Camp Buckeye

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.

Hunsinger Lodge 1967
Hunsinger Lodge Dining Hall – 1967

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 flag retreat 1966
Camp Buckeye flag retreat – 1966

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.

Lost Campsite 1969
Lost Campsite – 1969

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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Photo Gallery

Camp Buckeye Nature Lodge 1961
Camp Buckeye Nature Lodge – 1961
Activity field and tower 1966
Activity field and tower – 1966
Hunsinger Lodge 1967
Hunsinger Lodge – 1967
Bridge across Bucky's Pond 1969
Bridge across Bucky’s Pond – 1969
Camp Entrance 1969
Camp Entrance – 1969
Rowing Merit Badge on Bucky's Pond 1970
Rowing Merit Badge on Bucky’s Pond – 1970
Camp Buckeye Ox Roast 1974
Camp Buckeye Ox Roast – 1974
Camp Buckeye staff 1976
Camp Buckeye staff – 1976
Camp Buckeye swimming pool 1976
Camp Buckeye swimming pool – 1976
Nature Lodge and Ecology Staff 1976
Nature Lodge and Ecology Staff – 1976
Trading Post and Quartermaster 1976
Trading Post and Quartermaster – 1976
Buckeye Staff plaque 1977
Buckeye Staff plaque – 1977
Hickory Cabin 1984
Hickory Cabin – 1984
Trading Post 1984
Trading Post – 1984

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!

Camp Tuscazoar’s mascot, Icky, and Camp Buckeye’s mascot, Bucky, sit side-by-side on the cover of this 1976 Buckeye Council songbook

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.