GIRARD CAMP ACTIVITIES Swimming, Boating, Fishing, Archery, Hiking, Badminton, Volley Ball, Sing Along - Evening Bonfire
Summer camp was broken into three sessions; each session was for a duration of three weeks:The Girard Camp could handle about 140 campers; grouped into 5 companies (Company "A" thru Company "E") with 28 campers in each company! Each company had 3 cabins to house the 28 campers! The cabins were arranged in a partial semi-circle around a common assembly area facing the lake! In the center of the semi-circle of cabins was a large Mess Hall (dining area) with wide wooden stepsleading up toa double-door entry. In front of the "Mess Hall" was a flag post holding the Americn flag.
Additional cabins existed for other personal that operted the activities of the camp. There was a cabin for the Director of the camp, one for the Infirmary, and one for the "Blue Shirts". Blue Shirts were Hum seniors who performed all the Mess Hall duties (prepping meals, waiting tables, washing dishes etc:) They wore camp issued blue shirts!
Swimming: Swim test: The test was to jump off the dock, swim out and circle the distant raft and swim back to the dock. Successful swimmers were issued a green colored string to be worn continuously around their wrist for their 3 week stay at the camp. They were qualified swimmers allowed to swim in deeper waters of the lake and were permitted to canoe the lake!
Those unable to past the "around the raft" test were issued a red string and restricted to the shallow water "crib area" during swim period.
Boating: Campers with green wrist bands were allowed to take out canoes during the boating period. Those with red bands were allowed to use only row boats. On the far side of the lake was a large , protruding rock called "Turtle Rock" because a large "snapping turtle" liked to sun on it. "Turtle Rock" was strictly "off limits" to boaters and to all campers.
Archery: Archery was at the "old campsite", a collection of abandoned cabins about one/quarter of a mile from the main camp! The site had no lake - so a nearby stream was dammed creating the lake and campsite that we enjoyed in the 1940's. Archery was with copper tipped arrows aimed at a "bulls-eye" canvas tartgets covering a bale of straw.
Fishing: Fishing was with a thin branch and string line, although some campers had their own rod and reel. Bait was stale bread rolled into a moist ball. Catching a fish was a rare event, but some campers were successful catching mostly "sunnies" and, occasionally, a small lake bass.
Badminton: Badmitton, horseshoes and volleyball were low on the list of interest, but were required in order to fill out an activities schedule.
Hiking; Campers hiked through the woods almost on a daily basis! A favorite place to hike to was the "Bushkill Falls"
PHOTOGRAPHS: Click on photograph to enlarge it!
History of the Girard Camp! The Girard camp was acquired in 1929. It opened on August 10, 1929. The camp (531 acres) was acquired for $4,909.
The camp was closed in 1951 and was sold to the city of Philadelphia in 1953 for $130,000. The camp was renamed Camp William Penn.
The camp is located about 8 miles north of Marshalls Creek in Porters Twp (Pike County) and Middle Creek Township (Monroe County). It is comprised of 671 acres (Note 1) and includes a 7 acre lake and a 1 acre pond. It includes over 100 rustic buildings; consisting of bunk cabins, 2 recreation halls, dining hall & kitchen, nature lodge, arts and crafts lodge, health center, 2 shower houses & utility buildings.
The camp is surrounded by 2,000 acres of State forests and 5,000 acres of game land.
The City of Philadelphia sold the camp to the PA. Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources (Deeded to The Bureau of Forestry) on October 5, 2010 for $1.36 million.