It would be impossible to list everyone that has ever made a major contribution to camp, whether it is fixing tents every year for 50 years like Joe Whitcomb, running a very successful capital improvement campaign like Victor Lonsberry, or being the Camp Properties Chairman for 20 + years like Hank Roenke. Those are just some of the names that come up in recent memory of camp. It is just impossible to thank everyone individually for their contributions to camp. Many of these names may fade into obscurity but the fond memories that were formed and friendships forged at Camp Babcock-Hovey by thousands of Scouts and Scouters will not.
We want to bring from obscurity one person that caught our eye during our research of camp. There was an article in the July 14, 1941 Geneva Daily times that sparked our interest. In it the Honorable Nathan D. Lapham stated that in his “review of the 25-year struggle on the part of local Scout leaders to secure a suitable summer camp” that he would give “particular credit to Arthur J. Cowan and to Harry Weart, for having successfully completed the drive for the new camp”.
We all know of Harry Weart but who was this Arthur J. Cowan figure. We could not find much about Arthur J. Cowan but this is what we did find.
In 1932 Arthur J Cowan organized the first Sea Scouts Ship, Ship 3, and served as the first skipper. Ship 3 was sponsored by the North Presbyterian Church.
At the Camp Babcock-Hovey dedication in 1939 Arthur J Cowan along with Dr. Alfred W. Armstrong received the silver beaver award. This must have been a great honor to receive this award during the dedication ceremony of Camp Babcock-Hovey.
Arthur J. Cowan also led the 100 Eagle Scout salute to Birton Babcock and Harry Hovey at the dedication of camp.
And lastly he served as the Finger Lakes Council President in 1945 and remained on the Executive board until at least 1961.
As for all the other work that was completed by Arthur J. Cowan, it is lost to the history books. Thanks goes out to Arthur J. Cowan and the thousands of others that have worked hard over the last 75 years to make Camp Babcock Hovey the Premier Boy Scout Camp in the Finger Lakes that it is today. It could not have been completed with out your donations and help! May Camp Babcock-Hovey be blessed with another 75 years that were as good as the last 75 years.