[Scouts at Campsite], 1912, V1981.284.636; Emmanuel House lantern slide collection, ARC.136; Brooklyn Historical Society.
The photo of the week depicts a group of scouts at a campsite in Forest Park in Queens, during the spring of 1912. A Brooklyn Daily Eagle article
printed a week before this photograph was taken describes Forest Park as the site for a scout rally, skills test, and program. “Next Saturday, the individual scouts who are ready for their firebuilding test will be examined by the scout masters on some features of actual camp life, such as cooking, lighting fires, etc., at Forest Park. This is part of the examination toward the grade of second class scout, a comprehensive test which includes as well a certain amount of first aid work.”
The scout movement began in England around 1908, inspired by the publication of Scouting for Boys, which emphasized the support and development of young people through outdoor and survival skills. By 1910, several youth organizations in New York formed scout troops based on this model, and the Boy Scouts of America was established. What began with roughly 2,000 U.S.- based scouts has grown to millions today.
This photograph comes from the Emmanuel House lantern slide collection. This collection contains 87 slides dating from 1900 to 1914 that depict children at the Emmanuel House, their activities and interior and exterior shots of the building. The Emmanuel House was located at 131 Steuben Street in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. It was run by the Young Men’s League of the Emmanuel Baptist Church as a civic center and place of outreach, offering kindergarten classes and recreational classes to children in the neighborhood. To see more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.
Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org