History of Camp Berry
Scouting first came to Hancock County in 1916. Two troops were formed and a year later, a third troop was added. Due to lack of leadership, the three troops were combined into two troops in 1918. Camping was done along the Blanchard River as well as Eagle Creek and Lye Creek.
Until 1925, troops planned their own camping trips and activities. In 1925, the council signed a lease for $60.00 per year to lease 10 acres of woods directly east and to the right of the main entrance of the current camp. In 1928, Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Berry (he was a vice president of The Ohio Oil Company) purchased 83 acres, which included the original 10 acres, and donated it in memory of a daughter that had died. The Berry Boy Scout Reservation was incorporated that year.
In 1930, the mess hall was constructed and was used for that purpose until 1948 - 1949. It was then renovated and now serves as the ranger’s home.
Swimming, boating, and canoeing were done on Eagle Creek directly behind the Health Lodge; a swimming pool and shower house were built by the WPA in 1937. A headquarters cabin and three overnight cabins were also built at this time.
In 1946 – 1947, a five year expansion was started. The Donnell Lodge was constructed, the three overnight cabins were moved and renovated, and several new cabins and five Adirondack shelters were constructed.
In the 1970’s, another expansion plan was started and more acreage was either donated or purchased to expand the camp from 80 acres to over 200 acres. It now is 360 acres. This plan called for the re-routing of Eagle creek and the building of a four-acre lake.
In 1992, a group of Scouters saw the need to do something about the condition the buildings were in and in general, a lot needed to be done to bring the camp up to what you see today. The Friends of Camp Berry group was formed in April of 1992 and has worked since then with repairing old facilities and equipment and building new facilities as well.
The lake was dredged several years ago and a new pond was formed with the sludge. All the cabins have been sand blasted inside, and renovated to clean them up. Every building has been painted and re-roofed, and the Adirondacks have been moved and six new ones built. A new shower house and a complete new septic system were constructed in 2000. The Woodsman cabin was torn down, and Howard Lodge was constructed on the site and dedicated on September 5, 1998. The Health Lodge, Training Center, and maintenance buildings have been remodeled and cleaned. Shelters and new latrines have been built in several campsites. Two new campsites have been constructed, and a third is in the planning stages. The Karl Edelbrock Nature Center was constructed in 1998 on a wildlife pond on the west side of camp. The Campmaster cabin and Ranger’s house have been remodeled and renovated in the past few years. Shelters have been added at each of the Shooting Sports areas. Donnell Lodge underwent a major renovation. In 2008 a room was added to Carson cabin and in 2009 a restroom facility was added to Scouter cabin. Donnell Lodge was expanded in 2014 and was back open for the start of the 2015 camping season.
Boy Scout Summer Camp
Merit Badges are a small part of the summer camp experience. The Merit Badge Program we offer will certainly jump start your youths’ scouting experience. At Camp Berry, there are many challenges for your youth; not all these challenges will be met, but the opportunity to fail in a controlled environment is an unforgettable learning experience. Not everything at camp is sugar coated but it will be memorable.
Be Prepared, it is the Boy Scout Motto and it the most important part of your units summer camp experience. Summer camp needs to be enjoyed by everyone including parents, leaders, and the summer camp staff. Our planning started at the close of camp last camping season and our training and program is based on all the good things you enjoyed last year. Your suggestions and requests have been thoughtfully considered to offer continuous improvement of our programs.
Three-fourths of the word 'Scouting' is 'Outing'. Weekend camping is available for in-council and out-of-council packs, troops and crews.