In the spring of 1919, the Scouts began earnestly searching for a permanent campground to call their own. They set their sights on a plateau area of Raccoon Mountain, in Pan Gap, near the Police and Fire Outing Club. The area, nineteen miles from Chattanooga, was on the Tennessee River at Douglas Ferry landing and consisted of a 200-acre plot of land. On older maps the area is still identified as Scout Valley (or Scout Hollow). Chattanooga Boy Scouts knew that this place would be perfect to establish a "permanent camp where traditions will seem more real; where canoeing will actually take place; where campfires will burn and cast flickering shadows upon real, primitive woods, and where hearts and faces will be kept warm and ruddy under the searching shafts of an unobstructed sun."
Reports said that it was "beautifully situated, surrounded on all sides by great picturesque mountain peaks about an hour's journey from the city." The land "forms a ledge on the side of Raccoon Mountain just at the foot of the sheer cliffs of granite, about 200 or 300 feet in width and about half a mile long." From one side there was a very rugged slope about three-quarters of a mile in length, terminating at the Tennessee River.
The camp could be reached either by river or highway, but in either case "a journey through the wilds" was necessary. "The general direction of the property is a line running parallel to Main street and extended across the river, Moccasin bend and over Raccoon mountain. About an hour is required to reach the camping grounds by road over the mountain. At Lake Lookout the conveyance must be left and walk of twenty-five minutes through the most rugged scenes of the hilly country confronts the camp visitor. The site lies just above Douglas' ferry."
"Two immense boulders placed only a few inches apart, through which the water flows at one point, make it possible to easily dam the gulch and create a lake."
Much of the camp was built by Boy Scouts. For example, the dam was constructed entirely by the Scouts working under the direction of an experienced engineer. Much of the work on the buildings were done entirely by the boys under the direction of several foremen.
The Scouts planned two main buildings: The first was a community house built like a hunting lodge, log-cabin style. The other was a mess hall capable of serving sixty Scouts at a time. Four smaller buildings—three small cottages and a community dining room—were also planned. Not afraid of the hard work it would take to make their dreams come true, Scouts themselves built the structures under the supervision of more experienced adults. In addition, the Scouts dammed the stream that snaked through the camp to form a lake and constructed an athletic field. This stream was known as Pan Gap Branch
The Council enjoyed successful summers through 1924 at Camp Raccoon. In 1925, pressured by continuous growth of Scouting in Chattanooga and problems with the water supply, the Council sold the property and used the money to purchase 93 acres on North Chickamauga Creek near Hixson that became Camp Tsatanugi.
PHOTOS FROM CAMP RACCOON
April 10, 1919 - Scouts Want Club Home
April 12, 1919 - Plans for Camp Raccoon (with map)
April 12, 1919 - Boy Scouts Canvassing for Playground Funds
April 14, 1919 - Boy Scouts are Drafted for Work in Loan Drive
April 15, 1919 - Money Keeps Coming in for Boy Scout Fund
April 18, 1919 - Boy Scout Fund Falls Short of Desired Sum
April 18, 1919 - Chattanooga Scouts Seek to Have Dreams of Owning this Camp Site Come True
April 19, 1919 - Boy Scouts Sacrifice Own Cause for Loan
April 24, 1919 - Scout Drive Stopped Until Loan is Secured
April 26, 1919 - Begin Work on Scout Camp
April 27, 1919 - Scouts Begin Work on Pan Gap Reservation
May 2, 1919 - Boy Scout Council to Reopen Fund Drive
May 26, 1919 - Boy Scouts to Use Camp During Month of July
June 30, 1919 - Boy Scouts Prepare for their Camp Season
July 26, 1919 - Camp Ready for Scouts
August 13, 1919 - McCallie speaks of many benefits of Camp Raccoon
May 30, 1920 - Boy Scouts in Summer Camp
June 6, 1920 - Rain Fails to Stop Boys at Camp Raccoon
June 26, 1920 - Boy Scouts are Wanted at Golf Tournament
July 11, 1920 - Camp on Raccoon a Splendid Training School (large)
July 24, 1920 - Camp Raccoon Closes After Successful Season
1921-04-09 - Summer Camp for Chattanooga Girls to Open at Beautiful Camp Raccoon June 7
June 6, 1921 - The University Echo (mentioning that Charles Peacock would be in charge of the Boy Scout camp the summer of 1921)
1922 New York Times Article about Chattanooga Scouting (bottom of right column)
May 23, 1924 - The University Echo (article about Will Redd)
1924-07-12 - Camp Raccoon Article
1924-07-28 - Camp Raccoon Article
1925-03-16 - The New Scout Camp