The Story of the Yawgoog Trails

Unofficial

Orange Trail - Part II

Back: Orange Trail - Part I


Leaving the Amphitheatre behind and turning left (north) at the intersection onto Marvel Road, hikers will pass along Tim O'Neil Field. Tim O'Neil, "King of the Sand Lots," succeeded Dr. Marvel as Scout Commissioner in 1938 and was a frequent Yawgoog visitor. The rocky land that would later become Tim O'Neil Field served as the original location of "Company Street"; this was where the tents were pitched for the first Yawgoog campers in 1916. The focal point of the parade ground is the Richard J. Drayton Memorial Flagpole, erected by T. Dawson Brown in 1951. Drayton was Brown's Senior Patrol Leader in the Third East Providence Troop and was killed during World War II in 1943. The flagpole itself is a mast from an America's Cup defender. The field was a filming location for Moonrise Kingdom.

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Richard J. Drayton Memorial Flagpole
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.211', W 71° 46.555' (Datum: WGS84)
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Photograph of Dress Parade, 1941

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Postcard of Dress Parade, circa 1957
Caption: Sunday Dress Parade at Camp Yawgoog
Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America
Rockville, Rhode Island

Video of the national anthem at a Sunday Dress Parade in 2014
Video by David R. Brierley

Video of the camp reports at a Sunday Dress Parade in 2014
Video by David R. Brierley

Opposite the field, stands the Temple of the Ten Commandments. This cabin replaces the old Temple, located near the Lattner cabin, and was dedicated to Abraham I. Aron on August 12, 1984, by his family, friends, and the Jewish Committee on Scouting. Services are given Friday evenings and Sunday mornings. Beside the Temple is Cowen Cabin, which serves as the residence of the Jewish Chaplain. The cabin was dedicated on July 29, 2000, to Norman J. Cowen, M.D., an Eagle Scout and a Yawgoog camper, staffman, Jewish Chaplain and physician.

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Temple of the Ten Commandments and Cowen Cabin
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.183', W 71° 46.612' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

Continuing northward on Marvel Road, the Orange Trail passes by the Kelley Nature Center, often called the Kelley Environmental Education Center. It is dedicated to the memory of A. Livingston Kelley, a benefactor of Scouting, and was built in 1983. Kelley had been President of Old Stone Bank and an active civic and religious leader; he first became involved with Scouting as the Chairman of the Narragansett Council Survey in 1948. Mr. Kelley bequeathed a former campground, Kelgrant, to the Council. The Center is the home of the Reservation's nature program, where Scouts may earn a variety of merit badges, participate in nature hikes, and see assorted exhibits.

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Kelley Nature Center
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.241', W 71° 46.606' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

The Nature Center was previously housed in a barn directly north of its present location. The barn, demolished in 1982, was originally part of the Palmer farm at the other end of what is now Tim O'Neil Field. The barn was moved and improved in Yawgoog's early years and was used as an "Opry House" for shows, before larger amphitheatres were used.

In The Yawgoog Story it is written that a local historian, Reverend Eric Lindh of Hope Valley, once took Chief Williams and H. Cushman "Gus" Anthony to see two triangular-shaped rocks in the general area of the Nature Center. Lindh believed that the rocks marked the graves of the legendary Chief Yawgoog and his son, Wincheck; however, diggings found nothing and the location of the rocks was lost after the great fire of 1930 (Williams and Anthony vol. 1 p. 2).

Just beyond the Kelley Nature Center are two buildings; the smaller one is a staff cabin that was known as the Hermitage and Old Parsonage. The larger structure is the Armington Memorial Health Lodge, honoring the memory of Colonel James H. Armington. A plaque on the lodge states that Armington was a "businessman, soldier, legislator, who was also a pioneer in 'Fresh Air Work for Children'." His daughter, Elizabeth Armington Moulton, was a prominent leader of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the wife of Narragansett Council Treasurer Edward S. Moulton; she donated the funds of the defunct Armington Memorial Fresh Air Association, of which she was President. (The Association funded outdoor activities as a treatment for children with tuberculosis; it ceased to exist when the disease was controlled.) The lodge was designed by Linwood A. Gardner and William Douglas Gardner according to specifications made by Dr. Emery M. Porter; dedication took place on Memorial Day, 1941. It was renovated in 1984.

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Armington Memorial Health Lodge
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.274', W 71° 46.630' (Datum: WGS84)
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Opposite the Health Lodge is a short side-trail that leads to the Ashaway Aquatics Center, also known as the "Yawgoog Yachting Club." It is named in honor of the Ashaway Line and Twine Company, owned by the Crandall family of Hopkinton, Rhode Island; the company provided grants for Yawgoog's fishing program, among other generous gifts. The Center gives instruction for the Sailing and Fishing merit badges and even offers kayaking opportunities; it also provides fishing rods and bait. The Reservation's sailing program is dedicated to the memory of Michael S. Schiller of Troop 1 Barrington. The path from Marvel Road was used to film a scene in a footchase sequence in Moonrise Kingdom.

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Ashaway Aquatics Center
Image by David R. Brierley
Coordinates: N 41° 31.232', W 71° 46.732' (Datum: WGS84)
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Fall foliage at the Ashaway Aquatics Center
Image by David R. Brierley
Coordinates: N 41° 31.220', W 71° 46.753' (Datum: WGS84)
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In 2009 the Order of the Arrow's Abnaki Lodge, now Tulpe Lodge, built a boardwalk connecting the Ashaway Aquatics Center to Camp Three Point.

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Order of the Arrow Boardwalk
Image by David R. Brierley
Coordinates: N 41° 31.214', W 71° 46.719' (Datum: WGS84)
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After returning to Marvel Road, the H. Cushman Anthony Stockade can be seen. The Stockade and the accompanying pavilions were built by the Yawgoog Alumni Association in honor of H. Cushman "Gus" Anthony; he served on the Yawgoog staff from 1921 to 1968, including his term as Director of Yawgoog from 1950 to 1968. In addition, he also served as a professional Scout Executive from 1927 to 1969. He wrote the second volume of The Yawgoog Story in 1985 to cover the twenty years of the Reservation's history since 1965. He also founded the Yawgoog Alumni Association in 1981. The Stockade, dedicated on July 30, 1988, houses the Reservation's craft center and Indian lore program. Pavilions honor the Rhode Island State Elks Association, Norman L. Cowen, William and Thomas Gilbane, and Max and Pearl Shine. The Stockade was also a filming location for Moonrise Kingdom.

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H. Cushman Anthony Stockade
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.312', W 71° 46.670' (Datum: WGS84)

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Tent set for Moonrise Kingdom (soundtrack liner notes)
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.312', W 71° 46.670' (Datum: WGS84)
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The current structure is Yawgoog's third craft center; the first was built in 1930 with the upper floor of an old fishing shack that had been on the lakefront of the Palmer farm -- what is now the Three Point Waterfront. Staffer Ray Westcott of Troop 24 Providence led Scouts and staff in the construction of the Stockade's fence during one camp season, using logs salvaged from the great fire. The second Stockade was built in 1949 by the generosity of the Providence Rotary Club and the Town Criers of Providence. The map of 1931 shows that an archery range used to exist near there and something called the "Stunt Corral"; its purpose is unknown. A raised concrete oval lines a pit to the north of the Stockade; it was probably a place to keep turtles for nature study (Anthony, letter, 15 Feb. 1991).

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Postcard of original Stockade, circa 1942
Caption: The Stockade, Camp Yawgoog, B. S. A.'

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Postcard of second Stockade, circa 1957
Caption: The Stockade, center for many Scoutcraft and campcraft skills
at Yawgoog Scout Camps, Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America
Rockville, Rhode Island

The Medicine Bow dining hall, John R. Rathom Lodge, stands at a fork in Marvel Road near the Stockade. Rathom was Editor of The Providence Journal and an early benefactor and Commissioner of Scouting. Dedication occurred in 1929 to create what was then known as the Medicine Bow Division. The dining hall's roof was replaced in 1995 and the kitchen rebuilt in 2003.

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Rathom Lodge
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.317', W 71° 46.698' (Datum: WGS84)
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Interior of Rathom Lodge
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.336', W 71° 46.720' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

Camp Medicine Bow got its name as the result of an unusual chain of events. In the mid 1920's Yawgoog was in need of a staffer skilled in handicrafts and Indian lore. In 1926 Chief Williams attended a National Training Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he found just what the Reservation needed. In The Yawgoog Story he wrote:

There I discovered a young Executive creating a totem out of a telegraph pole with only a 12-inch [30.5-centimeter] razor-sharp hunting knife. He was Dan Lamb of Santa Ana, California and a most picturesque character in his high boots, buckskin shirt and tooled-leather belt. I found he was an archer and could do leather-work, metal work, woodcarving and was a backwoods camper and cook, having spent several summers as a youth with the Indians in western mountains. I hired him and he joined the [Narragansett] Council Staff in the Fall of 1926. He got us to buy some Indian tepees and ran winter camps at Snake Den [now known as Champlin Scout Reservation in Cranston]. The summer of 1927 found him on the Yawgoog Staff, living in a tepee and home-made camp bed on the shore. On Fourth of July night, while everyone was watching the fireworks, a spark from the tepee's campfire ignited some straw and the tent and all of Lamb's belongings went up in flame and smoke. The next morning, Dan took me down to the ruins and pulled out the burned remains of a bow. "I started making this for you at Christmas and it was practically finished", said Dan. "Now I can give you only this little leather bag with some charred wood, leather, horntip and arrowhead. But this little bag will always be good 'medicine' for you and Yawgoog." (vol. 1 p. 7-8)

Before leaving the Council in the winter of 1927, Lamb did make another yew-bow for the Chief that summer. It contained the story of the fire written in Native American sign language on the back. The deerskin medicine pouch that contained the ashes of the first bow used to be hung in Rathom Lodge for many years, but has since disappeared.

The left side of the fork is a road that passes by the Medicine Bow Amphitheatre and trading post, the beginning of the White Trail, the Harold F. Gibling Flagpole, and the waterfront. A contribution by the Coca Cola Bottling Company of South County to the Golden Jubilee Fund refurbished the trading post in 1960. The flagpole was dedicated to the memory of Harold F. Gibling, Scoutmaster of Troop 2 Pawtucket in 1951 by his troop and Rotary Club. The waterfront building was built by the Golden Jubilee Fund in 1960 in memory of David S. Seaman, former President of Narragansett Council. It was refurbished in 1995 by the Yawgoog Alumni Association; it was dedicated in 1996 to Al Gunther, Camp Ranger, Fire Chief and Emergency Medical Technician, who retired in 1995 after 36 years of service. The waterfront was the filming location of the trampoline scene in Moonrise Kingdom. The Alumni Association has also refurbished the amphitheatre.

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Camp Medicine Bow Amphitheatre
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.343', W 71° 46.733' (Datum: WGS84)
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Camp Medicine Bow Waterfront and Gibling Flagpole
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.321', W 71° 46.764' (Datum: WGS84)
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View from the Camp Medicine Bow Waterfront
Image by David R. Brierley

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View of Yawgoog Pond from the Medicine Bow Waterfront Tower
Image by David R. Brierley
Coordinates: N 41° 31.324', W 71° 46.781' (Datum: WGS84)
Larger image
Google Map

Continuing on the right-hand side of the fork, the Orange Trail passes by the Medicine Bow showers. Just ahead on the left is the gateway of Campsite Minnikesu, the home of Yawgoog's Counselor-In-Training Corps (CIT). The name is from the Narragansett word meaning "strong" (R. Williams p. 133). In 1953 and 1955 the Reservation provided a training opportunity, known as the Guides' Course, for older Scouts to help their Scoutmasters when their troops came to camp. This led to the founding of the Apprentice-In-Training (AIT) program in 1956, which would later evolve into the CIT program as it exists today. Al Mink, a staffer and Reservation Director for many years, began the Corps in 1965 with Fred Schultz as its first Scoutmaster. Scouts attend the program at a fraction of the cost of a regular week at camp for training in many skills, such as effective communication and leadership. After the basic week, Counselors-In-Training can participate in one or more weeks of field work, where they get hands-on experience while working in a program or service department.

It should be mentioned that Roger Williams's book, A Key into the Language of America, suggests that the name "Minnikesu" was originally translated into English as "Minikesu" (p. 133) It also lists the original English translated spellings of campsites Neimpaug ("thunder"), Cautantowit (the South-west God), and Waskecke ("on the top") as "Neimpauog" (p. 158), "Kautantowwit" (p. 190), and "Waskeche" (p. 123), respectively.

After leaving Campsite Minnikesu, Marvel Road then passes by several campsites, crosses a stone wall, and enters Camp Sandy Beach. This camp began as the Sandy Beach Division in 1928 for veteran Scouts to do their own cooking. As the population of Sandy Beach grew, food was provided by the Medicine Bow dining hall in heater-stacks (insulated metal containers). In 1938 Louisa D. Sharpe Metcalf, wife of the late Senator Jesse H. Metcalf, visited Yawgoog and, after noticing the crowdedness of Rathom Lodge, suddenly turned to Chief Williams and said, "Chief Williams, I'll give you the money for a new lodge!" In The Yawgoog Story Williams commented, "What cheering when the announcement was made at dress parade that night!" (Williams and Anthony vol. 1 p. 32)

The competition for the design of the proposed lodge was won by Assistant Scoutmaster William Douglas Gardner of Westerly. The architectural firm of Jackson, Robertson and Adams drew the plans (which included the Reservation's bakery) and construction began in the autumn of 1938. Ranger "Inkey" Armstrong was largely responsible for supervision of the building's construction. Lumber cut from trees destroyed by the hurricane of September 21 of that year was used. Dedication took place on August 25, 1939, when a beautiful slate tablet, lettered by John Howard Benson, was unveiled over the massive stone fireplace. Senator Metcalf was a major philanthropist and a benefactor of Scouting in the Wanskuck area of Providence through Troop 13 Providence. Besides the Sandy Beach dining hall, the Metcalf family also provided funds for Yawgoog's water system, many Adirondack shelters, and the early stocking of Yawgoog Pond "so that the boys would enjoy their fishing" (qtd. in Williams and Anthony vol. 1 p. 33). Mrs. Metcalf later made a substantial bequest to Scouting. The lodge was extended to the east in 1961 and the office enlarged in 1996. While the lodge does not appear in Moonrise Kingdom, the field was used for filming part of a footchase sequence; the weathervane on the lodge was an influence for the design of the weathervane used in the film.

Next to Metcalf Lodge is the Sutton-Gray Flagpole, dedicated to the memories of Karl Sutton and J. Russell Gray. Karl Sutton was killed in World War II "by a sniper's bullet the day before he was 19 in the last hours of the war in Germany" (Williams and Anthony vol. 1 p. 39). The flagpole was given by his parents. J. Russell Gray was a Scouter since 1929, a member and "General Manager" of Slade's Gang (mentioned in the description of the Yellow Trail), as well as a member of the Catholic Committee on Scouting. The flagpole was rededicated in his honor by his friends from the Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank in 1975.

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Metcalf Lodge and Sutton-Gray Flagpole
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.508', W 71° 46.787' (Datum: WGS84)
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Interior of Metcalf Lodge
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.529', W 71° 46.777' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

Between Metcalf Lodge and the Sandy Beach parking lot is Camp Cady. It was dedicated in 1989 to the memory of Donald H. Cady, who was a pioneer in extending Scouting to handicapped children in Narragansett Council. The site features concrete platforms for tents and a custom-designed latrine that includes a recharging station for wheelchairs.

To the southwest, but not visible from the dining hall, are the Sandy Beach Waterfront and Amphitheatre, as well as Yawgoog's Campcraft Center and New Frontier Program. The waterfront building was given by the Golden Jubilee Fund in 1960 in memory of Annette M. Matthews and Elliot B. Hull; Hull was a Scoutmaster of Troop 28 Providence. The waterfront building was rebuilt in 1997 by the Yawgoog Alumni Association in honor of Paul, William and Thomas Choquette. The Sandy Beach Amphitheatre, formerly known as the Baden-Powell Amphitheatre, is located next to Campsite Neil Armstrong (formerly Campsite Baden-Powell); it has been renovated by the Alumni Association. Before bearing the name of Camp Baden-Powell the site was known as the Veteran's Camp (according to E. "Steve" Westcott's map of 1941), for experienced campers. The pavilions at the Campcraft Center were built by the Yawgoog Alumni Association and dedicated in 2011 to honor Herbert H. Boden, Jr., Donald J. Driscoll, and Richard A. Mottola.

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Campcraft Center and New Frontier Program
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.441', W 71° 46.829' (Datum: WGS84)
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Camp Sandy Beach Amphitheatre
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.435', W 71° 46.837' (Datum: WGS84)
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Camp Sandy Beach Waterfront
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.418', W 71° 46.849' (Datum: WGS84)
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View from the Camp Sandy Beach Waterfront
Image by David R. Brierley

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Spring view from the Camp Sandy Beach Waterfront
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.400', W 71° 46.854' (Datum: WGS84)
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Red maple (Acer rubrum L.) at the Camp Sandy Beach Waterfront
Image by David R. Brierley

Heading around the western end of Metcalf Lodge, the trail arrives at an intersection at the beginning of what is called the Curtis Tract. The Tract is a 250-acre parcel occupying the northwestern quadrant bounded by these two roads. Stretching to the Connecticut border and including Hidden Lake, it was purchased in 1935 with funds from the bequest of attorney Harry C. Curtis. This area was also known as Camporee Ridge, according to the circa 1954 map. The road coming from the north is the last leg of the White Trail, which ends at Metcalf Lodge.

Turning right (east) at the intersection and passing behind the dining hall, the trail follows Camp Yawgoog Road; the road also goes by the names of Yawgoog Road and Boy Scout Road. The section of this road that lies within Rhode Island is known as Camp Yawgoog Road; the section in Connecticut is called Green Fall Road. Near the dining hall and down the hill, on the northern side of the road, is the trap shooting range.

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Trap Shooting Range
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.582', W 71° 46.907' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

Behind Metcalf Lodge, on the left-hand (northern) side of the road, is the cellar hole of the house of Joel Maxon, who lived there before the Civil War. J. Harold Williams refers to the Maxons, "In 1919, I talked with an old lady, Mrs. Palmer Green of Rockville. She had been a Maxon and had lived in that house as a child. She showed me a beautiful shawl made from wool grown and spun on the Maxon farm" (Williams and Anthony vol. 1 p. 2).

Just down the road from the cellar hole is a short driveway that leads left to a staff cabin -- Chippewah Cabin. Camp Yawgoog Road turns south and passes between the David S. Anderson Archery Range on the left and Camp Cady on the right; the archery range is named after Narragansett Council Scout Executive David S. Anderson. The road then encounters the Sandy Beach parking lot and Campsite Wetuomuck, which served as an "Engineer Post" back in the 1930's (according to the Reservation map of 1931); this was where pioneering projects, like towers and bridges, were built (Anthony, letter, 9 Nov. 1990).

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David S. Anderson Archery Range
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.490', W 71° 46.685' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

The Orange Trail arrives at the Lane-Bliven Rifle Range, originally given in memory of Eagle Scout Charles Lane (Troop 13 Pawtucket) by his family. The range was later enlarged in 1965 in honor of Raymond Bliven, who was killed during World War I. This is a popular program area of camp, where many Scouts earn the Rifle Shooting Merit Badge and the Captain George Bucklin Marksmanship Medal. The range was filmed as an archery range in Moonrise Kingdom. Across from the rifle range, behind Campsite Neimpaug (originally spelled "Neimpauog" [R. Williams p. 158]), is an area that used to be called "Fort Pioneer," according to the map of 1931 It is not known what function the Fort served.

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Lane-Bliven Rifle Range
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.379', W 71° 46.597' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

Heading south, the trail reaches Boden Field, a parking area and field named after the Scoutmaster of Troop 13 Providence and Yawgoog staffer Herbert Boden. It was begun by contractor Mike Marra, also of Troop 13 Providence, and was finished by the Rhode Island Boy Scouts and the Seabees.

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Sign for Boden Field
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.245', W 71° 46.513' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

The Orange Trail turns west (right) from Boden Field to the Saint John Bosco Chapel. Its cornerstone was consecrated in 1949 by the Bishop of Providence, Reverend Russell J. McVinney, D.D., who was one of the very first Boy Scouts back in 1910; construction was supervised by Yawgoog's Catholic Chaplain, Reverend William M. Delaney. The Chapel was named after the Italian priest canonized for his work with boys. It features an open-sided auditorium with shutters for winter, wooden railings around the sanctuary, and enclosed living quarters in back. The first altar had historical significance because it was the original altar used by Roman Catholics in Fall River. During the summer camp season, Masses are celebrated every day, Tuesdays through Saturdays, and twice on Sundays.

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Saint John Bosco Chapel
Image by David R. Brierley
Approximate coordinates: N 41° 31.279', W 71° 46.581' (Datum: WGS84)
Google Map

The Chapel's flagpole and shrine were dedicated on July 28, 1968, by Troop 10 Westerly; Troop 76 Providence built the attractive bell tower and dedicated it on August 8, 1971.

The Orange Trail leaves the northwestern corner (the one with the cornerstone) of the Chapel toward Tim O'Neil Field. It then goes on to the Drayton Flagpole and turns left (east) into the woods. Moving toward the T. Dawson Brown Gateway, the trail passes by a small log lean-to and a stone barbecuing fireplace. The fireplace is dedicated to the memory of Charles Bosworth, a member of the committee of Troop 28 Providence. At the T. Dawson Brown Gateway the Orange Trail finally ends where it began.
 

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