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MTC - Camp Minsi
About
Camp Minsi
Camp HistoryCamp Minsi at the Delaware Water Gap

“When the old stone face of Mount Tammany looked southward in 1919, it beheld a group of
pioneer scouts marching under full camping equipment along that long, long trail which winds
along the glimmering shores of the Delaware River. Onward, ever onward, floated the flag of
the Bethlehem Scouts until a place of such magnificence and splendor was reached that the
party automatically halted and made camp. To this very day, eight years later, we still hold to
the picturesque spot as our summer headquarters.” – Kamp Minsi Kronicle, August 9, 1926


The Kamp Minsi Kronicle was a one-page weekly paper written by the Scouts, distributed at the
camp, and published in the Bethlehem Globe Times during the summer. The quote above is
arguably one of the most important quotes the paper ever published, for it succinctly
summarizes our humble beginnings. A group of young Scouts, only nine years after the
formation of the organization, were out on a hike and found a place they could finally call home.
They leased the land from the Philadelphia Trust Company and called the place Camp Minsi. i

The camp was on the New Jersey side of the Delaware river at the Gap near the base of Mount
Tammany. Across the river, on the PA side, stood the majestic Mount Minsi, for which the camp
was named. ii The mountain is named in honor of the Minsi tribe of the Leni Lenape.

The Bethlehem Area Council was formed in 1917 by a few good Bethlehem businessmen who
saw the value of the program and believed the local boys needed to be organized. Prior to 1919,
Bethlehem Scouts, and indeed Scouts from the entire Lehigh Valley, had no permanent camping
grounds to call their own. Prior to the formation of the Bethlehem Area Council, there were no
organized Scout Councils in the Lehigh Valley at all. Many Scout troops formed temporarily for
the sole purpose of camping. Early in the movement Rev. A. D. Thaeler ran the city’s first troop
out of the Central Moravian Church. However, it was a temporary troop. The first official troop
was Troop 1, organized at the Pro-Cathedral Church of the Nativity in 1914. Later, Rev. Thaeler
chartered his troop, which became Troop 2. iii


In 1918, the council hired its first executive, Leon John Argetsinger. Mr. Argetsinger was good at
his job and soon the Troop numbers were growing. Realizing they needed a place for the boys to
camp, Chief Argetsinger and the Council started looking for a camp. It didn’t take long for them
to find the spot along the Delaware in 1919. They settled in and remained there for eight
summers.


In 1925, Mr. Argetsinger resigned to take a job in Omaha, Nebraska. Jessie Jay “J. Jay” Wilcox
was hired to take his place. He served as Council Executive for thirty-seven years, retiring in
1962. iv


i The Bethlehem Globe Times, July 3, 1919, Pages 1 & 3, Bethlehem Boy Scout Camp to Be Called Camp Minsi

ii The Bethlehem Globe, July 29, 1919, Page 1, Forty-Eight Boys at Camp Minsi

iii The Morning Call, December  20, 1941, Page 52, Start Scouting with Eight Boys

iv The Morning Call, September 11, 1962, Page 8, J. Jay  Wilcox to Retire Oct. 1

 

 

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 MORE....

PROFESSIONAL OFFICE HOURS OF OPERATIONS:
(610) 264-8551
10 AM – 5 PM (Monday  – Friday)
Closed Saturday & Sunday

 

SCOUT SHOP HOURS OF OPERATIONS:
(610) 264-8551
10 AM - 5 PM  (Monday-Friday)
10 AM - 2 PM (Saturday)
Closed Sunday

FOR SERVICE CENTER CLOSURES - REVIEW COUNCIL CALENDAR 
 

ADDRESS
991 Postal Road, Allentown, PA 18109