2017 is the 90th anniversary of Camp Cedarledge! To celebrate, we wanted to give our readers an idea of what the first summer of camp was like for Girl Scouts.
The camp opened in the summer of 1927 on 259 acres of wood hills and grassy meadows. The camp was named Cedarledge because of the abundance of cedar trees and limestone ledges on the hills. Flowing springs in the valleys and a brook running through the meadow made the old farmland the perfect campsite.
When the camp opened, a farmhouse and natural spring-fed pond were the only facilities available! Campers pitched their own tents and purified water from a cistern or hauled it from a distance. The old farmhouse was used as camp headquarters and included the kitchen, pantry, storeroom and infirmary.
When campers arrived from St. Louis, they were unloaded at the camp gate because the camp road was not suited for heavy vehicles. Campers walked into camp and their luggage was taken by a horse-drawn wagon. It was a long and hot walk!
For $7 a week, 423 girls ages 10 to 18 attended the first eight weeks of summer camp in 1927. Three units of canvas tents on wooded floors housed 24 girls in each unit. Each unit worked as a troop while at camp. The program was planned by each troop’s Court of Honor and varied each week.
The “Old Settlers” (Or Pioneer Unit) unit accommodated girls ages 14 to 18 who specialized in pioneering skills and construction. They cut trails, built primitive cook ovens, made cupboards, caches, furniture and painted tent floors. The unit was located on Pioneer Hill/Pioneer Mountain.
The “Rocky Ridge” unit was for girls 13 to 14 and they did mostly nature study. The name was changed to Sherwood Forest, then to Gypsy Dell.
Woody Glen unit was for the younger girls, ages 10 to 13, who worked on fire building, and outdoor cooking. These units were situated in Woody Glen Valley.
We will provide more history of Camp Cedarledge throughout the summer and hope you enjoy this peak into life at camp during 1927!
Living the camp life,
Smiles and Happy