Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Farewell To Camp Freedom

This summer will be the last year that Transatlantic Council will operate Camp Freedom in Dautphe, Germany. The reasons are rather simple and unfortunate. The military is withdrawing from the nearby city of Giessen making support to maintain Camp Freedom due to its location an extremely difficult feat both from a logistical and maintenance prospective for the Council. I have no doubt that removing equipment and other historical scouting items will be a difficult and perhaps emotional challenge. I do not believe a new location has yet been selected for Camp Freedom's replacement.

Camp Freedom

Camp Freedom is rich with Council history. Camp Freedom is the Transatlantic Council's oldest and largest established camp. Affectionately known as Damp Freezedom due to the frequent rain and cold weather that can occur in July. It was established in 1956. It is located at Dautphe, north of Giessen, in the State of Hessen. The camp is in the foothills of the Westerwald Range. The camp covers one hundred and eighty-two acres.

Dautphe Town Shield Patch

Camp Freedom has hosted many programs for the Council and Black Eagle Lodge 482. Some of those programs have included: Woodbadge, Golden Falcoln (JLT Program), Summer Camp Program, Black Eagle Lodge Spring, Fall, & Winter Fellowships and has provided much more in adventure and memories for anyone that has visited over the decades.

Camp Freedom is where I completed my brotherhood and where I received my Vigil honor. I participated in various ceremonies teams from Ordeal through Vigil Chief at Camp Freedom. I spent three summers on the Transatlantic Council Summer Camp Staff as a Merit Badge Counselor for Handicraft and Nature related subjects. I also served as an assistant cook on my third year of staff.

I have no doubt that the loss of Camp Freedom will fall heavy on those that choose to remember... Many Scouts and Scouters gave their time and love to the camp and in return Camp Freedom left many with everlasting memories of great people and friends.

Treasures At Coberly's (391 Chiriqui Part I)

I visited an old friend and honored scouter Dan Coberly today at his home here in Alabama. His scouting collection is full of wonders I have never seen. If you have watched the Disney movie Aladdin and recall the cave full of treasures that is how I felt walking into his home. He has countless literature & scout books. There were Baden Powell items that would bring a warm spot to the most devoted BP collectors. He had uniforms of many ages to include a complete air scout set and patches (or close to it), various knots, medals, buttons, and figures, and many more overseas OA lodge memorabilia that would cause any collector of such goods to raise an eyebrow.

I was drowned in so many goodies that it felt like Christmas. He gave me a few Chiriqui 391 items and I felt like sharing what he told me about them.

(Click on Picture for Larger Scan if Available)


The Bullion Flaps were made after the lodge was merged. If I recall, Dan said he was approached by an old Lodge Adviser or member from 391 Chiriqui about making a set of bullion flaps in memory of this old deceased lodge. If I remember correctly Dan said he made a set of bullion flaps that are similar to these. He said his set had a lake on it so there could very well be 4 different bullions bearing the 391 lodge name on it...that or he simply got me confused. So, a couple of bullion flaps for the serious 391 collectors to hunt for.


Dan did not elaborate much about this patch. He told me that he did not have very many left and that his father not only created this patch but taught the course. It is an interesting round that has "jungle expert" on it. Again, probably piece for the serious 391 collectors out there.

Be on the lookout for Treasures At Coberly's (Part II ) Coming Soon...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Odd & Unique Collecting Habits

I decided a while ago to start collecting Animal Shaped Patches. It does not matter if they are Order of the Arrow, Council, or even BSA Camp Patches. The only two requirements is:

1.) Shaped like an animal
2.) Boy Scout related

A Small Sample of Animal Shaped Patches

I suppose we are all collecting something unique and different. Speaking of animal shaped patches....if you have any for trade Visit: Matt's Patch Trading Page. Maybe we can work out a deal?

There is no real reason why I am collecting animal shaped patches. Perhaps, to spice up my collecting interests. I also just like the way they look. :)

The Cork Patches (Secret Revealed)

Nothing I like more to talk about than patches...especially the cork patches from Black Eagle Lodge.

Dan Coberly was showing me and my father some patches one day when these strange "O Ree" cork patches fell out of his bag. I can not honestly remember when and where I first saw one but I knew I just had to have one. Luckily, he had two of them.

The Beginning of the Cork Flaps

For years, we all dreamed of a corked flap. On and off efforts were made to find some material to make the flaps up. No one seemed to have any. A vendor was discovered at a flea market hosted on US Military Posts who made purses, wallets, bags, and other items out of a cork material. It took a few years to get a yard or so of the material from her. She would forget or things would come up...etc. This material was used to make the first Black Eagle Cork Flaps and the OAA Flap. (F-10 and QF-1 came from this material.)

The Hunt Continues...(Click above to purchase cork material)

The patches were very popular because they were so unique. My father and myself felt bad that not everyone could get one that wanted one at the time. There were only about 15 of the first run because the material was shared with the OAA organization and the patch manufacturer mistakenly misspelled the lodge name on some flaps from the precious little material we had. To the best of my knowledge there is an equal number of correct and incorrectly spelled cork flaps from the first run. The hunt for more material continued. Eventually my web searching took me to a site called The Cork Store. The material is expensive and costs $118.00 per yard. We used the Casablanca Upholstery for the 2nd run of flaps later classified as Black Eagle F-11.

The Happy Ending of the Cork Flaps

There was a 125 made of the F-11 cork flaps. They were made by Stadri if I remember correctly. They were so excited about the patch they even asked me where I got the material. At the time, I do not think we told them. If they are reading this blog they sure know now. The cork flaps were sold 1 per person at the 04 Spring Fellowship. It was decided to make it a NOAC fund raiser and they sold for $20.00 a piece to lodge members. There was about a dozen left of these flaps at the end of that fellowship. Hopefully, the remaining flaps fell into the hands of those that did not already have one.

It took years...the material is expensive...but the first cork flap sold on Ebay made me feel that these cork patches would be something special. Imagine my surprise at the sight of this...

Cork Makes Debut on Ebay (All Funds were donated to the lodge)

A Little News From Across the Pond

Transatlantic Council has stripped the former Barbarossa District and relocated most of its cities to either Edelweiss or newly formed Rheingold District. Below is how the three districts are restructured. Barbarossa was once, arguably, the strongest district and is now a shadow of its former self.

BARBAROSSA - Kaiserslautern, Ramstein, Landstuhl, Sembach, Baumholder

RHEINGOLD - Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Dexheim, Darmstadt Germany. Switzerland - Bern, Zurich, Basel.

EDELWEISS - Bamberg, Munich, Garmisch, Hanau, W├╝rzburg, Schweinfurt, Kitzingen, Ansbach, Grafenwoehr, Vilseck, Illesheim, Hohenfels, Bad Nauheim, Giessen, Butzbach, Babenhausen, Berlin and Prague from Czech Republic.


It is with sad news that I report Black Eagle Chapter Nacha Chuppacat is no more. It is my assumption that the restructuring of the districts is what caused the end to my former chapter. A new chapter has replaced it under the name of Wha Sha She. Wha Sha She will host its first fellowship this May. I know of no patches in the works for the new Wha Sha She chapter as of yet.

Black Eagle Lodge 2007 World Jambo Flap

I have been recently informed by a Dan Coberly, that Black Eagle Lodge has been creating several new lodge patches. Coberly is a long time supporting member of the lodge and has donated his personal time and money to help produce patches for the lodge. All patches ordered by him are first approved by the lodge.

What is so interesting about these patches from Black Eagle and Transatlantic is that they are being made out of "Linen Material!" Not too long ago, Black Eagle produced cork flaps which turned out to be a quite a desirable piece inside and outside the lodge. Linen flaps will have a tough time living up to the reputation of the cork flaps.

Dan Coberly reports,

"The sets include what should be the first Linen Flaps/CSPs, and include for the first time a BEL lodge WJ contingent CSP (about 50 sets of each two items). The WJ contingent set has gold trim/border. There is also a TAC linen CSP and matching flap with purple yarn trim (about 300). Another set of flaps have green yarn trim with black or red FDL which will be released later as a fundraiser, only 30 of each. Will have to check my notes regarding other numbers.

1st prototypes said LONDON which was changed to ENGLAND on 2nd prototypes and finals. Normally, anywhere from 4-10 protoypes are made of various prototypes for lodge approval.

Other items are in the works but on hold."