Dan Beard, one of the founding fathers of Scouting, has left a remnant of his past in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Dan Beard Outdoor School for Boys was located on the premises of what is now the Woodloch Pines Resort. It has been donated by the Kiesendahl Family to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, Boy Scouts of America to be erected at Goose Pond Scout Reservation. The school’s Headquarters cabin has been dismantled and is now in storage in Scranton.
We need help to raise enough dollars to re-assemble “Uncle Dan’s” cabin and have it become part of Boy Scout living history at Goose Pond. There is a strict deadline for re-assembly of the cabin, to ensure the stability of the original American Chestnut logs. If any of the logs deteriorate, there are no available replacement logs available in the United States. Today, the locally harvested logs are considered rare and extremely valuable.
Immortalize your son, his troop, your favorite Scout leader, Eagle Scout, service project, yourself, your family, or a family member. You can also place a paver “In Memory Of” someone special by purchasing one of the two differently sized pavers that will provide a walkway at the entrance to Dan Beard’s Cabin.
Be sure to visit the Scout Shop in the NEPA Council Service and Training Center after Summer Camp to become a Founding Member of the “Dan Beard Cabin Society”. For a donation of $1.00 or more you will receive a membership card and get to sign the “Fort Pitt Door” founder’s book which will be on permanent display at the Dan Beard Cabin once it is reassembled.
$500.00 + Donation will receive –
An original piece of log from the cabin with a brass plate.
$1000.00 + Donation will receive –
A laser printed log slice with a wooden plank base. Both pieces original to the cabin.
$2500.00 + Donation will receive –
A plaque with an original log slice and a brass plate.
$5000.00 + Donation will receive –
A Cabin picture mounted behind an etched original glass window pane in a frame made from original cabin wood.
Preserving this cabin, this piece of history has significant meaning not only to the early beginnings of the Boy Scouts of American, but to Daniel Carter Beard and his association with the Northeastern Pennsylvania region. His original summer home, Wildlands, burned down in 1961. The other buildings of the Dan Beard Outdoor School for Boys no longer exist or have been moved. That makes this Kiva style log cabin the last remaining part of Beard's Outdoor School. Relocating and keeping the cabin in the NEPA region is important to preserving not only this history but it is also a tribute to a beloved founder of the BSA, Dan Beard himself.
In 1887, Daniel Carter Beard and his brother James first purchased property on Lake Teedyuskung in Lackawaxen Twp, Pike County, PA. The property was eventually deeded in full to Dan Beard. He built a log cabin in 1887 known as Wildlands as a summer home. In 1916 The Dan Beard Outdoor School for Boys was incorporated and the summer camp program began to take shape.
Dan Beard met Abner McPheters at an outdoor conference and designs for an additional log cabin on his property in Lackawaxen Twp, were formulated. Abner McPheters was a outdoor guide, lumber operations manager, and cabin builder from Maine. A deal was struck and McPheters came from Maine with five loggers (two are known at this time as Little Joe and Elmer) to construct the Kiva style cabin in 1926. The cabin was built on the East side of Welcome Lake Road which is now owned by Woodloch Pines. The purpose of building a Kiva style cabin is that it is well suited to be used as a large assembly room. This Camp Headquarters cabin was designed for that purpose. It is a 28' x 30' rectangular log building with walls reaching to the steeply pitched roof. Joists were placed during the construction (see photo) on the top of wall girders in a N-S orientation to accommodate a hanging room known as the Orioles Nest, which was placed at right angles in a East West direction.
This nest was constructed to float on the rafters so as not to take away from the rooms spacious appearance. The floor of the second level is locked into place by a king post that runs from the roof’s ridgepole to the second floor joist and held in place by wooden pegs. It was effective in reducing vibration and springing of the floor. Stairs were built on the NW side of the room leading to the Orioles Nest. The loft is surrounded with a “U” shaped balcony referred to as a “Romeo and Juliet” balcony.
An extension with a lean-to style roof is located on the east side of the cabin and contains 4 small rooms to be used as bedrooms and offices. The desire was to maintain focus on the cabins’ use as an assembly room. A porch extends from the NW side and continues to the South side of the cabin. A stone fireplace with a puncheon mantel was constructed on the east side of the assembly room. To build it, they first constructed a open face wooden box to be used as a form for laying the stones. Once the stones were laid and chimney finished, a fire was set burning the wooden form from the fireplace.
The front door of the cabin was referred to as a “Fort Pitt” door. It was constructed by using small tree trunks with one side flattened (puncheons.) Each puncheon was attached together to make 2 panels. A frame was constructed and the panels attached to each side. These panel seams were offset and covered on the insides sealing the seams to reduce air seepage. The outside panel overlapped the frame to complete the seal when the door was closed. One of the Maine Loggers, Little Joe, forged the metal hinges in Hawley at a blacksmith shop and hand carved the latches and handles for the door.
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Council of the Boy Scouts of America was approached by representatives of Woodloch Pines Resort in Pike County Pennsylvania in the fall of 2009 concerning the possible donation of a log cabin that is on a property they purchased. They would like to use the property for purposes that requires the removal of the log cabin. The cabin was constructed by Daniel Carter Beard, a founding father of the Boy Scouts of America, for use at his camp. The cabin will be demolished and lost forever if it is not taken at this time.
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Council authorized the formation of a Dan Beard Cabin Committee to study the possibilities and ramifications of accepting the donation of the Dan Beard Cabin at its November 2009 Annual Meeting. The study, now complete, includes the historical importance of the Cabin, how the cabin will be used, the site location, estimated costs and possible fundraising ideas/sources.
The Executive Board of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, Boy Scouts of America after careful consideration and determination of findings has approved the reconstruction of the Dan Beard Cabin at Goose Pond Scout Reservation.
The building will be a multi-functional space with no one proposed use precluding the others. We believe that these uses are compatible with the cabin’s original uses by Daniel Carter Beard when it served as his camp headquarters building and will serve the Boy Scout program at Goose Pond Scout Reservation well.
The cabin will be located on a site between the Capouse campsite and the COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) course, on the lake side of the camp road. The cabin will be used as the headquarters of the "Pathways" Program for brand new Scouts at summer camp, Troop winter camping, Leadership Development Training Programs and events, meetings, and other special events such as Eagle Scout Ceremonies and Boards of Review. The cabin will include a small museum/interpretative area pertaining to Daniel Carter Beard and the History of the Cabin.
The construction will occur in three phases for funding purposes but may be constructed in a single phase if sufficient funds are secured. The construction is further subdivided into seven stages. The committee has engaged an experienced log cabin builder to estimate the costs of the reconstruction, which is estimated at a total of $207,250. It is anticipated that some of the work will be completed with volunteer labor, borrowed equipment and donated materials, which will reduce this cost. The first phase of the reconstruction may be completed for an estimated cost of $143,550.
It has been determined that funding for this project should not negatively impact the funding of normal operations of the Council. A number of potential funding sources have been identified. It has been determined that 110% of the funding required for any stage of construction be secured as cash before beginning that stage to ensure that the cabin project does not result in a negative impact on the Council’s debt position.
Extensive research has been accomplished on Daniel Carter Beard, his Pike County camp and the log cabin which has confirmed that this cabin was constructed at Dan Beard’s camp in 1926 and was used as the camp headquarters and meeting area. Some of the interesting historical significance of this cabin is presented in Appendix 1.
The cabin can be used for a number of non-conflicting, compatible uses. This requires that no singular use be implemented in such a manner as to preclude the other uses.
Possible uses of the cabin include:
Other uses were discussed and determined to be inappropriate due to the nature of the building or to its connection with Daniel Carter Beard, or incompatible to other preferred uses. Uses discussed and determined to be inappropriate include:
The log cabin will be located at the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council’s Goose Pond Scout Reservation located in Paupack Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Goose Pond is less than 15 miles from the current site of the log cabin and is the closest existing Boy Scout Camp to the former Dan Beard Camp. Goose Pond provides a setting where the best uses for the cabin can be realized. It was also determined that Goose Pond is in need of additional winter camping facilities, and an inclement weather program area during the summer camping season which this cabin will provide.
Within the Goose Pond property, a number of specific site locations for the building were discussed with the site located off of the camp road between the Capouse/Delaware campsite and the COPE course on the lake side of the road being selected. A map of the selected site is included in Appendix 2. The description of the location selected is as follows:
Cabin Site – is located between Capouse and COPE course on lakeside of the camp road. Recommended due to relatively gentle slope of the site, some woods, convenient location for summer camp program area, proximity to COPE course for possible use until a new building is constructed for COPE.
The log cabin has experienced some decline over the years. The logs are found to be in excellent condition, but the roof and porch decking require replacement. Woodloch has new roofing materials stored near the cabin and have agreed to donate them to the Council with the cabin. These materials have laid in storage for approximately two years and are being moved and stored properly in a new location at Goose Pond Scout Reservation.
Through research of the cabin, it has been determined that the cabin also had a lean-to roofed extension on the back and a loft area called the “Oriole’s nest” by Beard. The main effort shall be to reconstruct the main cabin and porch at Goose Pond. But it is also desirable to reconstruct the extension and the Oriole’s nest. Plans of the proposed cabin reconstruction noting the proposed three phases of the construction process is included in Appendix 3. The three phases are noted as follows:
Phase 1 – construction of the main cabin and porch. It also includes the foundation walls for Phase 2 and the one wall of the extension due to log jointing requirements. The cabin will be constructed on a spread footing foundation and crawl space. Foundation piers will provide support for the porch.
Phase 2 – construction of the lean-to extension. This space will provide four rooms. Two will provide separate winter sleeping areas for adults or women and be used as office/ program areas for summer camp. A third room provides kitchen space to eventually include a sink when water and sewer utility service is provided to this area of camp. The fourth area will initially be used as storage, but eventually be converted to a bathroom when water and sewer service is provided. The extension is constructed on a concrete foundation with a full basement storage space underneath for summer storage of winter camping equipment (e.g. cots) and winter storage of summer camp program supplies. The basement is day-lighted on the lake side of the structure for full access.
Phase 3 – Oriole’s Nest – The loft area known as the Oriole’s nest provides an interesting historic context given Beard’s authoring of a “Boy’s Life” magazine article pertaining to it in 1930. This phase of construction is the smallest but may pose the most challenges regarding construction methodologies, given that those employed in the initial construction are not adequate by today’s standards. A new beam and support design will need to be employed. The stairway to the nest is also challenging.
Construction may proceed with only Phase 1 and then have Phases 2 and 3 follow, or begin with Phases 1 and 2, or construct all 3 phases as once, depending upon the availability of funding.
The Committee has also recognized that the construction process may be further defined by smaller increments in order to meet the initial needs of securing and properly storing the available roofing materials, removing the building from its current site to meet Woodloch’s needs and beginning the process as soon as possible as sufficient funds are secured for each stage, instead of waiting for the total project funding to be in-place. Construction stages have been identified as follows:
Stage 1 – Secure and properly store the roofing materials donated by Woodloch
Stage 2 – Disassemble, move and store the cabin
Stage 3 – Site prep at Goose Pond Scout Reservation
Stage 4 – Construct Foundation
Stage 5 – Cabin construction Phase 1 (main cabin and porch)
Stage 6 – Cabin Construction Phase 2 (lean-to extension)
Stage 7 – Cabin Construction Phase 3 (Oriole’s nest)
Considerable effort has been made to estimate the probable cost of all labor, equipment and materials required to complete the project. The committee was fortunate to find an experienced log cabin contractor, The Cabin Doctor, who visited the site with committee representatives and provided multiple revisions to cost estimates as the construction requirements were defined and refined. A detailed estimate of costs is presented in Appendix 4. A summary of costs by Stages identified in the previous section of the report is as follows:
The committee has determined that funding for this project should not negatively impact the funding of normal operations of the Council. Suggested parameters for the Cabin’s funding plan are presented in Appendix 5. Possible sources for funds identified and discussed by the committee include:
10/09/2015 - 10/11/2015
DB - Fall Camporee
Silver Beaver Nominations Due
6:00 pm 10/09/2015 - 11:00 am 10/11/2015
TM - Fall Camporee
Columbus Day (regional holiday)
10/13/2015 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Council Executive Committee
10/13/2015 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
10/14/2015 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
TM - District Commissioners
10/14/2015 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
TM - District Committee
10/15/2015 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Council Membership Committee
8:00 am 10/17/2015 - 12:30 pm 10/18/2015
SM/ASM Outdoor Training