Kanes Open 1928-1956

Kanes Open FeltKanes Open located in Tallman (near Suffren), NY. It was acquired in 1928 from a donation from the John P. Kane Estate to the Boy Scout Foundation of Greater New York. The donation was to be used to establish and maintain a weekend camp for Boy Scouts under the jurisdiction of the Manhattan Council of NYC.

The camp included both tent and cabin sites with single and double-deck cots and straw ticks. Heat was provided by coal heaters and cooking in oil or coal burning cooking stoves.

While the camp was used primarily as a week-end camp, during World War II and its gasoline rationing, it was also used a summer camp do to its closer proximity to NYC. A full summer camp program was held at the camp including waterfront, handcraft and naturalist. This camp did not have a lake, but used a pool.

During this time, Kanes Open also had a Kanes Open Scout program similar to the TMR Scout program. Due to the smaller size of the camp and the limited years it was used as a summer camp, these Kanes Open Scout patches are much more difficult to find than the equivalent TMR Scout patches.

Kanes Open - KO FeltTo those who attended, the camp was affectionately known as KO. This is shown in one of the early felt issues from the camp.

The camp was eventually closed as a Scout camp in 1956 and sold by GNYC in 1969 and is in use today as the Spook Rock Town Golf Course.

Information for this post was derived from the information Sheet on Kanes Open from the GNYC 12 Short-Term Camp CSP Series and Summer Camp! by David Malatzky.

8 thoughts on “Kanes Open 1928-1956

  1. I remember going to a Campground called KANES OPEN in suffolk county in the early 50’s. I belonged to troop 312 from Brooklyn N.Y. and we went camping all over. I remember this campsite having alot of Birch trees, leantoo’s and some cabins.The weekend we were there it was so cold all of our eggs froze. If anyone could remember excatly where it was, would you please list the location.
    Thankm you

  2. The camp was located in Tallman, N.Y. / Rockland County / on Spook Rock Road/ My uncle was a Scoutmaster there Henry Brightenback.

  3. I grew up on Spook Rock Golf Course and am looking for information about a gentleman named Henry Schwartz. From what I understand the golf course was built on Kane’s Open, but I think part of the property used to belong to Mr. Schwartz. I grew up playing in the woods on Mr. Schwartz’s abandoned property and am interested in finding any pictures there may be of the place. It was a huge part of my childhood and so far have not come up with any images. If you have any information that would be helpful I would be incredibly grateful. Thank you!

  4. We were shipped off to camps every Summer during WW2; Kane’s Open was one of the better ones. Lots of campfires and ghost stories and other good stuff. The camp even had a song; can’t remember the words after 70 some years, but they were set to the tune “Linger Awhile”. Just one line comes back through the years: “The hills and the mountains surrounding KO…..”

  5. When I played golf at Split Rock I noticed a hand drawm large map of Kanes Open Scout Camp on the wall of the Starter’s office. I did my O.A. ordeal at Kanes Open many moons ago.

  6. I spent some of my memorable camping trips at Kanes open after 70 years for what wver reason I thought about it.. Life was easier in those days and I was inoto photography then and after shooting a party on Sat nite I hitched a ride to Sufferen and walked into the area where my frinds had gone for weekend. I throughly enjoyed these sessions.

  7. KANES OPEN BOY SCOUT CAMP is where I grew up. My Dad Ranger Hank Brightenback ran the camp. Oh GOD do I ever remember those days. I have much memorabilia from there. My Dad went over and above for these joint men. When school closed up my brother Ron and I spent the entire season down in the camp with many of the Scout Masters. Great food great times . Thank you Mom and Dad . By the way my Mother was the Den Mother of the Cub Scouts in Tallman New York.

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