75 Years of BOJC – the Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock


75 years of the Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock 

75 years ago the idea of The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock began to form when, in 1938, Joe Brooks, Jr., J. Hammond Brown and Frank Smoot launched a publication entitled “The Junior Outdoorsman”. Published by The Maryland State Game and Fish Protective Association, the effort was directed specifically at young boys. The concept of teaching youngsters about fishing and conservation of our natural resources was the ground work for the formation of the Brotherhood.

Joe Brooks was then Chairman of the Fresh Water Committee of the Maryland State Game and Fish Protective Association while Ham Brown was the organization’s President. Frank L. Bentz, Sr. was Public Relations Director of the Maryland Game and Inland Fish Commission.

At the urging of Joe and Ham, Frank arranged a weekend outing on Maryland’s Big Hunting Creek near the town of Thurmont in Frederick County, Maryland. Invitations were mailed on the letterhead of The Maryland State Game and Fish Protective Association to members of that group and to the Outdoor Writers Association of America, and other guests. About twenty-five anglers attended the weekend affair held on the opening day of trout season in April. The hardy fishermen overnighted in a rustic lodge still under construction at Camp No. 1 in the Catoctin Recreational Area; it did not yet have windows.

The gathering of anglers was so successful that it was decided to repeat the weekend fishing foray the following year dubbing it “The Anglers Campfire”. The above text is from the BOJC website.

This was the beginning of teaching thousands upon thousands of young men how to care for the environment, a love of the outdoors, stream craft and fly fishing among the many skills learned. What an amazing program and institution set up on a snowy afternoon long ago which has touched and influenced so many lives for the better. In a day of so much negative and heart wrenching local and global news and with so many young people more inclined to play online video games this is then a life saving organisation. Type one diabetes along with obesity are on a rapid increase. This is a great organisation every boy needs to be a part of.

Thank you BOJC and congratulations on 75 years. Joe, Ham and Frank would be so proud of all the heavy lifting you have done over the years. We thank you for the many lives influenced and impacted in a positive way.


75 Years of BOJC – the Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock

One thought on “75 Years of BOJC – the Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock

  1. Joe Gatelein says:

    Some of my greatest childhood memories were going to the BOJC. My father’s & I were members #77,78. I actually got to see Frank as an adult and we both cried. Unfortunately he passed the following year. I hope it continues to grow & more sons have the same experience’s with their fathers as I did.


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