In 1980, classic slasher movie Friday the 13th hit movie theaters. Since that first movie, Jason has been ingrained in horror movie pop culture. What many don’t realize is that the beginning of that reign of terror started in New Jersey.
Camp Crystal lake is actually a Boy Scout camp known as Camp NoBeBoSco located in the northern New Jersey in Hardwick Township. The main street in the nearby town of Blairstown was also used as the backdrop for the film.
The camp has been in operation since 1927 making it the oldest continuously operating Scout camp in New Jersey. “No-Be-Bo-Sco” stands for NOrth BErgen BOy SCOuts.
The camp sits on over 380 acres surrounded by the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Nearby to the camp is another 112,000 acres of public land that includes Blair Creek Preserve, Worthington State Forest, Stokes State Forest, High Point State Park, and the Flatbrook-Roy, Walpack, and Hainesville Wildlife Management Areas.
The famous Appalachian Trail runs alongside the camp property and the Delaware River is located just three miles away.
These are all just beautiful open spaces to visit in New Jersey.
Now, I will admit, I have never seen the movie end-to-end. I don’t handle horror movies well – I have “blood” issues. But I will say I was pretty excited when I was in high school and stayed at the camp for “Leadership Training Camp” – known as “LTC” at the time – for New Jersey students involved in their local Student Government Organization (SGO). Everyone was very excited to stay there!
More than 30 years later, people still love this movie. And on this Friday the 13th, I wanted to remind everyone that getting scared out of your wits started right here…in New Jersey.