1960s at Camp Whitewood
Excerpts are taken from the publication "Through the Years at 4-H Camp Whitewood" written by John P. Parker, Professor Emeritus Ohio State University Extension.
Lake County Jr. Camp
Land for the future
In early 1960, the only land owned by the Northeastern Ohio 4-H Camps, Inc. was approximately nine acres that included the main camp area with the buildings. This original parcel of land plus an additional two acres for the water supply lake was donated by Tom White. All other lands used for camping activities were leased on a year to year basis from Mr. White.
With an investment of well over $100,000 in facilities, camp board members felt they needed the assurance of continued use of lands around the camp. Negotiations were started in early 1961 with Tom White for the purchase of additional property. After several meetings and discussions, Mr. White agreed to sell about 210 acres to 4-H Camp Whitewood. This included most of the Warner's Hollow property plus about 80 acres west of Wiswell Road. It included lakes, orchards, and farm buildings North of the camp on the West side of the road.
Because this was a major expenditure, some questions were raised about financing. However, through the cooperation of Mr. White, a down payment was made by the camp board and the balance was secured by a first mortgage held by Mr. White. Counties were assigned quotas to raise money in various ways to pay off the mortgage. Using camp facilities at the time were Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Trumbull and Mahoning counties.
On October 16, 1965, a historic day was held at 4-H Camp Whitewood. This was the mortgage Burning ceremony to celebrate the payment of the entire debt on the property. At 4:00 pm on that beautiful October day, a large group of friends of 4-H gathered in the campfire circle located on the site of the old Indian fort to celebrate the occasion of the final payment for the land purchased. This day was also a celebration of the interest in 4-H by adults and youth in the counties using the camp, because the mortgage had been paid in less than four years. Literally, thousands of 4-H members, advisors, parents, and friends had been involved in and were a very real part of 4-H Camp Whitewood.
In 1967, because of problems with the spillway and dam, the lake was completely drained and the dam and spill way rebuilt. A beautiful nine-acre lake was the result.
Major investments were also necessary to provide an adequate water supply for camp. Wells were inadequate and lake water is used, going through an approved filtration/chlorination system.
All of these improvements were made possible through the profit made from the use of camp by 4-H members and from renting camp to outside groups such as schools and churches.