Staff Photo

Siple campsite is named in honor of Paul Siple, former camp staff member and famous American scientist.  The terrarium in the Nature Area was built by Paul Siple in 1938.

Siple was first located on the hill behind Ridgway and was later moved to the Tenny side after the bridge was built in 1966. Siple was closed around 2000 when shoreline zoning regulations made it impossible to replace the latrine.

In 2014 when Baden-Power Campsite was selected as the location for a new dining hall, Boone campsite which was the home of the CIT's for many years was needed for a troopsite.  Siple campsite was re-opened as the new home of the CIT's.  Without a latrine in the site, the CIT used the nearby shower house.

Paul Siple, 1928
Siple was only 19 years old when
he accompanied Byrd's expedition.
About Paul A. Siple

The name Paul Siple is not well recognized today outside several small circles. Yet, this man once graced the cover of Time magazine, and his major scientific accomplishment has dominated winter weather reports for the past four decades. The well-known term windchill, used to describe human comfort due to the impacts of cold temperatures and wind, was coined by Paul Siple in his doctoral thesis research on the freezing rate under breezy conditions.

Paul Siple was more than just a research scientist, however. He was an author of four books, a renowned polar explorer, geographer and a leading American authority on the Antarctic. As a member of Admiral Richard Byrd's first Antarctic expedition in 1928, he was the first Eagle Scout to travel to Antarctica. Siple spent more than six years of his life on the Antarctic ice.

The prominent role played by Siple in the American exploration of the Southern Continent has been acknowledged by the names you will find on the continent's map: Siple Island (located at 73o 39'S, 125o 00'W) with its Mount Siple; the Siple Coast (82o 00'S, 155o 00'W); and Siple Station, the United States scientific installation in Ellsworth Land.

Paul Allen Siple was born December 18, 1908, in Montpelier, Ohio. In his second decade, his family moved to Erie, Pennsylvania where Paul joined the Boy Scouts and took an avid interest in the many merit badge programs, earning 60 badges by the time he was 18.

In the fall of 1927 he attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania as a biology major. That summer was spent working as a nature instructor in the Boy Scout camp with honest intentions of returning to school for his sophomore year in September 1928, however Eagle Scout Siple found himself on board the City of New York, flagship for Commander Richard E. Byrd's Antarctic Expedition, as the official representative of the Boy Scouts of America. For the next eighteen months, Siple was either at sea or on the Antarctic continent. His association and growing friendship with Richard E. Byrd during this expedition would tightly intertwine their lives until the Admiral's death in 1957.

Returning to Allegheny College in the spring of 1930, Siple focused on his studies with such intensity that he completed three academic years in two calendar year and received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 1932. But amazingly, academics did not occupy all his time. He also found time to write two books on his adventures: "A Boy Scout With Byrd" was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in the winter of 1931, followed closely by "Exploring At Home" in September 1932.

In late 1932, Paul rewarded himself with a backpacking trip to Europe (including the Soviet Union), Asia Minor and northern Africa. While in Egypt early in 1933, Admiral Byrd sent word for him to hurry back to Boston, Massachusetts. The Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition was about to begin, and Byrd wanted Siple with him.

Siple was awarded the national Silver Buffalo award in 1947 by the Boy Scouts of America.

~ The Weather doctor

Photo of Siple Station Sign on Ellsworth Land, Antarctica
Photo courtesy of  Ralph Lewis & Mike Labbe
Camp William Hinds Expedition Card
1928 letter from Chief Scout Executive
James West, inviting Boy Scout
applicants for the Byrd Expedition
Evaluation sheet for Paul Siple,
the Boy Scout selected to accompany
the Byrd expedition, 1928
Telegram of August 4, 1928, from James
West, Chief Scout Executive, to the six 
Boy Scouts selected as finalists in the 
competition to go with Byrdís expedition
to Antarctica

Paul Siple on Time Magazine
December 1956
1994 Scouting Magazine Article about
Paul Siple
Paul Siple receives his Silver Buffalo from 
Admiral Byrd in 1947.

Eagle Scout Paul Siple with Scouts while on a tour of summer camps
Notice from the 1938 Camp Handbook
Staffer Paul Siple at Signal Rock 1938
Photo courtesy Neal Paulson
(Click image to see it larger)
Staffer Paul Siple at Signal Rock 1938
Photo courtesy Neal Paulson
(Click image to see it larger)
Unknown Staffer  at Signal Rock 1938
Photo courtesy Neal Paulson
(Click image to see it larger)
Some Boy's Life Articles about or by Paul Siple
(Click on the cover to see the article)
Scout with Byrd
greets his Mother
July 1929
Scouting in the
August 1930
On the Artic Ice

February 1931

Scouting Towards
August 1931
The Scout World

September 1931

Leader of the
West Base
January 1940

Page design and layout by:
Dean B. Zaharis
Created: November 7, 2008
Last Update: May 1, 2022
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The article shown below was written by Ken Cole in 1990.  Although we believe it contains some inaccuracies, it is included here for historical reference.
  • Siple developed the Wind Chill scale in 1945 while on expedition, not while on Camp Hinds staff.
  • We know of no formal connection between Camp Hinds and Adminal Byrd, thus it is unlikely that he had any involvement in inviting Siple to work on Camp Hinds staff.
  • Our information suggestest that Paul Siple worked at Camp Hinds in 1938.
  • We have no information to suggest that Siple spent more than one summer in Raymond.