Various Areas of Camp Howdy
- Julia Hillman- In 1960, a bridge was built across the ravine and a pioneer area was established. It was cleared and improved over the years and in 1966, it was named Julia Hillman in memory of the woman who had been District Advisor. She loved Camp Howdy and camped there many times.
Ranap- First area developed. Ms. Knapp and Ms. Rae helped plan and organize the building of a screened cabin which was named after them. The paneling, ceiling, windows, and fireplace were completed in 1970.
Aktoo- In 1961, Troop 2, led by Ms. Amyx and Ms. Kay, cleared the area where Aktoo is now located. The A stands for Amyx and the Kay for Kay and the too for Troop 2. Over the years, the story was forgotten and the name was spelled Aktoo with many people thinking it was an Indian name.
Alamos- A wilderness area was cleared for camping in 1964. All water had to be transported from Ranap until 1967. Finally in 1971, the camp committee decided to rename the area from Wilderness to something less primitive sounding. Since there is a large cottonwood tree and several smaller ones in this area only, the Spanish name for cottonwood- Alamos- was chosen.
Juniper- In 1970, a new shelter and latrine were built in the Julia Hillman area. At first, these were called Hillman 1 and 2, but this was confusing. The newest shelter was named Hillman and the older shelter was named Juniper because of a large juniper tree in the area. Can you find the large juniper tree?
Stories of Camp Howdy
If you have a story for us about Camp Howdy, please send it to [email protected]. Thanks!
Provided by JoAnna White Nelson and DJ Weatherford
"I was a member of a Girl Scout troop that started in 1950 and continued through 1958 as a senior troop. There were 14 of us who went through the 8 years together, all the way through our senior year in high school.We had a great time but most amazing is that we are still in contact and are very good friends. We had a bond that has never been broken.
Now to Camp Howdy. I remember very distinctly that our troop helped clear the land for the camp. The thing I remember most is that we lashed kitchen cabinet made from crates to trees. We even made a very intricate latrine from branches of a tree. We dug a hole and lashed tree limbs to sit on. Very ingenious. Ann Elliott Seale was the best lasher. I had trouble with the knots we tied with the rope. But, it was very sturdy and probably lasted for a very long time. Actually, we all were together just last month and were talking about Camp Howdy. We can't remember where it is in relation to Bryan. It must have been right outside of the city but none of us could remember where it was. We did remember that it was a day camp, mostly for Brownies and Juniors, and that we were 'under the gun to finish the clearing and lashing' so the camp could open on time. We couldn't even remember what year that was.
We had a great experience as scouts. We camped together, took a trip to Mexico after our senior year (which we worked for three years to earn the money and 4 of us went to an International Girl Scout camp in Canada in the summer of 1957. Scouting helped define our lives and to give us a sense of pride and understanding of others."
Courtesy of JoAnna White Nelson
"... I learned a few years ago that the camp was informally called Howdy for several years, then the council (at that time, it was the Juliet Low Council) decided to have a "naming contest." The award for the best name went to a little Brownie troop whose leaders were ... on the site team.
I talked with Louise Amyx Luedemann personally about the camp a couple of years ago. She is the A of Aktoo. ... The K of Aktoo was Julia Knapp; I knew her daughter Ava, who was about a year younger than me, while we were in school. Louise says most of the others from that site team are long gone. The gentleman whose daughter's Brownie troop got the prize for naming the camp was named Worley, and he may also still be around. His name may come back to me later.
The "shelter" at Aktoo looked a lot like the one at Juniper when I was there (Juniper wasn't there yet, though), and I think it was pretty new in the middle 60s. Before then, campers had to lash all their work areas, storage spaces, and everything else. I remember only the RaNap cabin (which had screens but not windows; I don't remember if it had electricity) and the Aktoo shelter (which was just the cabinets and work surface like at Juniper or Hillman now).
...[T]he original sections of camp were RaNap (I don't remember the capital N back then), Aktoo (which may have once had the capital K, which is how I *do* remember it), Pioneer (now Hillman, Juniper, and Ginger Freeman), and Wilderness (now Alamos).
I mostly remember day camping in what is now RaNap; our troop did most of our overnight camping at Aktoo. Back then, we didn't have a shelter at Aktoo, and I'm not real sure about running water, although I think the spigot across from what is now the shelter may have been there then. I do remember hauling water across camp for a lot of years because we didn't have faucets in most areas ("the wilderness" was completely undeveloped back then), and I remember putting Clorox in the water because it came from a well and we weren't sure how safe it was to drink.
As I remember it, the area where we usually built our fires was pretty close to where the trail to Aktoo 3 and 4 is now, so we could see the flag pole from our campsite. We used to pitch our tents in the open area across the trail from Aktoo 1 and 2, but the yaupon between our fire and our tents was much thinner then. I don't remember any other "units" then, but I may have just forgotten. I'm old, too! ;-)
I remember hiking in the wilderness but never camping there because it had neither water nor latrines. (All the latrines in camp there were legitimate outhouses with two or three "holes." I remember inviting some girls from Waco to come camp with us one time and scaring them to death in them. Since we only had to drive to camp from Bryan, we all went to the potty before we left home, but we knew the first thing the Waco girls would want to do would be to go potty. Back then, the latrines always had enough water in them to support plant life, and when you first opened the lids, the plants would pop through the holes like springs. We waited until we heard the Waco girls screaming--since Kachina already had "flushies," we knew our "potty plants" would scare them spitless!)
The Pioneer area also didn't have "all of the amenities of home," but we did camp there occasionally for the adventure. I'm pretty sure we had to haul water in, at least, and I think we had to make "cat scratch" latrines. My best memory of the Pioneer area was in about the seventh grade, when we had a "survival camp," with "experts" from A&M teaching us about outdoor survival, then turning us loose in the Pioneeer area to spend the night with just our four-girl patrols--sort of like an Order of the Arrow thing for Boy Scouts.
We had some dried soup, a plastic sheet (like a small tarp), our pocketknives, and a few matches. I think we had canteens of water to use to cook the soup (and to make "tea" out of whatever we could find there), and I think we "cooked" in our metal cups that we always kept on our beltloops. We made "tents" out of the plastic sheets. I have a vague sense that we also had a can of some sort, but I can't remember where it came from. I know we didn't have flashlights.
Part of our "task" was to be "rescued" the next morning by a pilot who flew a small airplane overhead "searching" for us. We had little mirrors we were supposed to use to signal him, and he dropped red bandannas to let us know he'd seen us. I have no idea whether he ever saw our patrol or not--we never got a bandanna, and eventually we gave it up! But it's one of my best memories of camp."
Courtesy of DJ Weatherford