 1946 was the first season for camping by the Boy Scouts. Through the remainder of the decade, the camp was also used by the Massillon Girl Scouts, the Massillon Boys Club and as a training camp for the Massillon Tiger Football Team.
In 1954, a central dining lodge became a reality with the construction Hunsinger Lodge. The following year, the Massillon Area Council held its first Ox Roast fund-raiser at Camp Buckeye.
In 1958, the camp became the property of the newly-formed Buckeye Council, when the Massillon Area Council and the McKinley Area Council merged. From 1959 to 1978, the Buckeye Council operated separate summer camp operations at the sister camps of Camp Buckeye and Camp Tuscazoar. Initially, Scouts camping at Buckeye were bused to Tuscazoar for their Pipestone camp honors ceremonies. Later, Pipestone ceremonies were conducted at Camp Buckeye as well.
Camp Buckeye played an important role in the formation of the Sipp-O Lodge, the Order of the Arrow lodge within the Buckeye Council. Sipp-O Lodge was officially chartered in January, 1948. The lodge’s first members were inducted in the summer of 1947 by a ritual team from Marnoc Lodge of the Akron Area Council. That first ceremony took place in a newly-constructed ceremonial ring in the northeast end of Camp Buckeye. Most of the charter members and those of the next several years were taken from the Camp Buckeye staff and Explorer Post 1.
In the early years, membership in Sipp-O Lodge was small but active. The first years of the lodge were so tenuous that it was reorganized in 1951 at Camp Buckeye. In 1953, the lodge held its first Brotherhood Ceremony, again at Camp Buckeye. The lodge’s early service to Camp Buckeye included assisting in the construction of a swimming pool, showerhouse and Hunsinger Lodge (the camp dining hall). The lodge also planted thousands of pine seedlings and set up and stored camp equipment.
After the Massillon Area Council and McKinley Area Council merged in 1958, the newly-formed Buckeye Council retained the Sipp-O Lodge.
When Camp Buckeye was closed in 1978 after its 33rd season, summer camp operations were consolidated at Camp Tuscazoar. Several new campsites including Logan, White Eyes, Mingo, Pueblo and Blackfoot were added at Camp Tuscazoar to accommodate the increased attendance for the 1979 summer camping season. Camp Buckeye was eventually purchased in 1984 by Grassroots Ministries. It was renamed the Camp Buckeye Retreat Center and remains a popular weekend camp for area scouts.
Camp Buckeye Retreat Center >
Source for much of this material: Challenge and Opportunity: The Buckeye Council Story by Kirk T. Albrecht
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Camp Buckeye Songs
I want to go back to old Camp Buckeye,
I want to go back to the camp I love,
‘Neath the sky so blue where you’ll find friends true.
Take me back to old Camp Buckeye
Where the moonbeams shine over campfires,
over teepees in a row, swimming in sunny weather,
stories by the campfires glow.
Repeat first verse…
Buckeye. Buckeye. Yea Buckeye!
To the tune of the Mickey Mouse Club theme:
Camp Buckeye, Camp Buckeye
Forever let us hold our banners high.
Now it’s time to leave our friends and all our company
CAM-See you all soon. PBU-you all come back now.
Source: Sippo-O Lodge Camp Songbook, 1976.