By Marlana Ward
For decades, young men from local communities have ventured to Whitesburg, TN to experience fun and to learn at the Boy Scouts of America’s Camp Davy Crockett. Now, the Sequoyah Council of BSA is asking for those who have benefited from the program or the camp itself to return and invest in the youth of tomorrow.Camp Davy Crockett located on 1,800 acres of various grounds including shoreline, woods, and mountains opened in 1972 and had been providing a wide range of outdoor activities to the more than 100,000 scouts who have attended the camp over the years.The camp surroundings accommodate the many activities such as archery, canoeing, swimming, lifesaving, rifle shooting, sailing, motor boating, forestry, nature, fishing, First Aid, woodcarving, leatherwork and more. In a recent release by the Sequoyah Council, the organization expressed its dedication to remaining relevant in today’s world stating, “In keeping with the Sequoyah Council’s reputation of being an innovative leader, Camp Davy Crockett also features Project C.O.P.E. (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience), kayaking, geocaching, climbing, golf, mountain biking, Frontier Camp and the First Year Camper Program.”
Being in operation for more than 45 years, Camp Davy Crockett has grown and aged, so the need for improvements and expansions to the camp has become necessary to ensure safe, successful camp experiences for years to come. The council has been working behind the scenes to begin the fundraising process for much-needed changes and repairs. The camp’s campaign titled “Let’s Get It Growing” focuses on sharing visions for the future with scout alumni, current scouts, and those scouts yet to come. The silent, first phase of the process was very successful with $3.2 million raised. Now, the group is ready for Phase II, which will be a public effort to raise the remaining funds needed to reach the camp’s goal. In the official statement, scout executive/CEO of the Sequoyah Council, David Page said, “”Let’s Get It Growing” enables us to connect with the entire scouting family and our community to share the story of Camp Davy Crockett, emphasizing its role in providing the best possible outdoor experience for our scouts. Phase one of our campaign put us in a position to start tackling some critical needs, and this next step is the natural evolution of our effort to sustain the camp for the next 25 to 30 years.”
Improvements already completed or are underway at the camp are construction of a new, multi-purpose dining hall and renovation of the current dining hall to increase staff dormitories and training areas. New bathhouses; 50 new Adirondack cabins; waterfront dock; log roll and iceberg elements; purchase of a Tahoe ski boat; paddle boards; kitchen enhancements; road improvements; 11 campsite pavilions; and staff village, which will be made available for rental during the camp’s off-season are all on the list. Johnson County has sent a number of its own scouts to Camp Davy Crockett over the years and each year more young men enter the organization to learn and grow skills to help them in the future. “There are over 50 scouts registered in Johnson County and 20 adult volunteers,” said Royce Fox, Field Director for the BSA Sequoyah Council.
Fox sees the camp as an essential part of a scout’s time with the organization and a time when great strides are made in character development. “It has often been said by Scout leaders that a boy will get more program time in one week of camp than he will in a whole year of weekly Scout meetings,” he expressed. “They get to experience the things they have learned first-hand and hands-on. They learn by doing and have a great time in the process.” The Sequoyah Council realizes that the many improvements planned for the camp will take time and have a scheduled completion date of 2019-2020 for some of the more involved projects such as a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) center and family fun activity center.
The BSA is dependent upon alumni and active community members to make sure that future generations of scouts will have the chance to experience camp and all the opportunities made available during their time there.“We are genuinely grateful for those who have embraced
our vision and contributed to our cause,” Page said. “With this final phase, we will ensure that Camp Davy Crockett remains a cornerstone of the scouting experience for youth in our region for many decades to come.” Those wishing to learn more about the improvements to be made at Camp Davy Crockett can visit the camp’s website at www.letsgetitgrowing.com.