Camp Pine Mountain centennial celebrated by Scouts BSA
Published 9:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Dozens of kids donned their tan shirts, handkerchiefs and merit badges early on Saturday and gathered on the lawn for the opening flag ceremony at Camp Pine Mountain for the Centennial Camp-oree.
Around a dozen Scouts BSA troops gathered at the 100-year-old Camp Pine Mountain on Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of the first BSA summer camp at the site.
“Number one is remembering our history,” said Scouts BSA Executive Juan Osorio of the camp-oree weekend. “Remembering what this camp has provided to thousands of kids that are now adults that are now in the community being productive citizens, but also energizing our scouts to ‘scout forward,’ to keep continue down their scouting trail. And then to give back when their time comes.”
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The camp first opened in 1922 and held its first summer camp in July 1923. The 35-acre camp served the Scouts BSA community for many years. The Fall Family Camp at Camp Pine Mountain hosts 1,500 scouts and families.
It is located 20 minutes from Callaway Gardens and 20 minutes from the Pine Mountain Hiking Trails.
“Although we live in a society where technology continues to grow, the values of scouting continue to be as relevant today as they were over 100 years ago,” Osorio said. “Teaching our young men and women responsibility, soft skills, character and leadership so that they can become productive citizens when they become adults.”
Throughout the weekend, the Scouts learned about the camp’s history and played games and activities that taught the Scouts skills while having fun. While some Scouts played frisbee gold, others competed in stretcher races, in which scouts take turns carrying someone on a stretcher in case of injury. It’s “fun with a purpose,” according to Assistant Scoutmaster and Board member Mark Strunk.
“We teach a lot of the soft skills that last these young men and women throughout their whole life, and it’s beneficial for them,” Osorio said. “Soft skills — employers in today’s day and age, that’s what they’re looking for.”
The cabins at the camp were formed with large support from the mills that once made up the Greater Valley Area. To this day, many of the cabins are named after the different mill towns in the area, including Fairfax, Langdale and Lanett.
“My understanding is, if you were a volunteer in scouts, you got that week off from work paid to come up and be a volunteer,” Strunk said.
These days, Scouts BSA holds its summer camps at Camp Frank G. Lumpkin (FGL) in LaGrange. Camp FGL celebrated its 25th year of summer camp this year.
Scouts BSA acquired the camp in 1995 and began hosting camp there in 1999. The camp sits on around 900 acres of land.
The resident summer camp is hosted at Camp FGL. During the summer, scouts are earning merit badges, learning to swim, kayaking, canoeing, practicing the rifle and shotgun “and making friendships and memories,” said Strunk.
“You’re going to learn something and have a good time doing it,” he said. “And that’s a big part of what Scouting is, is developing people, leadership and character.”