WEST ORANGE, NJ — Jack Dean, a West Orange scout leader, will be inducted into the Camp Glen Gray Hall of Fame on Sunday, Oct. 25.
Founded in 1917 as a scout camp, Camp Glen Gray is one of the oldest continuously operated camps in the U.S. When the camp was sold in 2002, Dean was a founder and trustee of the Friends of Glen Gray, the non-profit that took over operation of the camp.
The Hall of Fame award is bestowed on volunteers that have made major contributions to the preservation of the camp.
Dean “grew up” at Camp Glen Gray starting as a young boy scout, then camp counselor, an active member of the Old Guard, and finally as a volunteer and trustee of the Friends of Glen Gray.
Born in Caldwell, Jack joined scouting as a cub scout with Pack 3 Caldwell. His first experience of Glen Gray was as a scout in Troop 3 Caldwell. The troop camped at the Glen as a guest of Troop 45 Montclair. Dean said, “It rained pretty much every day, and I recall an ‘aquanaut award’ bestowed on all campers.”
In 1978, Dean joined the camp staff as counselor rotating through office, commissary, archery and commissioner’s areas. He returned to camp in the summers of 1980-1983 in various positions that included trading post clerk, commissary worker and archery director.
Dean was inducted into the camp’s service organization, the Old Guard of Camp Glen Gray.
He assisted in Cannonball District events, joined Essex Council camping committee with roles including preparing camping annual budgets. In capacity of Old Guard Historian, Dean prepared an update of "Thirty Years of Scout Camping" as a commemorative document for the 75th Anniversary of Camp Glen Gray in 1992, and helped on 75th event staff. He also assisted in 2000 Essex Council Family Camp at the Glen and other events. Dean and his wife Audrey brought their children Julia and Evan to numerous family camps.
With the 2001 council merger, Dean worked with many local scouters to preserve Glen Gray as a youth camp. He was one of the founders of The Friends of Glen Gray. With the help of Trust for Public Lands, Glen Gray was sold to Bergen County for preservation as open space. The camp continues to operate as a year-round campground for scouts, other youth organizations and families. Dean remained on the Friends board for about 10 years with roles including development of early camp policies and procedures as well as coordinating Hall of Fame/Homecoming fellowship events.
Dean later enrolled in Pack 110 West Orange with son Evan, and served pack in a number of roles including Cubmaster. He encouraged pack families to attend Glen Gray family camp events.
Dean is a member of Troop 2 West Orange with son Evan, and has served as assistant scoutmaster. Dean has brought the troop nearly every fall to Glen Gray for great wilderness experiences.
Dean received District Award of Merit for service to Orange Mountain District, and served on numerous roles, including chairman.
In 2012, Dean was awarded the Northern New Jersey Council Silver Beaver Award for Outstanding Service in Scouting.
Dean has earned Wood Badge beads in NE II-160 led by Dr. Kenneth King, with fellow Old Guard members Bob Cunniff and Joe Fucito. He served on five Wood Badge staffs, and two National Youth Leadership Training courses. He served as Assistant Scoutmaster to NNJC Troop 510 at National Jamboree 2010, attended by son Evan.
With his daughter Julia, Dean enrolled in Venturing Crew 106 West Orange and served as Crew Advisor. He brought Crew to Glen Gray for outdoor adventures.
Dean lives in West Orange with wife Audrey, an educator in the North Haledon school system. He works for NJ TRANSIT as Program Director, Research and Community Services. Evan Dean earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2015, and both he and Julia are currently working on advanced degrees.
For more information on the Hall of Fame event and Glen Gray, go to www.glengray.org.