Community Life

Caldwell’s Boy Scout Troop 3 Enjoys Successful Week at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco

Caldwell Troop 3 scouts and troop leaders, 2013, at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in Blairstown, NJ Credits: Bill Styskal

WEST CALDWELL, NJ - Caldwell’s Boy Scout Troop 3 completed a successful trip to Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in Blairstown during the first week of August. The 28 scouts were joined on the trip by Roseland residents, Scoutmaster Jerry Groome and Assistant Scoutmaster, Bill Styskal. Also taking part of the trip was Boy Scout Troop 6 out of Caldwell. Meeting up with the campers were 16 other troops from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Credit: Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco

Troop 3
Troop 3, Caldwell, is an official Boy Scouts of America (BSA) troop under the Northern New Jersey Council. It was established in 1917 and currently holds its meeting at the Caldwell United Methodist Church.

Credit: Bill Styskal

Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco
From Aug. 4 to 10, the young men stayed at the 380-acre camp to work on various aspects of their progression to the rank of Eagle Scout. Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco borders the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Kittatinny Ridge and has operated since 1927. The camp is privately owned by the Boys Scouts and is not open to the public. The camp is very rustic and no electronic communication devices are permitted for the camper’s use; scout leaders are allowed to use their cellphones only with discretion.

Styskal commented, “Every year we go out to Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. It’s very well run and organized and provides all of the skills the young men need to achieve progression on their path to Eagle Scout.”

The goal of the camp is to have the campers learn to be good citizens while developing leadership qualities. Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco emphasizes outdoor skills as well which are designed to increase each camper’s confidence and self-sufficiency along with their perseverance in overcoming obstacles.

For the most part, the entire camp is organized through the leadership of the scouts themselves. The adults are there to provide the appropriate guidance for the young men and see that the camp is maintained.

“The camp offers so much,” Styskal commented. “It’s has such great life skills training for the kids to learn how to be better fathers, husbands, sons and uncles. Scouting makes for better people all together.”

Credit: Bill Styskal

Eagle Scout
Styskal explained that the Caldwell troop takes a “very aggressive approach” to getting each of their members to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. In this regard, the camp has proven beneficial with helping many campers, in a condensed period of time, work on earning merit badges towards becoming Eagle Scouts.

“We are very successful at getting our kids to the Eagle level,” the scoutmaster commented. “Our troop is very dedicated towards getting these kids to move ahead.”

Most of the Troop 3 scouts start at the earliest level of Cub Scouts, named Tiger Scouts, usually in the first grade. By fifth grade, they transition from Cubs to Boys Scouts in an official “Bridge Ceremony.” Those older scouts then work to reach Eagle Scout ranking and by age 18, all scouts are considered adults at which time many of them go on to assist with the scouting program.

In 2012, about seven percent of all Boy Scouts attained the level of Eagle Scout. “I’m not sure what percent of our scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout,” detailed Styskal, “but I know it’s at least 50 percent and well over the national average.”

Credit: Bill Styskal

The First Class Adventurers 
Six campers were first-time campers in Blairstown and three of them received the First Class Adventures award by fulfilling specific requirements. Those that were given the award needed to complete an intensive set of basic scouting skills including: 
  • Using a map and compass
  • Helping to plan and cook a troop menu
  • Identifying plants
  • Tying a bowline knot

    Credit: Bill Styskal
Daily Schedule
Styskal explained that the campers attended daily classes from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. and that each one hour block was geared towards completion of a merit badge. A typical daily schedule entailed:
  • 7 a.m.

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  • 7:50 a.m.
    Flag Raising
  • 8:00 a.m.

    Credit: Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco
  • 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Merit Programs
  • 12:15 p.m.

    Assistant Scoutmaster Bill Styskal sits surrounded by campers  Credit: Bill Styskal 

  • 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    Merit Programs
  • 6 p.m.
  • 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Troop and Camp Activities

     Credit: Bill Styskal
  • 10:30 p.m.

Recreational and Skill Challenges
Afternoon and evening camp activities included many recreational challenges. Troop 3 won the Wednesday and Thursday competitions, along with winning the design category for the “Throne Competition” and ultimately winning the Throne Race. The troop not only won first place in the "Knot Tying Competition," but also won the best time for the season and set a camp record for the most knots tied in a minute. “We won most of our games when we were up there and the campers were ecstatic,” said Styskal.

Merit Programs Offered
A wide range of programs which cover basic scouting skills, American Indian culture, nature, survival skills, crafts and recreation were offered at the camp. The full list of programs available are as follows:
  • American Heritage 
  • Archeology
  • Archery
  • Art
  • Astronomy
  • Basketry
  • Bird Study
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Climbing
  • Cooking
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Environmental Science Study
  • First Aid
  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Fishing
  • Forestry
  • Geocaching
  • Geology
  • Hiking
  • Horsemanship
  • Indian Lore 
  • Insect Study
  • Kayaking
  • Leatherwork
  • Lifesaving
  • Mammal Study & Nature
  • Orienteering
  • Pioneering
  • Reptile / Amphibian Study
  • Rifle Shooting 
  • Rowing 
  • Scouting Heritage
  • Shotgun Shooting
  • Small Boat Sailing
  • Soil and Water
  • Swimming
  • Weather
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Wood Carving
  • Woodworking

Credit: Bill Styskal

For the first time, the Boy Scouts of America offered a merit badge for Welding and all of the BSA camps around the country started the program. “We were lucky enough to have three of our young men chosen for the highly selective welding program this summer and they each enjoyed welding their own eagle,” commented Styskal. To be included in the new program, scouts had to be at least 15 years old. “This program was a huge success; our kids loved it. They learned the beginning of a trade,” the assistant scoutmaster added. 

Some of the troop also participated in the nightly Astronomy classes. “They all got together at night in the big field and they learned to identify constellations,” Styskal described.

Order of the Arrow
Troop 3’s assistant scoutmaster Styskal explained that the Order of the Arrow is like a Boy Scout National Honor Society. Those who are recognized by this distinction have best exemplified the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. “These gentlemen are elected to the Order of the Arrow because they demonstrated the true meaning of scouting,” Styskal said. “They are elected by their own troop members and have to attend a weekend ordeal where they learn about camping and working together as a team to accomplish goals.”

Troop 3 Order of the Arrow members  Credit: Bill Styskal

Troop 3 Achievements
The final night, Troop 3 slept out under the stars. “We had canvas open tents, bugs and everything. It was great,” Styskal described. 

Credit: Bill Styskal

All in all, the troop felt that they had a very successful trip based not only on their wins in the game competitions and and several First Class Adventure awards, but also for all they had achieved in the short time they stayed at the camp:
  • 126 Merit Badges 
  • 18 Rank Advancements towards Eagle Scout
  • 4 Honor Patrol awards
  • 2 Adventurer awards
  • 2 Archery awards
  • 1 Honor Troop award
  • 1 Finding the Secret Code award
  • 1 Rifle award
  • 1 Climbing award
  • 1 Mile Swim award

“I’m very proud of the kids and all that they did, they made us all proud,” the pleased assistant scoutmaster reflected.

For further information:
Along with residents of Caldwell,  Troop 3 has scout members from towns throughout West Essex. If anyone is interested in joining the troop, they should contact Assistant Scoutmaster Bill Styskal by email at

Credit: Bill Styskal



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