The Regional Review

Volume III - Nos. 4 & 5

October-November, 1939



Interesting facts and figures are found in a survey of the recently concluded 1939 summer camping season on Recreational Demonstration Areas. That these specially designed centers are beginning to bear good fruit is indicated by the steady gain in the number of children who are taking advantage of the camping and other facilities provided on the 22 areas of Region One.

There were 27 camps leased on a seasonal basis in 1938 and 104,323 camper days (staff and helpers not included) were reported. During the last season 36 camps were under seasonal lease and they recorded a total of 144,571 camper days, an increase of approximately 38 per cent. This gain is accounted. for in part by an increased number of camps, but the fact that 62 separate organizations participated in the program, 22 of which were newcomers on the areas, probably represented the greater portion of the increase. It is interesting to note also that 11 organizations initiated their camping programs for the first time last summer.

The record altogether is encouraging, although there still is for improvement. If the 36 camps had been filled to capacity for ten-week season, there would have been a total of 226,050 camper In other words, a 56 per cent increase is a possible goal for 1940.

Outstanding seasonal use records include:

AreaCamps Camp Days
(including staff and help)
Chopawamsic, Virginia530,018
Laurel Hill, Pennsylvania315,467
Catoctin, Maryland315,465
Otter Creek, Kentucky214,431
Bear Brook, New Hampshire213,379
Crabtree Creek, North Carolina312,647
Swift Creek, Virginia310,854
Raccon Creek, Pennsylvania210,014
Pine Mountain, Georgia1 9,128

Of the 36 camps in operation, there were 6 occupied by boys, 8 by girls, 15 by coeducational groups and 7 by family groups. Local camp advisory committees and other public spirited organizations in the several communities were responsible for much of the encouraging growth in the camping programs. They were instrumental, with assistance of representatives of the Service, in promoting and organizing seven community camping groups. Through their efforts, several agencies which were un able to operate a camp alone were brought into a cooperative association and through their combined efforts it was possible to carry out a camping program for the less fortunate children of their communities.

Increased attendance during the summer probably is responsible for the large increase in short-term use of camp facilities. For the calendar year 1938, a total of 30,813 camper days of that character was reported for the several areas. But for the first nine months of the current year there already has been recorded 38,700 camper days, or an increase of about 25 per cent above the entire previous year.

A great opportunity is afforded many community organizations to take advantage of camping facilities available for short-term use. A few camps were occupied nearly to capacity and many others had a reasonable amount of use, but there still were a few scattered areas and communities which recorded almost no attendance in the off season. The short-term occupancy reported was not sectional in character, but was distributed fairly evenly, both north and south. That would appear to gainsay the old story that the people of the south do not camp in the fall, winter, and spring. As a matter of fact, the short-term use figures are slightly larger for the southern portion of the Region than they are for the north. The trend should continue to increase, because the south has the advantage of a longer fall and spring, the best camping seasons of the year. --- Stanley M. Hawkins.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002