Winter Camp I History
While the first Chapter Winter Camp was not held until 1977, a couple of preceding events helped to bring it about. The first and only lodge Winter Camp was held at D-A Scout Ranch from December 26-31, 1972. Two members from the Downriver area stayed in the Trout Lake Cabin as the lodge members present served as a sort of "Winter Camp Staff." A small group of Arrowmen within the Chapter made a first attempt to organize a Chapter Winter Camp in 1975. A lack of any available adult leadership made the encampment impossible and four members made a one-day excursion to Kensington Park instead. Finally, in 1977 Winter Camp became a reality for the Downriver Chapter.
It was during the first Chapter Winter Camp that many traditions were established, which have since become a most integral part of the program. Here members especially sharpened their culinary skills as food was a most important part of Winter Camp. A full pound of pepperoni was used to make the most potent pizza that any of the members had ever tasted. Many hours were spent baking homemade breads, cakes, and cookies. The participants deprived themselves of sleep during the first night of Winter Camp watching the dough rise, thereby establishing the baking tradition. A special Christmas Banquet was held, where several delightful dishes stimulated the taste buds of all who were present. Members watched with interest as cannibalistic chickadees devoured scraps of left-over chicken that had been placed outside.
While the schedule for this first Winter Camp was somewhat loosely organized, several memorable events brought pleasure to their participants. Activities included a blind hike, tracking and stalking, a perimeter hike following the boundary of D-A, and a Christmas party. An abandoned railroad excursion, seemingly innocent, turned into a narrow escape from a search party. A most memorable event occurred when Steve Donohue constructed a three-level bunk, placed four mattresses on top, and slept with his face smashed against the ceiling.