Visiting Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco: Celebrating The 40th Anniversary Of Friday The 13th!

I was only five years old when I got my first glimpse of Mrs. Voorhees and she legitimately terrified me to my core. While living on an Air Force Base in Illinois, my family had a number of guests over one Friday for game and movie night. The women and children played Connect Four and Candy Land in the kitchen while the men sat in the living room, watching the original Friday The 13th. The night was coming to an end and I was tasked with putting our board games away in the hallway closet. To get to that closet, I had to walk through the living room, and what I heard and saw next left an indelible mark on my psyche.

"Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma" filled the room as I passed through. The eerie sound caused me to freeze dead in my tracks, and as I focused on the television, I saw Mrs. Voorhees, spilling her soul to the unsuspecting Alice. Even at that age, I felt for Pamela, but I was unprepared for the hatred and loss she was about to unleash on the last camp counselor. After the final battle between Alice and Mrs. Voorhees ended with the mother's beheading, I could not move. I did not know what to think or feel at that point. My father finally realized I was in the room and witnessed the entire ending of the film. He was upset, of course, but quickly ordered me to put the games away and get ready for bed. The problem was, I could not. That dark hallway now represented everything that I feared at that time. Over the years, I learned to face a number of fears through childhood into adulthood, but that was 1982 and at the time, I had no idea the impact Pamela and the entire Friday The 13th franchise would have on my life.

After a brief hiatus where I never watched a single horror film, I was drawn back to the Friday The 13th films with The Final Chapter. That film brought back that same fear I felt with the original Pamela tale and I then started consuming every Fangoria magazine I could find (sometimes outright stealing my friend's father's copies). I was obsessed. And as more movies were released, the more enthused I became about the franchise.

Once the 1980's disappeared, so did a lot of the momentum for my fandom for Friday The 13th. I was in High School at this point with girls and sports to deal with. I had no time to convey my love of Pamela and Jason Voorhees. After High School, I hit many low points, but I rediscovered Friday The 13th and not only my passion for the franchise, but for films in general. I eventually started this website to show my passion for the most unluckiest of days. As I began to write about the films, I realized that the original film completely set the tone for my love of films and how I could cope with adversity and fear. You see, that night back in 1982, I mustered enough courage to put those games away. I conquered that fear and still use that same feeling of dread and despair to motivate myself in everyday life. To make it come full circle, I had to visit the place where it all began. I had to go back to Crystal Lake.

For many years, I had tried to get tickets to the ever growing and popular camp tours put on by the New Jersey Boy Scouts for the opportunity to visit the original camp location Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. Last year, I was finally able to purchase tickets to the Friday May 17th event and I was beyond ecstatic! My wife and daughter drove with me out to New Jersey for that weekend from the Midwest. What a great feeling to have a cross country road trip to go to the camp that will forever be in my heart. I kind of felt like Jack and Marcy and Ned driving out to the camp to help Steve!

Before my family drove into Blairstown, we stopped in Hope, New Jersey to visit the place where Annie is dropped off by Enos at the crossroads. It is still strange to me to think that I actually stood at the road and cemetery of a scene I have watched over 100 times since I was a child. That moment will always be in my top 3 favorite moments of the entire trip.

We missed the store interior location in Hope where Annie walks into the Diner to ask how to get to Crystal Lake. I think I was so excited to get to Blairstown, it just skipped my mind, but I don't have a ton of regrets about that one. Once we got into Blairstown, I was surprised at how close in proximity the Diner was to the main road of downtown that we have all see in the film. I always envisioned it being somewhere on the outskirts, but it is just a block away. Pretty wild to find that out.

The Blairstown Diner was so much fun! I realized that the main counter where Sandy stands behind had been altered and that the entrance had been completely changed from one side of the building to another! I talked incessantly with the staff about the history of the Diner and the fans that they have encountered over the years. They mentioned numerous people coming in wearing hockey masks and Mrs. Voorhees sweaters. You wouldn't believe how much some of the people knew about the filming in the town. I was shocked at how open and kind most everyone was to my family, even knowing I was one of many invading their town because of a movie called Friday The 13th. I even bought a Blairstown Diner shirt.

Over at the main road of town, I had to get pictures of the famous archway that Annie walks through and I visited the Blairstown Museum that not only holds the famous history of the town itself, but also of the filming and production of Friday the 13th. In the museum I found many cool items and memorabilia for sale, but the one thing that really caught my eye was an original shooting script and call sheets from the 1980 film. The almost priceless item was brought to Blairstown by Kyle Harvey, who was lucky enough to purchase the item from auction quite recently.

Blairstown Museum

After taking in the sights of Blairstown, we traveled to the camp that I had always dreamed to visit, but never thought in a million years I would ever get to visit. When my family got to the entrance of the camp, we had a nice wait before being let in. It might have been because we got their a little early!

We were greeted by a number of volunteers after parking and directed to the main eating area. It is an open air pavilion of sorts that I was shocked to learn served as the opening scene of the film where the counselors are singing Hallelujah. That's correct, the opening scene around a fireplace is not in a cabin, but an open air eating area. The original fire place is still there and I sat in front of it talking to the original cook who was employed by the camp during filming of Friday The 13th back in 1979.

That guy had stories to tell, but my favorite was about Crazy Ralph's bike. He told me that he use to ride around on that bike all the time and one day he went to ride it and it was gone, permanently for all time. The cook was pretty upset and always believed fans even back in the early 1980's found the camp and took the bike as a souvenir. While in the eating area, we were surprised by Adrienne King and Ron Milkie, in full police uniform!

After we were done with introductions and suiting up with the sweet backpacks we were provided by the camp. groups were taken to begin the tour of the campgrounds. My group started at the Shower House, where Marcie infamously was killed by Mrs. Voorhees with an axe. As most of us know now, there were no working sinks or showers in this building initially and were constructed specifically for filming. My family and the group went inside and the volunteers had setup a nice little homage to Marcie's scene, complete with sink, rain coat, and a neat little shower curtain that had a shadow of an axe projected on the curtain. Sadly, I did not get a photo of that effect. At the back of the building, Marcie herself, Jeannine Taylor was sitting at a table to take photos, sign autographs, and share stories.

The next stop on the tour was the Main Cabin that all of the counselors spent time in at one point or another in the film. One funny story had to do with the totem pole at the entrance to the cabin. It can be seen in the film, but at some point many years later after filming had commenced, it disappeared completely. Later, an anonymous tip was given to the Boy Scouts that the totem pole was in a dorm room of a local college. Eventually, it was returned unharmed!

The inside of the Main Cabin was exactly what you would expect it to look like from the film. The entrance room still had the fireplace and a well-placed Monopoly game (rumor has it a game of strip Monopoly was played in the cabin later that night, but I cannot confirm). It was the room that served as a kitchen that was completely different. The "kitchen" is actually just another room to bunk in with more beds, but for filming, a sink and oven was added to the room and the door that Alice opens to hide in the pantry is actually not a pantry at all. It did not exist before filming and does not now. That door is simply an entrance and exit to the side of the cabin. The pantry was built onto the side of the building just for the film!

Next, we went to Brenda's Cabin. This building has definitely had some renovations done to it, most notable from the outside, which is great! Inside, you can find some very recognizable objects and features, including the sink in Brenda's cabin as well as the location of the bed with a nice prop left for us to see.

After Brenda's cabin we took a quick trip to Alice's Cabin which was pretty empty, but there was a fun time had with a rubber snake that was left behind. A few people in my group took turns attempting to chop that thing into itty bitty little pieces. The tour group was also taken to the location of where the cabin used to be where Alice and Steve discuss his drawing from the night before. Sadly, that cabin had to be torn down many years ago as it was in really bad shape.

Area where the cabin use to be where Alice and Steve talk about his drawing

One of the most fun parts of the tour was the Archery Range. As our tour guide pointed out, in the film, Alice could not have seen the lights from the Archery Range as the distance away from the Main Cabin and coverage of numerous trees would have concealed the lights. I kind of liked that tidbit. Once at the location, you could tell that it was not used just for archery, but for rifle shooting as well. We had to be careful about not going to far out passed the targets in the grass because of poison ivy and such.

Next we visited the Office as well as the Generator Shed. There wasn't much to offer in terms of information about the office, but the Generator Shed was kind of interesting. We were not allowed to go inside the shed as seen in the movie as its deemed too dangerous. I cannot recall exactly, but I do not think there is a generator in the building anymore, just electrical equipment. If I am wrong, I am sure our readers will let me know.

The last two buildings I checked out were sort of on my own own as the Generator Shed was in the same area. The first building is what I thought of as a barn in the opening of the film where Barry and Claudette go into and up into the loft and killed by Mrs. Voorhees. It was explained to me that it is now a utility shed/building where a lot of the camp's equipment is stored. No one was allowed to go inside. The second building is where Alice goes to get the rifle while fleeing from Mrs. Voorhees. From what I was told, this building is not used for much of anything anymore and is more or less storage.

Where Barry and Claudette Are Killed By Mrs. Voorhees

The Building Where Alice Gets The Rifle To Defend Herself Against Mrs. Voorhees

The day wound down as we ate dinner and prepared to watch the original film on the big screen right on "Crystal Lake". What a surreal experience it was to watch the fight scene between Mrs. Voorhees and Alice and then just look to the left of the screen at the actual beach it happened on! After the film was over, a number of us made smores at a camp fire before we all retired to a cabin for the night. My cabin was on the other side of the lake. This provided an excellent point of view shot of the camp and beach, just like Mrs. Voorhees had in the film!

I have to tell you, I didn't sleep much that night. I just gazed out the windows and marvelled at the beauty of the scenery and the camp itself. I stood out front of the cabin and it was unbelievable. I eventually went to sleep, but woke up quite early. At 6am, I was out of the cabin, and I decided to take a little video of the immediate area as I walked from my cabin all the way to the beach. Standing on this lake, in this camp, thinking back to all of the times I watched the film and imagined I was in the movie, I could not believe it. Hardly anyone was outside at this point of the morning. I felt like I had the camp all to myself. It was possibly the most surreal moment of my entire life.

As everyone woke up from the cabins, we all got to take canoe rides on the lake, which was another head trip. The ability to be on the lake (Ok, it's Sand Pond, not an actual lake, but it looks like one from certain views) was another unreal experience. I asked the person who was steering the canoe to take me by the boat house, which is sadly partially under water, and also by the area where the cabin use to stand where Ned was killed by Mrs. Voorhees. There are some beautiful shots of the lake while in the canoe.

The boat house is slowly going under water as well as the beach due to beavers building a dam at the end of the lake, which the Boy Scouts cannot have taken down due to the dam being on someone else's property. It's a real shame, and I hope the all parties involved can find a resolution to save the land around the camp location.

After the canoe rides, we got to have a Q & A session with Adrienne, Jeannette and Ron. There was some hilarious stories and banter between the three of them. After that, it was sadly time to leave. I truly did not want to and it was hard to go.

I have to take a moment and thank all of the people involved in this camp tour event. First, C and V Promotions. Chris and Stacey do an amazing job of continuously bringing the franchise alumni to fans to meet and sign autographs and having Jeannette, Ron, and Adrienne at camp doesn't get any better for the full experience.

I have to thank all of the volunteers who came out and spent the weekend managing numerous tours and the countless people that were full of excitement. I was really impressed by the knowledge of the volunteers, not only of the camp's history, but also of the correlation of scenes in Friday The 13th. Huge kudos to everyone.

I have to especially thank Paul from Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. It is absolutely killing me that I cannot remember his last name. This guy is unbelievable. He has a true passion for his camp. When I say "his" camp, I mean just that. He feels a real responsibility to the camp, it's surroundings, and the kids that visit the unbelievable area every year. He treats it just like his own and I have the utmost respect for him and everything he is doing to keep Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco running for future generations to come. He treated myself and my family so well and I will never forget the experience that he created for me and the countless fans that came before and after me.

I highly recommend this tour. Find a way to visit Blairstown and the camp. If you're a fan of the franchise, and especially the original film, this tour is a must. As all of us celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original film and the birth of this glorious franchise, I think back to when I was a kid and discovered Friday The 13th 1980 for the first time. It definitely affected me, in a positive way, and it is amazing for me to think that now in my 40's, I can still reflect on all of the years watching these films, never truly letting go of my fandom, and all of the great relationships I have made online and in person because of a little boy drowning at a sleepy summer camp and a vengeful mother named Mrs. Voorhees.
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