Friday, June 5, 2015

Camp Kiesel in the 1920s: Real Wolves and Bears

                                                        Camp Kiesel in 2007.

PLANS for a summer Boy Scout camp in South Fork Canyon date back to 1919, according to the Standard-Examiner of May 24 that year.
“Here’s easy way to give your son a vacation” was an Aug. 7, 1923 Standard headline, in what was referred to as the only “Boy Scouts’ summer camp.”
“This is the first summer camp Ogden has ever known,” the story reported. “The camp is easy to find. Turn north at the end of the pacing in Ogden Canyon, keep going on the main traveled road. You can’t miss the road.”
There was room for 20 Boy Scouts in each of the four periods in the summer of 1923, what was likely the first operating season for what was to become known as Camp Kiesel.
“Summer camp opens June 20” was a March 28, 1925 Standard headline. Scout officials had gathered for an Honor Court and discussion at the Baptist Church in Ogden.
“An interesting discussion was held on the summer camp for the scouts, to be known as Camp Kiesel,” that story reported.
The cost of the camp in 1925 was $4 a week, with fathers permitted to stay one night free with their sons.
“Camp Kiesel offers what is declared a rare opportunity for the parents and friends of the boys who are thee to study trees, flowers and birds,” a Standard report from July 1, 1925 stated. The camp also had a pet donkey back then, “Sleeping Beauty,” who the boys could ride in between shooting arrows.

                                 Camp Kiesel ceremony in June 2007.

“Deed of camp given Council” was a July 6, 1925 Standard headline, as 400 people attended the dedication of the Kiesel lodge. Some $5,000 had been spent camp and lodge, near Causey Creek, thus far.
“The lodge is in memory of Fred J. Kiesel, who with his daughter, often visited the spot and admired it,” the report said. Kiesel was a former Ogden mayor and his family gave the deed to the Scout Council that day.
By June of 1927, Camp Kiesel had added six more cabins and could accommodate 60 boys at a time.
“Camp Kiesel, Scout home, Place of eager spirits and voracious appetites,” was an Aug. 1, 1927 Standard headline. Each Scout kept their own dishes back then and an evening campfire, complete with a stunt or act (skit) by the boys was a highlight of the day (as it is today).
 “Boy Scouts watch play of wolves” was an Aug. 14, 1927 Standard headline. Seventeen Scouts from Troop 36, Roy, followed the tracks of a large bear, only to spot a pack of grey timber wolves. They were hiking to Monte Cristo, led by Scoutmaster L.H. Stoker. Scout Executive S.D. Young and Camp Naturalist T.H. Bybee met the troop for a four-day camp, enjoying nature.

(-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on June 4-5, 2015, by Lynn Arave.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at:

No comments:

Post a Comment