Days Gone By - stories from the past

Do you remember these popular summer camps in Alabama?

 Summer Camps, Then and Now


Jean Butterworth

My summer camp experiences seem like yesterday. Going to church camp was a happy event for me as a child in Childersburg during the WWII years. These yearly summer camp trips were made to Camp Mac and Shocco Springs located on Cheaha Mountain near the Talladega National Forest.

Camp Mac, Talladega County, Alabama

camp mac courtyard

Later, as a teenager I went to camp in the summer on the campus of Judson College in Marion, Alabama and to Ridgecrest, a Baptist Camp in the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee.

Mornings in the camp schedule were spent in bible study or crafts. Afternoons were spent swimming or hiking. Evening time was for devotions; singing or planned play activity.

Shocco Springs Camp

shocco springs

At Shocco Springs there were some rules governing swimming that seems strange by today’s standard….  boys and girls could not swim at the same time in the pool.  Separate times were designated for girls to swim and boys to swim.  On top of that, girls had to wear one piece bathing suits and rubber swim caps! Wearing shorts for girls was forbidden! shocco springs ala

Today, summer camps have changed dramatically. Kids are encouraged to participate in activities that involve their age group in productive work. This planned activity benefits the kids as well as the receivers of the services.

A church camp leader coordinates such activities as raking yards, working in soup kitchens, or helping distribute food.  Some kids traveled to Louisiana for a week to do relief work for the victims of Katrina.   Some churches helped the kids plan outside vacation bible schools in poor economic area of the southeast. The kids spent time preparing to go on these mission trips by attending weekly meetings where they studied and planned for the upcoming trip.

Other trips would involve a kid’s choir group going for a week to entertain school groups and mingling with other kids from different backgrounds. This provided the opportunity for those kids to develop their singing or musical instrument talents. This also provided experience for kids involved in the production, stage setups and lighting activities at these events.

Sports camps are now the “in thing” for kids to attend. At these camps the boys and girls attempt to improve their individual skill in their sport.  Sometimes the parent is involved in these weekly camps such as those provided by universities such as basket ball and soccer camps.

Camp Winnataska, Pell City, Alabama

camp winnataska, pell city

Every kid should experience a summer camp, I thought. I tried this with my daughter by sending her one summer to Camp Winataska in the 1970’s. I hate to admit that she hated it, especially the snake that made his home in the outside shower stall.

Read more stories like this in Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama by Jean Butterworth


About Jean Butterworth

Jean Champion Butterworth is originally from Tuscaloosa County, graduating from Tuscaloosa County High School, Druid City Hospital School of Nursing and The University of Alabama. She is a retired nurse. Working 27 years at The Children’s Hospital as Department Director, Specialty Clinics. She has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, The Middle East, and Eastern Europe. You can contact Jean at [email protected] See additional stories by Jean Butterworth on www.daysgoneby.meShe also now has a Kindle Ebook Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama

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  1. Chris Otts

    Leanne Champion Otts

  2. Frog Price

    Winnataska was and is still a class act.

  3. Laura Stephens Patterson

    And Camp Cottaquilla near Anniston

  4. Carolyn Hancock Stephens

    Relate to Shocco Springs as a teenager in the late 50’s. Boys and girls could not swim in the pool at the same time and girls mostly wore dresses.

  5. Nancy Gay Morse

    Scoutshire Woods Girl Scout camp in Mobile County. Camp Seale Harris for children with diabetes also shared the same location.

  6. Dianna S. Rogers

    Methodist Camp at Perdido.

  7. Daniel F Stinson

    Shocco Springs 1961 or 62

  8. Camp Sumatanga, near Gallant, was a Methodist camp I went to every year.

  9. Emaline Rogers Wilson

    Yes, I went to Shocco Springs, and Winnetaska! Loved it!

  10. Daniel Cloer

    I attended camp Crystal lake

  11. Ione Williams

    I went to a Girl Scout camp called Camp Talahi(sp) which I think was near B’Ham.

  12. Richard Arnold

    Got to go here 1 time back in the 60’s as a lad. Loved it!

  13. Sherri Clifton Richards

    Camp Cottaquilla. Will never forget.

  14. Jimmy Moore

    Boy Scout Camp Mauvilla and Blue Lake.

  15. Girl Scout-Camp Colman , YMCA Day Camp-Camp Cosby, Trussville. Rode a bus there to and from Camp Cosby. Still can remember the songs we sang.

  16. Sherry Montgomery

    Great memories of Shocco Springs! Still have my jewelry box.

  17. Robert Barry

    Went to Bible Camp on the Raccoon River for a couple of summers and 4-H Camp at the Ledges State Park all in Iowa . The best times in my youth .

  18. Chris Johns

    Yes. Went to Shocco Springs twice when I was in college in 1990’s. It was so much fun.

  19. Dawn Floyd

    I use to go to Yellowstone church camp in north west Alabama

  20. Mary Frances McGehee

    I went when I was a child and then our girls went when they were scouts.

  21. Jeanie Nordan Solomon

    Camp Grist near Selma-I went every summer for 8 years.

  22. Daniel F Stinson

    Shocco Springs summer of 59 or 60 Boys Diving Champion (Heavyweight Division).

  23. Anne Jester Turner

    I haven’t seen this place since 1947, but recognized it immediately when it showed up on FB. I went to my first church camp there with a group from Clanton, and think I still remember every minute of the experience.

  24. Marie McGraw

    I think I have been to them all!early sixties

  25. Nancy Gay Morse

    Mid 50s to mid 60s, Scoutshire Woods Girl Scout Camp in Mobile County. It was also known as Camp Seale Harris, a camp for children with diabetes.

  26. Sharon Fox

    I don’t remember these specific camp grounds but I do remember Mom & Dad would plan our Summer road trips around KOA’s and Stuckeys! Miss those crazy, fun road trips! 🙂

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