Scott Shove Memorial Campway
Council BSA, Oneonta, NY
- by Donald L. Tuttle
- This campground [the property
was never developed as a full-fledged Boy Scout camp] was established
in the memory of Elton Scott Shove, an 18-year old Cooperstown
High School senior who lost his life on the eve of his high school
graduation in 1960. Elton Shove died in a gruesome four-student
auto accident on the night of his graduating class dance. Elton
was to have graduated with his Class of 1960 the next day and
had been enlisted to join the U.S. Navy.
Elton's parents and siblings were all active in Scouting; Elton's
father Edward had been a Cubmaster of Pack 12 in Cooperstown
in the early 1950's and a recipient of Otschodela Council's Silver
Beaver Award in 1963. Brother Gary Shove was also a Scout. "Elton
loved baseball and Boy Scouts", says sister Bessie, "
so my parents set about creating a memorial to my brother on
some property they had on the eastern side of Otsego Lake.
At first the campground consisted of little more than an entrance
archway and staked-out overnight camping sites as a facility
for Boy Scout troops visiting the Cooperstown area attractions.
Later a dirt-lot baseball diamond was added in the hope that
the property would see more local day use. A picnic pavilion
was planned but never built.
The Shove family eventually deeded the property to the Otschodela
Council with the hope the Boy Scout council would develop the
property as a sort of Cooperstown subcamp to the council Crumhorn
Mt. Camp near Oneonta, but the council's stewardship was not
much better. Finally, citing declining use, liability costs and
the lack of onsite supervision, the property was sold.
A single patch (above) created to promote the campground still
turns up occasionally in local collections of Scout patches forty
years later. The baseball hat-shaped patch features a BSA gateway
and a baseball reading "Cooperstown New York" on the
lower right and a "Elton Scott Shove Memorial Campway"
signboard on the lower left. The patch is a more lasting reminder
of the tragic back story that spawned it than the memorial campground
it was intended to promote. Elton Scott Shove is not forgotten.
Updated September 14, 2003