CAMP BOULDER NOOK

1915

On July 7, 1915, the Chattanooga Council began its first Boy Scout camp. It was on property owned by John L. Snoddy on Dry Valley Road approximately twelve miles from the city at the foot of Walden’s Ridge near Falling Water and Cave Springs, four miles from Daisy. They called this ninety-acre farm “Boulder Nook.”


The camp was considered a premier site for camping. There were two large level spaces, one higher than the other. The lower field was used for sports and field events, while the upper plateau—considerably higher and overlooking the valley—was used for pitching tents and erecting a flagpole. Water for the site came from a spring 1,200 feet up the side of the ridge and was analyzed to insure its purity. The site also included a nearby swimming hole described as “splendid” in which the boys took much enjoyment. Camp consisted of a headquarters tent, cook shack and dining room combined, as well as six tents.

Fifteen boys and the Scout Executive opened camp. They had only been there a few days when a terrible storm came through the area around July 10, 1915. Strong winds ripped over Walden’s ridge and rain swept down into the valley south of Daisy. W.H. Sears returned to town from Boulder Nook and reported that many trees were blown down and fields flooded below Daisy. The site of camp had been chosen with such emergencies in mind, and nobody was injured in the camp where the fifteen boys stayed. By the end of the week, thirty boys were in camp—the maximum the equipment would allow.

Costs were rising due to World War I, but Council leaders kept the price of camp low to allow as many boys as possible to participate.  The price for a week at camp was only $2.80. Mrs. John Stagmaier provided the camp with pipe to carry water from the spring to the campsite for running water and showers.  Mose, the cook who had worked at Bowers’ restaurant, managed the kitchen, and was paid $9 each week. The August 8 Sunday dinner included roast beef, creamed potatoes, corn on the cob, cucumbers, string beans, boiled cabbage, lettuce with dressing, apple pie, bread, butter, and buttermilk. All summer the food costs totaled $122.13. The boys had great fun at this first BSA camp. The Council operated the camp for eight weeks, reporting zero accidents and no illness. The camp broke even for the summer.

On August 14, 1915 twenty-eight "poor boys" left the city to come to Camp Boulder Nook, joined a few days later by another dozen.  The program was called a "Big Brother" camp and was made possible by the "Big Brothers."  The boys were charged $2.50 for the week, however, the community pitched in and Bryan Transfer and Stoner’s Sightseeing transported the boys to and from camp for free. The Rotary club donated Sunday dinner to the boys. Never had Chattanooga experienced anything like this.

No patches or other memorabilia are known to exist.

PHOTOS FROM CAMP BOULDER NOOK

Location
Sources

July 3, 1915 - Scout Camp at Boulder Nook
July 10, 1915 - Boy Scouts in Camp
July 12, 1915 - Boy Scout has Birthday
July 18, 1915 - Boy Scout Campers Happy

1915-07-20 - Boy Scouts Having Fun by Wholesale
August 15, 1915 - Scouting Magazine
December 4, 1915 - What the Boy Scouts Have Done in a Year

December 1, 1935 - First Boy Scouts in Chattanooga