All Camp Trips

One of the highlights of the camp experience was going on the all-camp trips.  Over the years, new ones were added, and some were changed.

The activity involved the entire camp leaving BBC and going to a State Park or State Forest, often spending the night.  There would be a work crew to set up the sites.  Most also included a foray through one of the local cities to spend a little PX money.

This is a collection of information about many of those trips.  Since those days, many of the parks no longer have large group camping.  On a recent trip to BBC, I visited all of these locations and have included the pictures here.

These trips were a challenge. How do you get more than 100 people to a remote location?  The camp had an innovative approach to make this happen.  The camp would be broken up into multiple groups.  One group would be sent by vehicle while the other groups would start walking.  The first group would be dropped partway there and the vehicle would go back and get a second group. This relay process would continue until everyone was at the remote destination.

In my early days at camp, it was acceptable practice to pile kids in the back of the pickup truck and in the back of "Big Red" (somewhat like cattle). In the later years, when Massachusetts said that was not a safe practice, the camp was forced to buy a bus.

The camp had a number of army surplus tarps with wooden frames.  These would be set up as A-Frames by the work crew, with one set up for the kitchen.

Toland State Forest and Ida Hall's store in East Otis.

  • First time was mentioned in the BBC News in 1949.​

  • Two day trips were done in 1966.

  • The Beach in Toland State Forest:

Bash Bish Falls (located on the border between MA and NY)

  • First time was mentioned in the BBC News in 1955.​

  • Third trip was in 1966.

  • Overnight trip mentioned in the BBC News in 1967.

  • Overnight trip mentioned in the BBC News in 1968.

  • Last trip was in 1969.

  • The trip involved swimming in the river and exploring the park.

  • The camp was set up in a corn field.  Timing was such that we were able to eat corn on the cob that was picked that day.

  • Sadly, this was place where one of our BBC boys drown in the pool below the falls.

Mount Greylock State Reservation

  • First trip was in 1946.  Mentioned in the 1966 BBC News.

  • First time was mentioned in ​the BBC News in 1957.

  • Overnight trip mentioned in the BBC News in 1967.

  • The highest point in Massachusetts, this was also a highlight of the camp year.  There was a tower at the top of the mountain that was never open while I was at camp, but on a recent trip I was able to climb to the top

  • There was a 13-mile Appalachian Trail hike from the south.

  • There was also a 26-mile Appalachian Trail hike from the north, starting in Bennington Vermont.

  • This was also the destination of a 30-mile day-long road hike.

Pittsfield State Forest and the city of Pittsfield

  • First time was mentioned in ​the BBC News in 1957.

  • Thirteenth trip was in 1966.

  • Overnight trip mentioned in the BBC News in 1968.

Pittsfield State Forest Lulu Campsite (left) and Bishop Field Campsite (right)        

  • Monument Mountain

    • First time was mentioned in the BBC News in 1966.​
    • Day trip mentioned in the BBC News in 1967.

    • Day trip mentioned in the BBC News in 1972.

    • This was a mountain with many fractured pieces of granite that made many small caves.  We spent time hiking to the top of the mountain, and lost of time exploring and looking for caves.

    • The main worry for the campers was that you would come across a rattlesnake chilling in one of the caves.

    • Today, the side of the mountain is obscured by the trees and there are many signs that forbid climbing on the rocks.

DAR State Forest (CT)

  • Overnight trip started in 1970 through 1972.​

There was a stop in Great Barrington for one of these trips, a visit to Blueberry Hill, and I remember a trip to a town where were were swimming in the middle of town.

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Last Updated:  September 13, 2020