Girls will explore, discover and create on a wooded peninsula surrounded by Lake Cleawox and Honeyman Memorial State Park sand dunes.
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Girl Scouts began camping at Camp Cleawox before the signing of a property lease with the United States Forest Service on May 8, 1930. Much of the camp has been built and rebuilt over the last 90 years, most significantly the new main lodge in 1996, which is equipped with a large dining area, commercial kitchen, two bathrooms, showers and a fireplace.
Click to expand each time period below and learn how Camp Cleawox has changed through the years!
Girl Scouts began camping at the Camp Cleawox site before the signing of a property lease with the United States Forest Service on May 8, 1930. There were few facilities at that time, but between 1930 and 1937 several areas were cleared, shelters were built, trails were constructed and a crafts shop was established. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built these facilities, including the original lodge and Adirondack shelters, trails, etc., in the late 1930s.
The 1937 plan document, “Cleawox Lake Organization Tract,” shows proposed structures, activity areas and trails. The orientation and locations of the structures shown were revised when the buildings were actually constructed and many of the proposed structures were never built. The structures used by the first Girl Scouts have all since been removed or destroyed by the harsh coastal weather. The activity areas have been overgrown by native vegetation, leaving little trace of their former existence. Our current use of the property is guided by what remains of these areas.
The 1962 Columbus Day storm caused the destruction of much of the site. Large swaths of trees were blown down through the center of the site requiring loggers to remove the debris with heavy equipment. The scars of this operation and its residue remained visible for ten years. The falling trees destroyed the unit located on Viking Hill. All remains were eventually removed and native plants began to grow. The west end of the infirmary and all of the shower houses were also destroyed during the storm. Both structures had been repaired or replaced by the end of 1964.
In 1996, a new winterized main lodge was completed. It has a large dining area, a commercial kitchen, two bathrooms and a fireplace. A watercolor picture of the old lodge was graciously donated.
The early 2000s brought the removal of the last CCC Adirondacks in the Clippers unit. These were replaced with large platforms and platform tents. The tents were eventually replaced with open-air cabins on the platforms and the boat house at the canoe dock was rebuilt. In 2007, kayaking was expanded at Pirates cove with a fleet of open deck kayaks, river kayaks and tripping kayaks, growing the programming options.
In 2008, Girl Scouts of Western Rivers Council merged with Girl Scouts of Columbia Rivers Council, Girl Scouts of Santiam Council and Girl Scouts of Winema Council to form Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Since the realignment, significant improvements have been made in the Clippers cabins, adding windows and doors and extending roof lines. In addition, the Adirondacks in Pirates and Explorers have been enclosed by adding a front wall with screen doors and windows.
With all of the changes throughout the years, many traditions have stayed the same. Some camper favorites include campfire stories about mythical Tajar—Camp Cleawox’s mischievous but friendly animal occupant. Each week girls earn the right to be known as a Knight of the Sand Dune, a tradition started long ago.
Did you know that your troop or group can use GSOSW properties year-round? Learn more about renting a GSOSW property.