Camp Hinds 
Raymond Maine, USA 

Here is a record of Keith Nixon's time as International Camp Staff at Camp Hinds, Maine, USA.

It all started with the engineering firm I was employed at closing. So I was unemployed.

After a few crappy jobs I decided to reply to an advertizement in Scouting magazine asking for International Camp Staff for 1986 in the USA. You applied and the BSA sent you where you were needed. I'm not sure of the process stateside but I ended up being told I was to go to Camp Hinds, Raymond, Maine.

After much preparation I stood at the departure gate of London Heathrow awaiting my TWA flight to Boston. And now the fun starts.

I was to meet my contact at Boston Airport but on arrival there was no-one. I or he was at the wrong gate. I waited three hours but no one arrived. I tried to phone but had no reply from my contacts. So it was up to me to find my own way there.

I was a Scout and that's what we do. I'd catch the train to Portland and take it from there. Except there are no passenger trains from Boston to Portland at that  time only Greyhound buses. So bus it was. I found my way across Boston to the Greyhound bus terminal and caught a bus north to Portland Maine.

I arrived at Portland bus terminus late in the evening. I tried to phone my contacts again. First one...nothing. Second...nothing. I had one more, the camp itself. Luckily someone answered. If they had not I had planned to start walking, it couldn't be far. Could it?

Glen Gisel, camp ranger, answered the phone suprised. They had thought I had not come. There was someone at the airport after all. I told them I was at the bus station and they said they were on their way to pick me up. I told them I was nipping over to Burger King to get something to eat. I hadn't eaten since getting off the plane. So I sat and waited...and waited...and waited. No one came. Then at half past ten Glen's pick up drove across the parking lot.

"I'm sorry," said Glen, "I went to the jetport. When I called home again they said you were in Burger King. There is no BK at the Jetport. We put two and two together and worked it out". We drove back to the camp and I crashed out. I'd been up twenty three hours.

Portland Greyhound Bus terminal at dusk....alone.

Judy & Glen Gisel

The training centre.

The main gate to Camp Hinds.

Constructing the F dock during staff week.

Wilderness cabin

Wilderness cabin with the  CBs fixing the roof.

Cub camp.
Bud MacNamara, who ran the rifle range.

The F dock and swimming area. You could only enter the water if you had a buddy (buddy system). Every few minutes a bell would ring and a call 'buddy up' was made. You then counted pairs to the number of tokens on the board. If they did not tally you got LBD (Lost Bather Drill) and every one had to assemble in front of the tower to be counted. All staff had to report to the swimming area and check the water for drowned scouts. It always ended with some embarrassed Scout emerging from a corner having forgotten to tell anyone he'd left the F dock and remove his token. He would be banned from swimming for a day.

Ray (The Bear) LeClare outside Boone cabin

A weeks worth of Scouts that ended up in Wilderness campsite.

Iron man triathlon. All troops put in a team. You had one person swim a section, one canoe and one run (me!!).  My trunks are on Tom Swift who is second from right at the start. He thought it might gain him an advantage.


Tom Swift emerging from the water with my trunks on.

Pioneering base near Boone pump house.

Another view of Scoutcraft from Boone Cabin.

Retreat at the end of day. Everyone, except me, salutes the US flag... I'm British and we have our own.

The trading post.
Inside the trading post, where you could buy stuff to make things like Indian headgear, a leather pouch or buy sweets (candy).

You could also buy Slush Puppies. Paul and myself decided to try mixing them to see what other flavours we could make. Our best was a green one (shown here) which we called a Tenny River after the Tenny River which is a couple of hundred metres behind me taking the photo.

Here are a group of Scouts on top of Rattlesnake mountain, just north of camp.

Some more building a camp gate.

There was always a campfire at the end of the week. Here is Marty Kadel with a man claiming to be a munchkin.

Occasionally them pesky injuns would turn up.
Keith lead a song - Peeeeeeeeeeering from the window....
...of the first floor, was a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuman face.
Marty Kadel does some disco dancing while Ray LeClare hands out the leader neckerchiefs.
At the end of the campfire the staff would sing mellow songs and patriotic tunes.  Then we sang a song about a muffin man and all went to bed.

It's July 25th and for some reason, best known only to others, it was Christmas day. So we decorated the cabin with drinks cans.

Marty Kadel holding up a leaning tree.

Trail to Eagle week. Here are some Eagle Scout candidates.

Some staff members milling about aimlessly.

If it was you birthday you got 'paddled'. Here is a bloke over 7 foot tall being wacked by the tiniest scout in camp that week.

The dining hall. On the ceiling was nailed all the plaques of different troops over the years. Mine is up there too.

The rec hall building and camp truck unloading some wood.

It was a long summer and occasionally the medication failed to work.

Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. (Erlane Sargent). She was camp nurse.

The terrarium. This was Dean Zaharis's empire. It was a sort of natural habitat surrounded by a moat. If anyone found anything interesting they could imprison it here. In the moat was a couple of bass that Dean ate at the end of camp.

At the end of each week we held the 'Alfred E Newman' award. Anyone making a blunder could be nominated and we all voted on who got it. I was nominated for traumatising a cub during a camp fire with a ghost story. I claimed I should get a medal not critisised. They agreed and someone else got it.
This bloke got it because he took the speed boat out on the lake and the engine fell off the back into the water.

Order of the arrow.
Wayne Holden with a beard you could hide a badger in, plus OA sash.
Dale Barter in his bed. I have wired it into the power main to try and jolt some movement and life into him.
The bugler boy. He made such a mess of the cabin with half eaten pizza and played some crappy soft rock ballad over and over again till we threw him out of the cabin.
My nice neat bunk with double matress on top. Terry Fellows slept below.

Tenny Bridge over the Tenny River.

Aquatics week.

Rory Putnam.


Tom Swift with an orienteering marker on his head.

Steak night and some of the staff dressed up in odd suits they had perloined from somewhere.

More injuns.


For some obscure reason, I am up a tall bendy tree.

Scout Arch as Scouts leave at the end of the week. at Retreat.
At the very end of camp, after the final Retreat, all the staff jumped into the lake with their uniform on.

Marty Kadel on a Cub Scout Recruitment drive. Here, he is taking names and addresses..
For more info about Keith you may visit his site: 
1st Brantham 'Panthers' Venture Scout Unit
He would love you to sign their guestbook.

Note: This is an external website and is not part of the Friends Of Hinds website.

Page design and layout by:
Dean B. Zaharis
Created: October 22, 2008
Last Update: November 7, 2008
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