Council and Camp History

I have always enjoyed history and have loved the stories of long-time scouters. I have spent countless hours walking around camp and sitting around the campfire being regaled with stories, traditions, and even myths surrounding scouting. These times are often the result of asking a question or making a comment. They are offered freely by those who were there… or knew someone who was. I want to preserve these for future generations because they encompass all the collective knowledge of our council and scouting in general. When charged with developing a Woodbadge ticket, it seemed only natural to find a way to make my passion for history the star of my work. I hope all who read this enjoy it, and anyone who can add to it will. I intend this to be a living document that will outlast me. I hope that those who come after me will be able to pass along what has been passed to me.

The Northwest Georgia council, or any Scouts BSA council, exists because of three things: its people, its programs, and its properties. Without any of these, the scouting program cannot be delivered. I intend to tell the story of the Northwest Georgia council through the accomplishments of its members, the notable events in its programs, and the marks that have been left on its properties. These are the plot, setting, and characters of our story. It would be easy to compile a chronological list of past Council Presidents and lists of newspaper articles, but that would not be interesting to read. I hope you will find our past as exciting as our future. This project should inspire people to keep our traditions alive.

Lord Baden Powell launched his scouting movement in 1907 at Brown Sea Island with 22 boys. His program spread like wildfire. Across England troops were formed by groups of boys having only their handbook to guide them. The movement did not take long to reach Georgia. The first troop in the council was founded March 14, 1911. Troop 1 in Dalton’s charter was granted charter number #2466, it was signed by James R. West, the first Chief Scout Executive, and still hangs in the Dalton service office.[1] This was the spark for a tradition that is alive today. Adult leaders know, and have known for years, that the paperwork must be done. It is the part that few, if any, of us enjoy, but we do it so we can see the impact on the lives of the youth.

Our People

Volunteers

            Volunteers are the life blood of the scouting movement. The Northwest Georgia Council has been fortunate to have an amazing group of people who believe in the mission of scouting and love the council. Much of the work done by the council is guided by the professionals and carried out by the volunteers.  

Sidney Dew Alumni Association

The Sidney Dew Alumni Association was brought into existence in the 1990s. The only requirement to join is that a person has camped at least one night at Sidney Dew. This came about while Mr. Steve Fellows was Council President. The mission of the Association is to protect and preserve the facilities of Camp Sidney Dew, to promote the use of camp and its environs, and to foster fellowship and camaraderie among members as the Association seeks to perpetuate the traditions of our camp. [2]

            Over the years the Sidney Dew Alumni have contribute to many projects on camp such as building new Adirondacks in the campsites. All money raised by the Alumni stays at camp. Joining this organization is a great way to keep the traditions of our camp alive.

Women’s contributions to the council

            Women have been an integral part of the scouting movement for many years. They have served as den mothers, committee members, moral support for their scouts, and countless other roles. With the addition of girls to the Scouts BSA program, their roles have increased. They provide strong, intelligent, empowered role models for the girls in their units. The Northwest Georgia Council has benefited from the hard work and dedication of women who freely give their time to help for years, like Cubmaster Patrice Smith. It would be impossible to name them all in this document, so I have outlined some of the major firsts by women we have seen.

Adults

    • Kim Ellis-First Female Woodbadge director, First Female Associate Lodge Adviser
    • Tammy Rodgers-First Female Founders Award Recipient
    • Jana Roberts-First Female Shooting Sports Director
    • Gola Burton, Leah Fantom, Lisha Mize, Janet Reynolds, and Virginia Yockey were the first group of girl’s troop scoutmasters

Youth

    • Carolyn Smyth- First Female Eagle Scout in our Council
    • Alice Yockey- First Female Lodge Executive Committee Elected Member, First female to perform in the Waguli Lodge Tap-Out Ceremony

Our Program

Packs, Troops, Crews, and Posts

From the beginning the Northwest Georgia Council has supported Cub Scout Packs, Scout Troops, Venturing Crew, and Explorer Posts. These units have been provided with events, training, and adult leader training.

      This council has also participated in National and World Jamborees. Along the ceiling of the Dining Hall hang the unit flags from these events. We have also participated in the National Order of the Arrow Conference.

      Every year there is participation form this council at National High Adventure Bases. We send several crews to Philmont each year and have had our units participating at Northern Tier and Seabase.

Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow is Scouts BSA’s honor society. It serves to provide leadership training for the youth of the council while recognizing them for exhibiting the best qualities of a scout in their daily lives. At the heart of the Order is a drive to provide support for troops.  Each council has its own Order of the Arrow Lodge. The Northwest Georgia Council has been the home of Waguli Lodge since 1945.

Arrowmen from the Atlanta Area Council came to Sidney Dew in 1945 to induct the inaugural class of Waguli Lodge Members.  The project for this induction weekend was to build the first layer of seats in the council ring. Subsequent induction classes built upon this work to create the council ring that we know today.

The totem, or symbol, for Waguli Lodge is the Whippoorwill. These birds can be heard singing their distinctive song year-round at Sidney Dew. While many lodges have fierce creatures for their symbol, Waguli is proud to have their humble whippoorwill. Under this symbol many people have provided cheerful service to the camp and council. Many of the buildings were built by lodge members. I always describe Waguli Lodge like this, if a storm came through and damaged camp tonight, Waguli Lodge would be there bright and early to clean it up.

An impressive list of youth and adults have led this lodge since 1945.

Our Properties

Camp Sidney Dew

Jonathan Farmer Dew was born in Nash County, North Carolina in 1825. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Strickland in 1844. They moved to Georgia between 1850 and 1853 with their six children: William Francis Dew, James Edward Dew, Jonathan Fuller Dew, Sarah Elizabeth Dew, Lucian Walter Dew, and Sidney Haywood Dew. Jonathan died in 1899 and left his property to his six children. His will stated that none of the land was to be sold.

Sidney Haywood Dew was born on December 24, 1869, in Floyd County. He married and moved around the country selling wrought iron ranges.[3] The Dews settled in Rome for a few years but lived out their retirement in Atlanta. Sidney Dew received a portion on his father’s land when he passed. He then deeded it to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to create two camps. Sidney Dew and Gazelle Dew, named for his wife. While Sidney Dew never farmed the land given to him by his father. He did make good use of it.

The fireplace stanchions in the current dining hall are cast iron that read “39”. This is often thought to signify the troop that placed them there, but it actually commemorates the founding in 1939. The property of the camp is over 600 acres located in a valley between John’s Mountain and Horn Mountain.

Camp Sidney Dew tells its own story if you know where to look. This property is covered with the fingerprints of those who came before us. All the nooks and crannies are filled with a narrative. This is often overlooked by people who are enjoying the camp.

Trading Post

This building is at the center of the old camp. It is the second oldest building on camp. It served as the first camp ranger, Tom Caldwell’s home. It is also known as the Tom Caldwell cabin.  It was built in December 1943 and dedicated in July 1944. The people who financed the original construction are still displayed on a plaque on the front of the building.  The side porch was added by Gene Atkins. During a restoration by the Sidney Dew Alumni Association, a center beam was added allowing the creation of two large rooms. During this work it was also air conditioned.

Flagpole at the Trading Post

The stone structure that surrounds the flagpole near the trading post was built in memory of Devine Hubbs junior. He was a pilot in the Air Force and was killed during a training exercise in Korea. His father, a long-term scoutmaster from Dalton, and Troop 60 built this monument.

Founder’s Ring

The Founder’s Award was introduced at the 1981 National Order of the Arrow Conference, the Founder's Award recognizes Arrowmen who have given outstanding service to their lodge. The award is reserved for an Arrowman who demonstrates that he or she personifies the spirit of selfless service, as advocated by founder E. Urner Goodman and cofounder Carroll A. Edson. The number of people who can receive this award each year is very limited. This location is where we honor our recipients and is home to the many of the ceremonies for Waguli Lodge, our council’s Order of the Arrow lodge.

The entire area was renovated in 2017 when the log benches and handrails were built. There was once a tower in the ceremonial ring where the person who read the legend of the Order of the Arrow would stand for tap out ceremonies. The Founders Ring sign and plaque listing all the Founder’s Award recipients were also added at this time. The ring was dedicated June 17, 2017, when Mr. Ed Edmundson cut the ceremonial ribbon. The round hole in the sign holds a Founder’s Award coin during Order of the Arrow ceremonies. The triangular metal fire ring that bears the ideals of the Order of the Arrow was built by Jonathan Rogers.

The dam that created the camps first swimming area was the first structure built on the camp. It is speculated that it was built by the CCC, but this is unconfirmed. This area served as the swimming area until 1967, when the pool was built. The old hardware for the diving board, ladder, and a pipe that was the camps only shower remain. Campers had to climb down the hill to access the shower. If they stumbled and fell on the way back up, they would have to go back down to shower off again. The rockwork connected to the dam extends a great distance down the bank. No one has swum in there (on purpose) for years.

Bridge to the Council Ring

The bridge over the creek that leads to the council ring from the trading post was built in 1948 by Troop 11. It is dedicated to the memory of an Eagle scout, James “Buzzy” Slatton, from Darlington. While his troop was visiting Atlanta, the hotel they were staying in burned down in a famous fire, and he was killed. A plaque in his memory is still on the bridge.

Council Ring

The first layer of steps was built during the first Waguli lodge ordeal in 1946. Order of the Arrow members came from east Georgia to conduct the ordeal due to the lack of members to run the induction. These volunteers were very strict with the candidates because they did not know them. The higher levels were built over the years during subsequent ordeals, one of them being added in 1971 while Dwight Arden was the lodge advisor. The final row was built to help facilitate a large group for the 2007 Conclave. The stone columns at the entrance, top layer of seating, and projection building, were also built as a part of this effort. The top layer and a small portion of the wall at the entrance are constructed of cinder blocks faced with stone. The rest of the structure consists of stacked stones.

Original Campsites

The four original campsites were called North, Hill, West, and South. What was then known as South is now Shawnee, Hill is now Pawnee, West is now Choctaw, North is now Muscogee, and Pioneer has always been called Pioneer.

Scum Pond

This was Camp Sidney Dew’s first lake. In the 1960s, canoeing and rowing merit badges were taught here before lake Goodyear was built. The shady area between scum pond and the trading post was once a picnic area for families that was used on Friday evenings. An Adirondack once stood on the edge of the lake. It served as a place for the camp staff to stay. The old timers called this “Two Oaks and a Stump “. The reason behind the nickname has been lost to time.  The drainage pipes were added by Ranger Bill. Despite pressure to give this iconic body of water a new name, it will always be known as Scum Pond.

Athletic Field Building

The building at the athletic field, built by Gene Atkins, that now stores sports equipment first served as the camp’s first aid lodge. Camp accreditation required a first aid lodge on premises. It was originally positioned across the road from the trading post, overlooking the majestic Scum Pond near where Mr. Urqule’s teepee sat every year.

Westin Lodge

This building demonstrates how much impact our volunteers have had on our camp. Somewhere, here is a photo of long-time volunteer Gene Atkins nailing the roof on. While we have been fortunate with having a great camp ranger for many years, a fair portion of the work and maintenance on camp is done by volunteers.

 Named for C. H. Westin, this structure was built at the same time as Blackfoot shelter. It was later enclosed with the white brick that are still there. It served as the scout office for years. People slept and worked in it. Later it served as the hub for Order of the Arrow activities. During the 1990s this building was a gathering place for adult leaders during summer camp. For the time being it serves as a storage facility but will be renovated in the future. Blackfoot shelter was later taken down and replaced with a metal structure.

Eagle Chapel

This area of camp has served many purposes over the years. In the 1960s and 1970s it was the home of exercise equipment and provided campers with a place to exercise. Later, the equipment was removed, and it was used as a borrow pit. It is now a beautiful structure that serves as the home for our Scout’s Own services and so much more.

The Eagle Chapel was designed by Robert Noble and built it in memory of Eagle Scout John Patrick Bruner of Troop 111 in Dalton. A portion of the funds for the chapel was donated by John’s Sunday School Class at First Presbyterian Church. The Plaques on the sign display honor Eagle scouts. The dates on the plaques note the year the scouts received their eagle scout award.

Lake goodyear

The money to build the lake was donated by Goodyear Latex in Calhoun gave twenty thousand dollars for the construction of the lake. It now serves as the home for canoeing, rowing, and kayaking merit badge, cub fishing day, and is also where the mile swim takes place during summer camp.

Hubbs Reception Center

Named for Mr. Devine Hubbs, the scoutmaster for Troop 60. Mr. Hubbs died of a heart attack at a Dalton High School football game where his son was playing. Troop 60 was the dominate troop in Dalton at the time. This building serves naturally as a prime location for event check-ins. Due to its climate controls, bathrooms, and full kitchen, it also has housed meetings and training courses. Most of the Woodbadge class photos can be found hanging on the walls in Hubbs. The remainder of them are across the field in the Campmaster House.

            Camp Sidney Dew has housed many important events over the years. First and foremost is our council’s summer camp program. An uncountable number of youth (including me) got their first taste of scout camp there. For over eighty years, merit badges have been taught, lessons have been learned, and lifelong friendships have been forged.  

            Several epic regular events have been held at Camp Sidney Dew over the years. These include the Dew Dog Challenge which brought everyone from Lions to Eagle Scouts to camp to compete for the coveted Dew Dog trophy. The most notorious event at camp, however, has been Zombie-O. This event placed troops in the middle of a zombie invasion. To survive, they had to use their scout skills, particularly orienteering. This event arose from Max McAdams noticing that orienteering skill were beginning to slip among the scouts. The participating patrols have been faced with innovative, challenging events over the eight Zombie-O events. The final Zombie-O was held in 2020. It will be replaced in 2022 by the next iteration of fun, challenging events.

            As for one-time events, Camp Sidney Dew has hosted its fair share. The Centennial Order of the Arrow Section gathering was held there in 2015. It was so large, the council ring had to be expanded to accommodate all the participants. Sidney Dew hosted an international event in 2019. A group of World Jamboree delegates from the United Kingdom spent a week there after attending Jamboree. The event was called Project-19. Tammy Rogers served as the event director, and it was a smashing success. The international scouts got to experience what our youth have been experiencing for eight years. They camped, shot, climbed, and rafted the entire week. Waguli Lodge even held a tap-out ceremony so they could get the full summer camp experience. This event led to international friendships that will last forever.

 

Camp Westin

Camp Westin is the smaller of the council’s two properties. It is located on lake Allatoona in southern Bartow County and is leased from the Corp of Engineers. This property provides a great place for troops to spend the weekend or to hold district events. There are several campsites with beautiful views of the lake, a covered pavilion, and a latrine with running water and a shower. It has been the site of countless unit camping trips and camporees.

This property shares its name with the segregated scout camp that existed in our council. The original Camp Westin was at a different location.

Acknowledgments

This paper, along with my other ticket efforts, would not have been possible without the selfless contribution of time and stories I received. I would like to thank Jim Shaheen, Bill Pompie, Steve Fellows, John Richard, Jonathan Rogers, and many others for helping me achieve my goal.

 

 

 

[3] From “The Dew Family Legacy” written by Jim Parker