By the fall of 1943, while World War II still raged in Europe and the Pacific, the men leading the Minneapolis Area Council for the Boy Scouts of America had turned their attention to the next major post-war problem: providing an adequate camp facility for the Scouts in the city and surrounding area. Their current camp, Camp Tonkawa on Lake Minnetonka, had become overcrowded and overtaxed due to high wartime demand. They approved a plan to “to locate a desirable property”.
Two men, Wint Hartman and Lee Cornell, led the search for a new property and by spring of 1944, they’d found an 800-acre tract on a secluded body of water called Many Point Lake. They settled on the property upon learning about its rich history as a gathering spot for people of all walks of like: the Ojibwe and other indigenous people who inhabited the area, loggers who harvested white pine and sportsmen who visited the property after the loggers moved on. In November of 1944, the Minneapolis board approved a plan to acquire the land with the intent to build Many Point Scout Camp.
When they approached the current owner, Bob Gaylord, he had two conditions: allow him to keep using the old hunting cabin on the property and to have the council purchase all the privately-owned land surrounding the lake. He hoped to protect the area from commercial development and preserve the nature. The Council agreed and got to work.
By July of 1945, plans had already begun for what would eventually become the 1,500 acre Many Point property. Their initial plan of six sub-camps was scaled back due to the slow pace of the land acquisition and a shortage of materials during the final stages of WWII. Initially, the plan was to open in summer of 1946, but a more realistic date of summer of 1947 was set instead.
Construction truly began in the summer of 1946. A group of three dozen Scouts spent a chunk of their summer vacation carving out a camp out of the Minnesota wilderness alongside the contractors. The Scouts were overseen by Ingmon “Boots” Handson, who went on to become Many Point’s first ranger.
In the end, there were four sub-camps that focused on the troop camping experience. Each was designed for troops of a particular skill-level and was determined by the type of food service they offered. Troops with little to no camping experience stayed at Buckskin and ate at the central dining hall. Ranger (renamed Ten Chiefs in 1950) was for “intermediate troops” cooked most of their meals on site but could have hot meals delivered if needed. Pioneer was for the “experienced troops” who could get by without any hot meals from the central kitchen.
Over 75 years later, Many Point has 3 Scouts BSA subcamps, Buckskin, Ten Chiefs, and Voyageur. Buckskin still has a dining hall that serves all three meals, while both Ten Chiefs and Voyageur have moved to cooking all of their own meals. Many Point also has Flintlock to host our older Scout programs and Family Camp to allow families to experience what Many Point has to offer. If you want to learn more about the different subcamps, head over to our Subcamps and Campsites page!
Next to the Administration building, you'll find our History Center. Your unit can request a History Center tour as one of your afternoon unit activities, hosted by one of our Administration staff. You'll join us for a guided tour where we guide you through the displays and exhibits while explaining not only the story above, but our entire history up until the current day.
Many Point kicked off our 75th anniversary celebration year with the first-ever pictorial history of the concept, development, and operation of Many Point Scout Camp. The 140-page book, titled "By the Shores of Many Point", contains hundreds of photos. It gathers the images, personal stories, and spirit of our beautiful camp and combines them into a truly unique book.
By the Shores of Many Point:
- Is a 9 inch by 12 inch, 140 page hardcover book
- Is a generously illustrated with over 400 images
- Is written and researched by award-winning Scouting author Dave Kenney
- Contains sidebars highlighting key people and places at Many Point
- Contains an appendix including bios of founders, lists of staff leaders, rangers, tenured staff and staff members, and a history of camper patches
If you're interested in getting a copy, you can either pick up a copy for $25 at the front desk of Base Camp (6202 Bloomington Rd, Fort Snelling, MN 55111), or you can reach out to [email protected] and we can ship it for an additional fee.