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As It Was: Girl Scouts Get Their Own Camp at Lake of the Woods

The birth of Girl Scout camping in Southern Oregon began in 1927 when Mrs. Leonard Carpenter donated a site on the Applegate River, furnished a large cabin, and the American Legion and Boy Scouts built a mess hall.  Suddenly, a girl’s camp experience included nature activities, hikes, swimming, crafts and opportunities to make lifelong friends.

During the Great Depression in 1933, so many people were mining along the Applegate River in order to make a living that a portion of the Girl Scout camp was washed away and the pristine nature of the place destroyed.  In 1934, the girls had to go to Eugene to camp.

The next chapter in the history of Southern Oregon Girl Scout camps began in 1935 when an arrangement was made for girls to share the Boy Scout Camp at Lake of the Woods. That first year 100 girls went to the camp, and as the number grew, Camp Low Echo was established in 1945 at Lake of the Woods.

The Girl Scouts sold Camp Low Echo in 2013 to a benefactor who gave it to the YMCA for a year-round camp currently under construction.
 

Source: Davis, Thelma. "Low Echo Report to Campers." Girl Scouts, 10 Aug. 1964, Camp Low Echo, OR. Lecture. [Found in the Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library “Girl Scout” Vertical File

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.