Camp Whitsett celebrates 75 years
Boy Scout Camp Whitsett celebrates 75 years of continuous service and fun to the state of California.
On Sunday, July 6, 1947, 75 summers ago, a dedication ceremony was held at Camp Whitsett, a new Boy Scout Camp operated by then San Fernando Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America. In attendance were Mr. W. P. Whitsett, a developer and community leader, several members of what became the Western Los Angeles County Council, BSA, dignitaries from the San Fernando Valley, and several Boy Scout Troops who had arrived the day before to start their week stay at Camp Whitsett.
In 2021 Whitsett celebrates 75 years of operation as a summer camp and a camping destination for several outside groups and learning institutions. To mark the jubilee, on Wednesday, July 21st a ceremony will be held at Camp Whitsett’s beautiful lakefront, joined by local civic leaders, press, and alumni. Press and dignitaries will have the chance to experience the new ropes course and zipline along with canoeing, paddle boarding, and more
More than 100,000 young men and women, and their unit leaders, have enjoyed the clear mountain air in the picturesque, forested region of the Sequoia National Forest. Youth have taken part in all types of outdoor programs, including swimming, and boating in one of the finest, in-camp, man-made lakes located at a Scout Camp. The small Lake Ida, named for Mrs. Ida Whitsett the wife of our founder, was created by a dam built by world class builder Guy F. Atkinson, who built the Grand Coulee dam in Washington state. Mr. Whitsett approached his friend, and his son’s father-in-law, to build the dam. He told him, “You have built the world’s largest dam. Now you can build the smallest.”
At the height of the pandemic, Lake Ida was filled in preparation for a different group of campers, the brave fire fighters. In 2020, Camp Whitsett’s 80 acres served as the base station for hundreds of fire crews as they tackled the stubborn SQF fire. Fire crews utilized the mess hall, campsites, and staged equipment to tackle the large fire. Through their hard work the Camp and several local homes were saved from the historic fire season.
Youth groups, TV Shows, and more have all used Whitsett’s 5,919-foot Sentinel Peak as a stunning back drop. Scouts test their skills on the famous mountain and visit the nearby Trail of 100 Giants with dozens of Giant Sequoias.
Scouters can earn more than 40 different merit badges at seven different distinct areas. Nature, Scoutcraft, Aquatics, Handicraft, Frontier Village, Shooting Sports, Rock Climbing, and Project C.O.P.E. (Challenging Outdoor Program Experience) which got an extensive revamp in 2019. Almost synonymous with the Camp is the mighty Kern River. Whitsett is the only Scout camp on the west coast to offer rafting, where thousands of Scouts have paddled (and occasionally swam) their way to the White-Water Rafting Merit Badge earning a great dinner story as well.
This year, nearly 1,500 campers will call Whitsett home for a week of fun and adventure. The Scouts will take home many Rank Advancements and Merit Badges which are mini courses in a variety of skills and knowledge. A staff of about 40 individuals will provide this exciting program for the Scouts.
The Western Los Angeles County Council (WLACC) plans to welcome Scouters for decades more to this mountain retreat. WLACC operates a total of three camps with the other being: Camp Josepho (Pacific Palisades) and Camp Emerald Bay (Catalina), each providing unique geographic and program opportunities to the youth of southern California and beyond.
To learn more, go to the Camp Whitsett Website at – www.whitsett.org.
For more information contact. Lee Harrison at (818) 785- 8700 Ext 109