Friday, September 21, 2018
My Tomahawk Career
David Schmidtke

I was a Scout at Fox campsite in Chippewa for two years, I think 1963 & 1964 although it might have been a year or two later. At that time, the waterfront was at Blackfoot campsite on Lake Neilson. You had to wade through the muck to get to canoes on racks by the swim pier.

As a Scout, I thought it would be neat to be a staff member, but jobs, college, etc. got in the way until 1974 when it looked like I might graduate from college and thought that if I wanted to work on the camp staff, I better do it. I was hired as the Assistant Sioux Beach Director and was sent to National Camp School at Many Point Scout Reservation. Because I was a novice at the beach, it was about 3 weeks before the beach staff, led by Paul Sieverson, allowed me to run the gate to the swim beach. I was back to direct Sioux Beach from 1975 through 1978, then moved to the sailing beach in 1979. In 1980, I’d gone to work on the aquatics staff at National Camp School. When I got home, Homer Miles asked me if I’d be Chippewa Program Director. I thought a couple of seconds and said yes. With that, I became the first non-professional program director in many years to work at TSR. I was Chippewa Program Director in 1980 & 81.

I finally did graduate from college and got a real job, but was back at Tomahawk in Sioux Camp as a Provisional Scoutmaster for a few years. During most of these years, I also served on the Council Camping Committee as the Camping Chairman from Chief Little Crow District. I came back in 1989 to direct Sioux Beach, then 1990 to direct Chippewa Beach, then in 1991 to open up and direct Navajo beach the first year Navajo was in operation. Since then, I’ve helped select and develop the White Pine Beach and have built the lookout towers at White Pine and Sioux Beach.

Since 1986, I’ve lived in Janesville, Wisconsin making it a bit more difficult to be active at TSR. I am active with a troop in Janesville, and camped at TSR in 2004 with a nephew and will be back this summer.

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