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


Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama (Kindle Edition)

By (author):  Butterworth, Jean

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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 She also now has a Kindle Ebook Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama

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  1. Leanne Champion Otts

  2. Winnataska was and is still a class act.

  3. And Camp Cottaquilla near Anniston

  4. Relate to Blue Lake

  5. 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.

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

  7. Methodist Camp at Perdido.

  8. Shocco Springs 1961 or 62

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

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

  11. I attended camp Crystal lake

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

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

  14. Camp Cottaquilla. Will never forget.

  15. Boy Scout Camp Mauvilla and Blue Lake.

  16. Winnitaska and Camp Cosby

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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 .

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

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

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

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

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

  25. 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.

  26. I think I have been to them all!early sixties

  27. 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.

  28. 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! 🙂

  29. Oh dear, that picture brought a flood of memories. I remember going to camp the summer 1947. It looked just like the picture. The next summer Shocco Springs was opened for church camp and we went there forever after. Thanks for posting.

  30. Can’t be same bridge or could it. And the dinning hall isn’t there. It was a white building. Wonder what the. Holding in center is.

    1. Jane Jester Townsend this picture is Camp MAC not Shocco. I don’t think you ever went there. I went only one year, because the next year we went to Shocco..

    2. Anne Jester Turner are you sure. That little bridge looked awfully familiar. As did cabins up on the hill.

    3. Jane Jester Townsend very sure. It looks exactly like that in 1947. I stayed in the building on the left.

    4. Sad for the daughter. I loved Winnataska, 3summers as a camper, three as a counselor in the late ’50s thru mid ’60s.

  31. Not that age, but going to Shocco Springs was a treat for all of us girls and young ladies! G.A.’s from Gilgal Baptist Church loved going there!!

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