Kamp Kamargo

Kamp Kamargo

Jefferson-Lewis Council


Lake Bonaparte, Harrisville, New York

Kamp Kamargo consisted of 41 acres of land with 150 feet of shoreline on the south shore of Lake Bonaparte near Harrisville, NY.

The photo below shows the swimming area back in the 1920’s.

Swimming area at Kamp Kamargo

Photo courtesy of Henry Watkins

The following reminiscence about what it was like at Kamp Kamargo was provided by Frank Cook:

During the years 1933 through 1937, I was a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 15, sponsored by the Watertown North Side Improvement League, that attended Kamp Kamargo on Lake Bonaparte each summer for one week usually in August. Clayton Inginson was the Jeff-Lewis Council “Chief” and usually welcomed all scouts to Kamargo & coached scout “leaders” during their stay.

Some of my memories of Kamp Kamargo include long distance swimming to Birch Island & return; building a nature center; finding the insects, artifacts, rocks, plants, etc. for displays; boating activities – canoes; and most interesting, the council (all troops participated); and evening campfires with entertainment by talented scouts & leaders. One of my most vivid memories was washing up off the dock. As a son of Hungarian immigrants, we had only homemade soap & some of the other boys brought very sweet smelling soap to camp. I can remember that smell to this day.

Kamp Kamargo helped me learn to love the outdoors.

Main camp area, c 1923

Photo courtesy of Royal Schwendy

The photo above shows the main camp area circa 1923. This was back when the BSA used actual buglers for bugle calls. You can see from the tents below that they were completely different from the style used today. The picture below also shows what appears to be sleeping gear drying in the sun.

Sleeping gear

Photo courtesy of Royal Schwendy

With the spread of summer residence on the lake as well as the need for a larger camp to respond to expanded scouting needs the camp was sold in 1947 and now lives in our memories and photos.