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Camp History








Area History

Camp Whitewood is home to many campers and 4-H volunteers throughout the year, but before the land became how we know today, Warner's Hollow was home to Native American Tribes along with numerous species of birds and trees. Here you can learn more about the back-story of the names around camp, such as Phelps Creek, Wiswell Road and Warner's Hollow!


The Search for a Campsite

Four counties in Northeastern Ohio (Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, and Trumbull) started the search for the perfect campsite in the 1930s. Along with the help of Tom White, they declared Warner's Hollow as the perfect destination and location for a place to start building and construct a 4-H camp.


The Legend of Footprint Rock

There's not a person or camper who attends Camp Whitewood without hearing a different version of the Footprint Rock story. Whether it is a story about an Indian Princess running to find her one true love or trying to escape her family, the story remains one of the great traditions Camp Whitewood has to offer. Although the footprints were stolen in the 1950s, they were returned shortly after and can now be found in the Grindstone Creek Lodge.



The 1940s were a huge year for Camp Whitewood! This included officially leasing the land, constructing the first few buildings, designating a name for the camp and building a six acre swimming lake. The very first camp opened on July 14, 1940 just a few short months after the location of the land was decided.



Take a look at some of the earliest pictures Camp Whitewood has to offer from the 1950s! Pictures include swimming, boating, fishing and crafts. Do you notice any changes from how camp looks today?



The 1960s were another big moment in Camp Whitewood history! With the purchase of 210 more acres of property from Tom White, the counties raised money and were able to pay off the debt in less than four years. The 6 acre lake was also completely redone and the result was a beautiful 9 acre lake. And don't forget to check out the photo album of campers from the 1960s!



During the 1970s, the Wiswell Road Covered Bridge was completely reconstructed and became one of the memorable landmarks for Camp Whitewood. Along with the new construction of the covered bridge, cabins were also being built on the camp grounds. These and pictures of the dining hall and other events can be found in the photo album.



As the years went on, camp became more popular in Northeastern Ohio.

The camps began to fill up and the pictures from the 1980s are proof!



More and more changes came to camp in the 1990s. With an addition of a new waterfront, riflery and archery ranges, restrooms and other facilities, camp started to look like the one we know today! Tragedy also struck when the maintenance building burned and the recreation hall collapsed. Thankfully those were restored soon after they were lost.



Camp continued to grow and an office was donated for more office space to help improve camp management. More educational resources were donated and made available to camp users, such as a greenhouse and a conservation easement for the property. This was just another way camp was able to grow and expand for the youth.


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