Robert “Bob” Cunniff will be inducted into the Glen Gray Hall of Fame on Sunday, October 25th. Cunniff is former scoutmaster of Troop 65 Cedar Grove and is a founder and former trustee of The Friends of Glen Gray, the non-profit that operates the camp.
A life-long Cedar Grove resident, Cunniff began his Scouting career as a Bobcat/Wolf Cub Scout in 2nd grade in 1970, as a member of Pack 2 Cedar Grove. His first camping experience was at Glen Gray as a Webelos Scout in 1973. Cunniff was already familiar with Glen Gray before he was even a Cub Scout, having visited his older brothers on Visitor’s Sundays as they attended summer camp there. He later bridged to the Boy Scouts as a member of Troop 65, eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout, with a Bronze Palm.
Cunniff attended long-term summer camp at Glen Gray with Troop 65 for two weeks each summer for five years from 1974-1978. In the summer of 1979, he was hired as Glen Gray summer camp Staff and served as an Assistant in the Field Sports department running Archery Range and Action Archery course. Also during the late 1970’s he was part of the Council and District youth training staff and served on several Troop Leader Development (TLD) and Patrol Leader Training (PLT) courses, hosted at Camp Glen Gray, usually after the summer camp season ended.
After college and graduate school, Cunniff returned to his hometown of Cedar Grove in 1988 and started working as a Professional Geologist. In order to maintain a relationship with Scouting as an adult, he volunteered as a member of the District Committee along with many of the old Scouting friends from his youth, and assisted with other District- and Council-level efforts. He was recognized with the District Committee Key, James E. West Award, and the District Award of Merit.
In 1995 he married his very supporting and patient wife Linda, and with the birth of his first son in 1997, the other parents of Cedar Grove earmarked him to become Cubmaster of Pack 2 once his son was old enough to join. He served as Cubmaster from the years 2004 to 2010. During those last two years he also served as an Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 65 (with his oldest son in Boy Scouts, while his younger son finished Cub Scouts). Cunniff became Scoutmaster in 2013 and served in that capacity until 2016, acting as an assistant scoutmaster and Troop Committee member since then.
Located in Mahwah, New Jersey, Camp Glen Gray was established in 1917 as a Boy Scout camp. It is one of the oldest continuously operated camps in the United States. When the Scouts decided to sell the camp in 2001, Cunniff was an active proponent for keeping the property as a camp, or at least preserving it from development. He was interviewed by several reporters and acted as liaison with numerous local and national land preservation non-profits during this time. He was instrumental in getting Glen Gray listed on Preservation New Jersey’s “10 Most Endangered Places” in 2001.
Cunniff helped found The Friends of Glen Gray, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the camp. He was one of the original Trustees and participated in the negotiations between the Northern New Jersey Scout Council, the Trust for Public Lands, and Bergen County, resulting in the camp being preserved. Today, the Glen Gray is a Bergen County park and is operated by the staff and volunteers of The Friends of Glen Gray. In 2019, over 4,000 campers – representing a wide range of scouts, other youth groups and families – enjoyed the wonders of the Glen.
Robert Cunniff is the proud parent of two Eagle Scouts, and a Gold Award candidate. In his non-Scouting life, he is an actor, and a partner in a television and film production company. His wife Linda is a Service Unit Manager for the Girls Scouts USA.
Robert has camped at dozens of properties in his lifetime: many Boy Scout camps, National and State Parks, public parks and campgrounds… none of them holds a place as special in his heart as Camp Glen Gray.
Due to covid restrictions, this year’s Hall of Fame Induction will be held via zoom. For more information, go to www.glengray.org and look under the Homecoming / Hall of Fame event.