4-H camp marks 50 years

Fifty years ago, camping usually meant sleeping on the ground, using a flashlight to find the bathroom — if there was one — and cooking only the simplest of meals on a fire

But with today’s equipment, camping can be just like sitting in your living room if you so desire. For those who do want to rough it, however, Kitsap County’s Twin Lakes Camp provides much the same experience it did half a century ago, since little of the modern world has penetrated its 27 acres.

Harriet Root Norwood, a lifetime Port Orchard resident, can attest to the camp’s status, since she camped there as a young member of 4-H when the camp began in 1956.

“I am a fourth generation 4-H member,” Norwood said, explaining that her mother was a member, and then her own daughter and granddaughters went on to be members.

In the past 50 years, she said the camp “has not changed a great deal. There’s still a dirt road and no electricity.”

Norwood described the camp as “really primitive, with no buildings or lights,” and that campers use tents and flashlights while there.

During events, however, she said adult organizers bring lots of equipment in to cook and serve food for the campers during the day, then take all that out again at night, rather than leaving it in such a remote area.

“It is a lot of work for the adults to put on the camp for the children,” she said.

The lack of technology and facilities may mean more work for everyone involved, but Norwood said there are definite benefits to giving the campers time away from television, computers and other distractions.

Kelly Fisk, the youth development educator with 4-H of Kitsap County, said the camp’s primitiveness gives the young campers a variety of unique experiences.

“It helps them develop essential life skills (and) experience a true sense of camping,” Fisk said, explaining that sleeping in tents, preparing meals together and engaging in other camp rituals “teaches the members team building, independence and a variety of skills such as archery, canoeing, fishing and woodworking.”

This weekend, 50 years of those experiences will be celebrated with a reunion at the camp, Norwood said.

All campers past and present are invited, Norwood said, adding that she hoped “people will bring a story or pictures to share.”

The reunion begins this Friday and continues through Sunday, and will include a potluck and cake celebration Sunday beginning at noon.

For more information and directions to the camp, visit: //

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates