Camp Gatewood

The first summer camp was held near Big Sandy in 1927 with about 80 Scouts in attendance.  They named the camp "Camp Gatewood" in honor of Mr. Gatewood of Cleburne, who had the land leased that the camp was held on.   The camp was held for ten days and was located 19 miles northwest of Cisco.  Scout Executive of the then Eastland County Council was in charge of the camp, assisted by H. B. Tanner of Eastland and Tom Foley, Jr., and Tom Alford of Cisco.  The last night of the camp they had a big campfire and pow-wow.

The following account of a week at Camp Gatewood came from the June 21, 1927, issue of The Cisco American.

"The Eastland county boy scouts in camp 18 miles northwest of Cisco at 'Camp Gatewood' on Sandy Creek, came through the rainstorm of early Tuesday in fine shape, Judge Eugene Lankford and A. B. O'Flaherty found when they paid a visit to the camp Tuesday morning.  The wind blew down three tents early Tuesday morning, routing the occupants.  And joe Asbill of Eastland was hit in the head by a pole and slightly injured.  However, the boy refused to leave the camp and was getting along all right after first aid treatment and been given him.  A heavy rain fell about daylight and made the road leading from the highway to the camp hard to get over.  Sandy Creek rose a foot and a half.

"Scout Executive G. N. Quirl is in charge of the camp, assisted by H. B. Tanner of Eastland and Tom Foley, Jr., and Tom Alford of Cisco.  The boys declared they were having a great time, despite the rain.  Judge Lankford found his son, Eugene, Jr., having a big time and unwilling to come home.  Charles Spears and John Peter Huey sent word to their parents they were having much fun but thought they could get along better if sent a big cake.  One of the boy sat the camp had a cake and cut it into small pieces, retailing it for a total of one dollar.

"There are about 80 boys in the camp, mostly from Cisco and Eastland.  Chester Norvell and Ted Waters returned to Cisco with the two visitors."

The camp came to an end on Friday night with a big Indian council fire and pow-wow with a Court of Honor according to a story in The Cisco American on June 26, 1927.  The story went on to say that "The council fire opened with "Big Chief" Tanner, presiding and 'Medicine Man' Frances doing a weird chant and dance around the altar after which he lighted the fire Indian fashion - by magic.

"The order of the program was:
1. Several 'Round' songs by the whole Camp.
2. Stunts of their own composition or adoption by each Patrol.  The stunt by the Panther Patrol was particularly good.  It described in pantomime the experience of a second-hand Ford owner.  Statham Ricks made a very pretty preliminary speech explaining the stunt after which Mark Stamps assisted by five other Scouts acting as the four wheels and the motor performed the stunt.  After much trouble in getting the motor to keep firing and pumping up several tires that persisted in going flat, Mark started on his way to see his girl but came to an abrupt stop when all four tires blew out with a loud report.
3. Several contests at 'riding the slick mule' were very amusing to the youngsters as well as the visiting grown-ups.
4. The presentation of all awards and badges won during camp by Senator Brelsford of Eastland, acting as the Chairman of the Court of Honor.  He then shook hands with each Scout and congratulated him on attaining his respective rank in scouting.  After the presentation of the awards a vote was then to decide the Honor Camper of the whole camp.  Edmund McCurtain of Troop 3, Eastland (was selected as Honor Camper and) won the honor of representing Eastland county at the Dallas Scout Camp, with all expenses paid. (Merit badges, and First Class Awards were presented to the campers who earned them while in camp.)

"After spending Friday night in camp the boys began leaving early Saturday morning for home, but not without many a long drawn sigh of regret that it was over until next Summer.  Btu all of them will always recall the happy days spent in the woods and in the 'ol' swimmin' hole' as the happiest of their lives."

After camp, the Scout Executive, with the aid of board members of the Council,  decided to move the camp for the following year to an area where there was running water. The locating committee consisted of Alex Clark, President of the Eastland County Council, J. M. Perkins, chairman of the camping committee, and Guy Quirl, Scout Executive.  The visited a number of places before making their final selection, which was at the junction of the Llano and James rivers. 

The following year they went to Camp Martin.



Last Updated:  January 6, 2003

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