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OTHER COUNCIL CAMPS

The first known summer camp was held August 28 through August 31, 1917, at the Baptist encampment grounds in Christoval, Texas.  Troop 1, under the leadership of O. W. Caldwell, Scoutmaster, spent four days there.  They were host to every boy in San Angelo who could arrange to take an outing at that time and who would subject themselves to the main Scout rule - "Do right."  Nothing is known about the camp itself except that we know from the location and from future camps that they did Scoutcraft and of course went swimming, probably several times a day.

There were many different summer camps held in the Concho Valley Council from 1922 til they went to Camp Louis Farr in 1929.  In some summers, they held a camp at the beginning of the summer and another camp at the end of the summer.  Here are those camps.

Camp Vista Concho

With equipment similar to that used by soldiers, but minus guns, sixty-four Boy Scouts of San Angelo, TX left at 8 o'clock for Leedale on the Middle Concho River on August 27, 1922 for a five-day encampment.  Leedale was located eight miles southwest of the city.  The use of the campgrounds was tendered by John P. Lee, owner, and Dick DeLong, lessee. 

Members of the Kiwanis Club furnished transportation.  Sam Crowther, first Kiwanis Club President and Chairman of the Scout Camp Committee, accompanied the youth to the camp.  There were eight patrols of eight youth each and for each patrol there was a Scoutmaster.  Each patrol occupied a separate tent.  Swimming, games, instruction in Scoutcraft, diving, life saving, fourteen mile hikes and exercises were part of the program of camp. 

The idea for a Boy Scout Band came out of this encampment.  The proposition was submitted to the boys in camp and a large number signified their desire to enlist as musicians. 

Upon completion of the camp the Scouts marched down Chadbourne street.  "This first Scout camp was a wonderful success in every way and will be made an annual affair", said Mr. Compton.  "The boys not only benefited from instruction in Scout tactics, but they learned much in the way of comradeship, fair play, politeness, and other admirable qualities." 

September 2 - 8, 1923 - The next year's camp was held in Christoval, TX with John Price as Camp Director.  Eighty Scouts slept on folding cots beneath the main tabernacle of the Baptist Encampment along the South Concho River that ran next to the camp.  The boys paid $1.50 for camp. 

The Scouts were guests of Mr. and Mrs. William Anson at their Head-of-the-River ranch above Christoval at a barbecue at noon on Friday.  The boys biked about four miles in the rain but the trudge only whetted their appetites for the barbecue mutton, frijole beans, pickles, onions, bread, and watermelons.  The rain had ceased by the time they reached the ranch.

Two Geronimo Camps

Two camps were held in 1926 following the organization of the Concho Valley Council that spring.  The first camp, called "Geronimo I" was held again in Christoval but this time they camped on the south side of the river of the Baptist Encampment grounds.  During the camp the Kiwanis Club had its ladies' night and the DeMolay Band played for them.  Most of the members of the band had been in the original Boy Scout Band of 1922.  The camp fee was $6.00 that year. 

They white washed the rocks around the tents and Bob Weston spilled lime all over himself.  In addition, Keith Arnold killed a skunk in his campsite which stunk up the site for a couple of days.  A veterinarian cut up a dog after putting it to sleep, to show the Scouts the various inner parts. 

The camp patch was felt, shaped like an arrowhead and had a "G" on it.  It was red with a green "G." 

Geronimo II was held September 9-14, 1926 just before school started.  The Scouts went to camp on Thursday in ten trucks piled high with baggage and boys.  The group was involved in the program for fifteen hours of work and play each day.  J. T. Sorrels erected a huge mess hall that would accommodate over 200 at one time complete with tables and benches. 

The Eagles, headed by Bormar Horton, on Saturday morning won the inspection.  Then the group hiked about nine miles down the South Concho River to a big swimming hole.  Later that afternoon, the boys turned Chinaman and did what washing was required.  On Tuesday night the Scouts served barbecue to the Liion's club.  The club, in turn, passed our Eskimo pies twice to the Scouts.

Camp Pioneer

Camp Pioneer was held near the seven mile bridge outside of San Angelo, TX, 1928. The site is now part of Lake Nasworthy.  The Scouts paid $7.00 for the ten day camp. One hundred and twenty-five Scouts attended the camp from seven troops in San Angelo and troops from Brunette, Christoval, and Menard.  The youth barely got their tents set up when the rain descended.  It rained all day and resulted in a four inch rise in the river.

Camp Kickapoo

Camp Kickapoo was the name of the camp held in the summer of 1928 from June 4 to 13.  It was held on the San Saba river just ten miles Southwest of Menard, TX.  The camp was located on a knoll with a natural slope in the heart of a sixty acre pecan grove. There was a mile of waterfront and fifty canoes at the camp according to William Silver, whose son Howard was at the camp.  They had a mess hall, a library building, headquarters and a building for completion of handicraft which was constructed of pecan tree logs and lumber.  They had canvas roofs.  A new game known as "Ping-Pong" was a big feature or the rest periods after lunch.  The cost of camp dropped back to $6.00 from Camp Pioneer. 

Dwight Hunter, Jr. and J. T. Henderson both told this story to the author so it must be true.  K. N. Clapp, one evening during the campfire program that he was leading, suddenly, without explanation, started taking off his Scout shorts and then his underwear right in front of everyone!  Everyone in the audience was horrified until Clapp explained to the Scouts that a stinging scorpion was in his pants.  Hunter said that Clapp was very upset at the Scouts because he just knew that one of them had put the scorpion in his shorts.  However, according to our two Scout who told this story, this was not true; the scorpion apparently crawled into hs short before he put them on for the campfire or while he was siting down at the campfire.

Camp Connellee

The 5,000 acre ranch owned by C. V. Connellee was the site of the 1929 summer camp.  It was named Camp Connellee and was located on the banks of the North Concho River about sixteen miles Northeast of San Angelo, TX.  Water for the camp came from a fourteen foot well and was piped to the kitchen.  A mess hall was built on the north side of the bank, where meals were served family style.  There were two ten-day periods of camp.  The first period was held from May 27 to June 5, 1929 and the second from June 5 to June 14.  A total of 231 boys attended the two sessions. 

The Scouts stayed in eighteen tents, stretched on both sides of the river.  There were  three miles of river front and two swimming holes, one for beginners and one for swimmers.  The first camp period of 150 Scouts were divided into two groups - the David Crocketts and the Kit Carsons.

Camp Louis Farr

The second camp for the summer of 1929 was held at Tankersley Spring on the Spring Creek ranch at the head of Spring Creek about three miles west of Mertzon from August 14 to 28th.  The camp was name "Camp Louis Farr" in honor of the late L. L. Farr, a great friend of Fayette Tankersley.  This was the first time this camp was used and was used every year for summer camp until 1955.  More will be said about this camp later.  On this year, the camp was divided into three groups, Indians, Pioneers and Naturalists, and emphasized swimming, bead work, Indian lore and pioneering.  Several authentic Indian graves were located  near the campsite.  The first session, August 14 - 21, was the advanced camp opened to boys who registered for two weeks, and these campers were used as junior counselors in the regular camp which was from August 21 to 28th. 

Tthe dining hall and other buildings from Camp Connellee were moved to Louis Farr for summer camp in 1931.  The first week of summer camp started on May 24, 1931.  In preparation for the camp, a kitchen and storeroom were erected with a concrete floor and a dining hall large enough to accommodate 160 campers was added next to the kitchen. 

A well was dug near the kitchen and an office and craft storeroom were build as well as dressing rooms for the swimmers.  The new campsite was located several hundred yards from the site used on Spring Creek the previous year.  It was out of danger of high water and afforded an open playground and large woods nearby.   One of the largest trees in West Texas grows near the camp and an old stage coach line left history of Indian fights near the site. 

The camp ran for 26 years with thousands of boys experiencing the adventure of Camp Louis Farr.  When the council quit the camp in 1955, the building materials from Carr Village were taken to Camp Sol Mayer where they were used to build the old headquarters and visitors building across from the dining hall.  All that remains of Camp Louis Farr today is the two story Yates dining hall, the caretakers home and some rock walls in Carl Village.