This is the story of the early days of Camp Hahobas, when it was primarily situated on the shores of Hood Canal, before camping moved 'up top'.
This story about Camp Hahobas and Charles N. Curtis was scanned in January 2014 by Leroy Winters from a copy of the original document, written by RW Winskill. It appears to have taken place in the 1940ís possibly during or near the end of World War II and immediately after as there is mention of after the war and getting surplus equipment from the US Government.
Camp Hahobas is the summer camp for the Rainier Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It was the creation of C.N. (Charlie), Curtis the Executive of the Tacoma, Washington Boy Scout Council. 'CN' had been a Congregationist preacher. He left the Ministry and took up scouting in order to make a decent living. This was not unusual a former Methodist Minister, George Shaw, had quit the pulpit to head up the Tacoma YMCA.
CN was a believer in the rugged outdoor life. He was of the same generation as Dan Beard, a founder of the American Boy Scouts. He shared in Beards' belief that 'scouting' was 'outing'; that the purpose of the program was to teach self-reliance using camping, hiking and the study of nature as the way to do it.
Charlie Curtis became the head of the scouting program during the depression when cash was practically non-existent. He had to depend upon charity, in the best sense of the word, in order to carry out the scouting programs. Because he had a very limited budget with which to run the scouting program he depended upon gifts from prominent and not so prominent people in Tacoma. CN became an expert at scrounging. He accepted almost anything that could conceivably be of some use, particularly for the Sea Scout program, which was his pet project; (CN was a frustrated sailor), and secondly for the summer camp, Camp Hahobas.
I never saw a new piece of equipment at Camp Hahobas. The dishes were Navy issue. No two bunks were the same. A piece of new lumber was a rarity. More time was spent taking nails out of old boards than was spent in construction. All labor to build and repair the camp was donated.
Charlie had the talent to collect usable free material. It is hard to define this ability. Most of us collect 'junk' which we can never find a use for. Everywhere he went CN found castoff material which could be used. Most of it ultimately found its way by boat and boy power to the store room at the camp.
Camp Hahobas was located on the shore of Hood Canal directly across from Hoodsport. It was accessible only by water. The Camp was in a cove where there were a few virgin Douglas Firs left from slash and burn logging. The location was hilly. The camp ground was the only level spot, and it was less than a quarter acre in area.
The most prominent feature was a dock which had been built by a mining company on a Titanium claim. The company went broke during the depression, probably from the cost of the dock. It was a beauty; over three hundred feet long, and was the camps' lifeline to Hoodsport and civilization.
Camp Hahobas was three buildings and four cabins. Two of the buildings housed the Camp Director and camp cook. The other was a general store. There were five tent platforms, set up for surplus army 12 x 12 tents. The structures were scattered along trails up the hill from the beach. The camp directors-cabin was the highest, a good three hundred feet above the cabins on the shore.
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