Scott Robertson

Review of The First Encampment
By: Posted On: 2010-07-24

The First Encampment is a thirty-minute documentary, on the Boy Scout of America's first camp and Scouting history. The encampment was held in 1910 and was the first gathering of Scouts in America; which was held at a YMCA camp in the Adirondacks. Majority of the work on the film was done by 16 year old Eagle Scout Blake Cortright.

The film is well organized, and makes good use of historical photographs, news clippings, etc. Voice talent John Kearney did a great job as narrator. Additionally, others voices were used to represent: William Edel, a Scout who had attended the first encampment; Lord Baden Powell, and William "Greenbar Bill" Hillcourt in telling of the story.

I would have liked to see the film longer and go into more detail about the first encampment, but understand that the length was cut to fit into a 30 minute tv film slots.

The commentary by Blake, on the dvd, provides some interesting background into the inspiration / making of the film.

If you are interested in Scouting history I recommend you watch this film either by buying the DVD ( or if you are in the New York area it will air on the PBS affiliate WCNY in Syracuse, NY on August 8th at 3 p.m. If you would like it to air in your area, contact your local PBS affiliate and request it.

Keep an eye out for my interview with Blake, in about a week.

"The First Encampment" Promotional Video 1 from Blake Cortright on Vimeo.