Scott Robertson

The First Encampment
By: Posted On: 2012-02-21

I wrote about this DVD sometime ago and thought I would bring it up again as it really is a good film. Read my original review with promotional trailer ...

I recently saw a message on one of the Scouting mailing lists I follow about this film. In a nut shell that person explain that the title of the film refers to the first BSA experimental camp at Silver Bay New York in the summer of 1910. He highly recommends the film as a well down summery of early BSA history. He adds that its even more impressive when you realize it was made by am Eagle Scout who was still a youth at the time.

Author David C. Scott wrote the following comment on amazon that sums it up the best.

Director Blake Cortright has given our country a wonderfully researched film documenting the little known, yet critical, first encampment of the Boy Scouts of America in August 1910 at Silver Bay, NY. Why was the Silver Bay camp so important? Well, that's because it was here that the Boy Scouts of America decided their final philosophical direction. The two possibilites being presented at camp were the Native American model based on BSA co-founder Ernest Thompson Seton's Woodcraft Indians and the backwoodsman based model of Sir Robert S.S. Baden-Powell. Baden-Powell's concept would eventually win out but Seton's work would be incorporated 5 years later as the inspiration for BSA's Order of the Arrow national society of honor campers.

But what makes this film so truly impressive is that it was researched, written, and directed by a teenage cinematographer making his first major outing. Using professional production facilities and pro voice actors, Cortright created a work that all members of the Scouting movement should view and be proud of. And the fact that Eagle Scout Blake Cortright did such a wonderful job is a testament to the quality of the kind of man that the Boy Scouts of America has been producing for the past 100 years. Well Done.

You can buy it at Big Rock Publishing