Camp Nobebosco aka Camp Crystal Lake

Camp Nobebosco is a nationally accredited boy scout camp in Blairstown which has been operating since 1927.  In 1979 the low budget horror flick Friday the 13th was filmed here. The movie spawned countless sequels, and practically invented the slasher horror film genre, inspiring Freddy Krueger (who he later fought) as well as Michael Myers. Camp Crystal lake was originally said to be in NJ (where the original was actually filmed) but subsequent movies claim the camp is located in CT (where the 2nd film was shot)

I visited the camp on Friday,, January 13th, 2006, and met with the camp troop leader. He politely told me no one allowed on the property and all requests had to go thru the are Boy Scout leadership. To his knowledge all film crews, newspaper and tv reporters have been refused access. If they catch someone trespassing the police are called in. He further says that they have many problems whenever the 13th falls on a Friday and said that if the boy scouts new then what they know now they never would’ve participated in the film project. Then again, who ever would’ve though that this low budget flick would generate over half a billion dollars worth of revenue over the next 3 decades?
Since I could not get very far,  here’s a web page which has photos of the cabins and the lake. This site does a side by side comparison of screen shots and actual locals. And here’s another website which features a similar side by side comparison..

the roads were strangely quiet and foggy on January 13th, 2006 when I visited…

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by LJadvocate on October 27, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    A friend of mine was a camp counselor there one summer. Not sure what association he had to the boy scouts, but I do know that he was an advocate for working with kids. He was very young (would have been a sophomore in high school that coming fall), brilliant, a tremendous swimmer and a certified lifeguard. Unfortunately he drowned in the lake that summer. He is sorely missed.
    The camp was never referred to as Camp NoBeBoSco, only as Camp Crystal Lake…which also led to the story of my friend’s drowning then being told that it was the curse of the camp. Wonder if any other tragedies occurred there?
    Funny how a low-budget film can cause so much controversy and discomfort to many although others have wonderfully fond memories of the place.

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  2. Posted by DuWayne on May 28, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    I went out of my way to sneak into the camp and take photos of the lake and surroundings when I was working in Blairstown a few years back. Wish I could have hung out there a little longer, but not worth getting caught.

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  3. Posted by John Fragale on August 17, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    I was a scout from Bergen County when Nobebosco stood for “North Bergen Boy Scouts.” I was a couple months short of 12 and terrified. I had never been away from home without my family before except for visits to my grandparents in Butler, then “the country.” My upset was compounded by the fact that my younger brother was in quarantine at Bergen Pines with encephalitis; and it was not known wether he would live or die. He improved while I was at camp; but news was slow to arrive by mail. (No cell phones back then in 1948.) My favorite memory of that experience is climbing up the mountain and breaking off a small piece of metal from the remains of the plane that had crashed there in 1944 for a souvenier.

    –John

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  4. Posted by Mama on July 22, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    When I was in 5th grade 1975-76 school year, I went to school in Irvington NJ (Union Ave School). For one school week, we attended a camp. The campground looked very much like the camp in Friday the 13th. I do not remember the name of the camp. It cost $25 for the week and the camp commandant was Mr. Nitey (sp?) Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanx.

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  5. Posted by AmberRae on July 20, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    I went to the camp in 97? or around there on a Middles School over night class trip… The woods were beautiful and it was a blast as I remember… They took us out on the boat to test the water, and into the woods to check on the creeks… its a shame they don’t do the nature tours anymore.

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  6. July 20th, 1969. I was 13 years old, packed off to Camp NoBeBoSco in Blairstown for the summer. Released from school, I wanted to be free to run the streets of the neighborhood adventuring with my friends. It was my first extended time away from home w/ out parents. It turned out camp wasn’t such a bad deal after all. The food was good, probably only because we were always starving from running around all day swimming and canoeing and playing sports, AND, simply because we were 13. Our moms and dads were kind enough to make sure we had extra money stashed away to buy chips and candy at a very well stocked “canteen”. We would share and hoard and trade for things that came in “care packages” from home. Most of the camping areas were assigned to individual scout troops from their home towns. There weren’t enough of us from my troop so we were assigned the area with other troops whose numbers also didn’t justify their own campsite. We were the Mohicans. This was 1969. There were violent race riots going on as near as Englewood. Growing up in a town just about all “white” with very few hispanics and Greeks thrown in the mix, it was my first personal contact with real live “colored” people. I was both surprised and relieved to discover they didn’t want to kill me just because I happened to be born “white”. Radio reception was spotty but I had brought along one of those forerunners of the boom box, an amazing new compact portable tape player/recorder that played the even more amazing cutting edge marvel called casette tapes. They’d never heard anyting other than “hits” by The Rolling Stones and the Beatles, and we’d never heard anything other than “hits” by the likes of Stevie Wonder and that Motown sound. Though previously somewhat shy on both sides at first, the black kids and my tentmates and I almost immediately bonded over the music. Naturally, someone had smuggled in copies of playboy and the like, and many of us got our first look at a stark naked woman. Right outside our campsite there were enormous outdoor speakers up on a telephone pole surrounded by a chainlink fence that blared revele at 6:00 every morning. By the second night we dug under that fence and chopped those wires with our official Boy Scout issue hand axes. There was of course an “investigation” but not one of us ever admitted guilt or gave anyone up. We were “punished” by being fed WWII “C” rations. They never did figure out that each one conatined a good sized chocolate bar and at least 2 cigarettes, so, waste not – want not, right? We even had enough left over to trade with the other campers not fortunate enough to ocasionally be punished their own “C” rations. After the third or fourth time they gave up trying to repair that damn bugle tower. Victory! From that moment on we were a troop rather than a group of strangers thrown together for convenience. We were no longer black or white, even we both thought it was really cool that for probably the first time for most of us, we all had good friends that happend to be both black and white. Looking back, though we all fancied ourselves “Hogan’s Heros” it wasn’t until the show “MASH” debuted some years later on I realized it was more like our own MASH unit(unfortunately without the nurses). One day near dusk one of the councellors came running out of the enormous open walled mess hall, tearing across the parade grounds screaming like Paul Revere that “They’re walking on the moon!!”. We ran from all directions into the mess hall and jostled around a 5 or 6 inch black and white TV set up on the mantle of a HUGE stone fireplace. Yes indeed. They were walking on the moon. I was always taught and believed that we lived in the best country in the history of civilization. I was a patriot largely by indoctrination rather than consious choice and took much for granted. At that moment I remembered JFK’s challenge and for the first time, though certainly not the last, I was overwhelmed, nearly to the point of tears with pride in being an American, positively in awe of what were able to accomplish as Americans. The next morning as we saluted the flag as it was raised up the pole we all stood a little taller, shouder to shoulder with our new American friends. We were back and we were white. We were the Mohican Troop. We were Americans.

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  7. Posted by Steve on May 30, 2009 at 7:48 PM

    Been there done that.

    I was a Boy Scout and Cub Scout for over 10 years. I went to summer camp there. NoBeBoSco actually stands for “North Bergen Boy Scouts”

    Supposedly there have been rumors for as long as I can remember that Jason’s body (not his actual body but his mannequin) is still in the lake. It’s really impossible to tell what’s in the lake cause it’s so hard to see in it.

    It’s really an awesome place, especially after you see the movie. It’s pretty cool to think I slept in a cabin Jason was in killing.

    Reply

    • Posted by lostinjersey on June 1, 2009 at 10:34 AM

      i just went camping at Nobe this weekend and saw the abandoned boy scout camp that’s borders it. will be posting about it shortly. I didn’t have much of a chance to see the camp where it was filmed. i had hoped to, but will just have to do it next time. Thanks for the comments!

      Reply

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