August 6, 1971 “the Camp Inspection at Camp Babcock-Hovey was interrupted for five minutes for a memorial silence in memory of Rusty Pedersen of Waterloo, who was killed in a boating accident on Seneca Lake. Rusty had been in camp the week prior to his death, and was well known by many of the staff.”
The impact of Rusty’s death did not end there, over the next few years Troop 81 of Waterloo NY raised funds and obtained supplies to build a cabin at Camp Babcock-Hovey in honor of “Rusty” Pedersen. Troop 81 was the first Troop to stay in Pedersen Lodge in 1973.
Pedersen Lodge was officially dedicated in 1974, as reported in the Finger Lakes Times-
“Scout Troop 81 officially opened the “Rusty Pedersen Memorial Lodge” last Friday with a dedication. Mrs. Dolores Pederson, Rusty’s mother, and many members of the First Presbyterian Church of Waterloo were present at the unveiling of the plaque over the door of the 20 by 40 foot building.’
Rusty, killed in a boat accident with his father, on Seneca Lake about three years ago, was a member of Troop 81. He was scheduled to be at Camp Babcock Hovey the day after he was killed in the boating accident, to work towards his Eagle Scout award. He had received his Life Scout award shortly before he died.
Bob Getz, Scoutmaster of Troop 81, had often dreamed of a building at the camp for winter camping. After Rusty’s death he stopped dreaming and began planning the lodge. The boys of the troop were enthusiastic over the idea. Bob and David Prosser, a committeeman of the troop, approached the members of the Presbyterian Church for help in financing the cost of the building.
The church was more than willing to help, according to Scouts. Many needed items were donated or sold at cost by local lumber yards and hardware stores. Getz, a master carpenter by trade, designed the building. The entire project was made, nail by nail and board by board, by the boys and men of Troop 81.
The 20 by 40 foot building can sleep more than 20 boys and men at a time and has heat and lights. It was built in a grove of trees facing the large field on the south side of the camp, overlooking Seneca Lake.
According to Getz, many deer crossed the field while they were working on the building. The place was tested by the boys last winter and early this spring. Tom Reynolds, Scout administrator, commended the men, young and old, who remembered their friend in a way that can benefit hundreds of boys for many years to come.”