A tour of Camp Wauwepex -
Most of the pictures on these tour pages were taken in 2000 or 2001. Please keep that in mind as things may have changed at camp since then.
As you drive onto the camp property, you'll pass the ranger's house off to your left. Just past that, also on the left, is the Hendrickson Service Building, site of the maintenance shops. This, in turn, brings you to a crossroads. Off to the left the road leads to Hickox Dining Hall, and to the right, Hayden Hall. We'll continue through the intersection and head down towards the lake.
Health Lodge - May 4, 2000
After passing the parking lot on your left, you can spot the camp's former Health Lodge through the trees on the left. It's one of the older buildings on the property and was the original home of the camps first ranger, Bert Grace. He retired in 1953, and a new front and back porch were added then as a result of the increased campers. Due to a change in New York State laws, the building can no longer be called a health lodge. Known today as the Grace Building, it has a basement, used for storage, and years ago I found an ancient candlestick phone down there. I still have it, and someday hope to find the parts to restore it.
Covey memorial - May 4, 2000
Next you'll come to a small field that looks like it was once used as a parade ground. The most interesting thing here is a memorial to F. Howard Covey, "The Wise Old Owl". Looking for all the world like a tombstone, it marks where Covey, one of the founders of the Buckskin Lodge of the Order of the Arrow, watched as the Scouts passed by in parade. There's a small plaque underneath the stone marker that supposedly tells you all this, but over the years it became almost impossible to read. Here's the inscription:
On this Spot stood
"The Wise Old Owl"
AS HE WATCHED
The Sons of Wauwepex
BUCKSKINS OF WAUWEPEX
A new copy of the plaque was provided by Clifton Jones, son of long-time ranger Johnnie Jones, and was installed at camp in August, 2021.
Former Trading Post - May 4, 2000
There are several buildings off to the right side of the road. Many of these have been used for different purposes over the years. What is listed as the Camp Office on the 1950 map is now the Christiansen Cabin. The former Craft Lodge is now the T.R. Pavilion, which hosts an indoor BB gun range. The former Trading Post is now the Smith Training Center, with a nice view of the lake. This building was originally built in 1949 and used as a bathhouse so campers and staff could change prior to swimming. As the camp grew, it was converted to the commissary building, then a reduced commissary area with a trading post, then to the Smith Training Center.
Deep Pond through the trees - May 4, 2000
Just before you get to the lake you can spot a marker for the beginning of the camp's Ecology Trail. Running around the lake, it offers hikers a chance to learn more about the flora and fauna of the area. Several stations have been set up to explain what is in the area, and Scouts can earn patches for completing the trail and answering questions on what they have observed. Trail guides are available in the Trading Post when the camp is in operation, and copies of the maps were posted along the trails during a visit in 2000. Here's a view of one.
1999 Trail Map
Finally, we arrive at the lake. Just below the Training building on the lake side of the road is a United States Geological Survey altitude marker, also shown on topographical maps.
Back in the 50's this area was the site of an amphitheater and dock, and the camps first building, a boat house used to augment the water activities, but all signs of these are long gone. All that remains today is a sandy beach. This view looks across the beach to the other side of Deep Pond, where the swimming dock was set up in Summer (these pictures were taken when the camp was not in operation). Off in the woods to the right of this picture you might find the crumbling foundation of the camp's first dining hall.
Deep Pond - May 4, 2000
The beach is a nice spot to spend a few minutes enjoying the animals that live in the camp. Raccoon and deer tracks are easy to spot, and we found some baby turtles during our recent visit. There are often some beautiful butterflies and birds passing by, making it a nice retreat from the homes and businesses that now circle the property.
For the 2000 season, the camp waterfront was moved back to this area after many years at the far end of the lake.
Use the link below to continue the tour around Deep Pond.