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Camp Josepho History - 1941  

         jump to history on this page  >  Lodge    Pool    Events Before Dedication    Camporal and Dedication    Summer Camp   Staff
                                                                            pre 1940    1940  <  history on other pages  > 1942-48
          1941 started off with construction at the camp in full swing. Major projects included the Grand Lodge, swimming pool, bridge crossing over Rustic Creek, and water & septic tanks.
The access road into camp and upper extension from Casale Road (Sullivan Fire Road), were improved and paved. Clearing the dense chaparral in and around the future Parade Grounds as well as along Rustic Creek must have seemed daunting and without end as work parties among the volunteer Scouts were organized on many, if not most, weekends throughout early 1941.

                                                                                          Brush Clearing Work Party
                                                                              Camp Josepho
                                                                                 Early 1941



"Skipper" Al Miller hands out "Bush Hooks", a curved blade attached to an axe handle used to clear heavy brush.

Mart Bushnell, on right, assesses the situation while Senior Scouts wait for instructions. Al Miller on left, John Ehrlichman in front and Dick Rice, mostly hidden behind Scout in light shirt
and pants to the left of Ehrlichman.

  Tom Canady, front, John Erhlichman and unknown Scout bushwhack down a steep hill west of future
parade ground.

                                 The Lodge at Camp Josepho

          On February 1, 1941, work began on the Grand Lodge, originally known as Josepho Lodge. Progress on digging and forming the foundation was slowed down by an extremely wet month where rain was reported in 19 out of 28 days. None-the-less, the footings, foundation and slab were poured on March 1, led by James Whitehead of Troop 6, Santa Monica, who conveniently owned a local cement contracting business. He assembled a volunteer crew working late into the night to finish the entire job in one grueling day.
          At that point, it was projected the entire building would be framed, wired, plumbed, roofed, sided and completed in 90 days. An army of Crescent Bay Scouters volunteered, working tirelessly to finish Camp Josepho before the dedication scheduled for June 7, 1941.
          Josepho Lodge, as well as pool and parade grounds, were designed by architect Clinton B. Kolyer who volunteered his time. The lodge was built in an open-beam and rustic style, having a huge main room with a vaulted ceiling over 24' high.

Wall Framing Goes Up

Massive Curved Ceiling Beams

The Grand Lodge begins to take shape as the framed walls are braced into position. Photo taken from the staging area behind the lodge and looking north across the future parade grounds
up Rustic Canyon.

"Uncle Bob" Hill and Anatol Josepho (in hats) view the massive curved ceiling beams being fabricated on the open cement slab floor of the Grand Lodge. Once completed, they were hoisted up
20 feet on top of the framed side walls.

          The western wall of the lodge was two-stories (20 feet) high with a bump-out running behind it the entire length of the building. The ground floor of the bump-out contained a large state-of-the-art commercial kitchen capable of preparing meals for upwards of 500 people, a "directors" room and small foyer. Upstairs were bunk rooms to house the staff. A long balcony, also running the length of the building, extended into the main room over the kitchen and meeting rooms below. The wall and balcony were divided midway by a massive floor-to-ceiling rock fireplace, large enough to have roaring log camp fires (fire danger during summer months required having evening camp fires in the lodge). A smaller, back-to-back rock fireplace was in the director's room behind the wall.
         The original balcony is believed to have been an open rail and picket design which soon became a safety hazard to roughhousing teenage boys. Folklore has it that during some running around and nonsense, a scout crashed through the railing, falling down to the floor below. The extent of his injuries are not known but sometime after 1944, the balcony railing was removed and replaced with a solid knotty pine panel wall with wire-laced safety windows. Currently, there are no known photographs or films showing the original open rail in the lodge.
          The lodge's southern end was dominated by a raised stage, framed by a massive wooden arch. The stage was designed for theatrical productions and entertainment provided by the camp staff and scout bands.

Director's Room

Commercial Ovens Ready for Installation

Director's Cabin
Handicraft Lodge & Kiva

"Uncle Bob" Hill, Beal Belford of Roberts News,
and Anatol Josepho discuss plans in front of the back-to-back fireplace located in the unfinished meeting room directly behind the huge fireplace in the main lodge.

Uncle Bob Hill and Anatol Josepho stand proudly
by the commercial grade electric ovens awaiting completion of the Lodge kitchen.

Director's cabin nearing completion. Concrete forms around front porch slab have yet to be removed. Shed roof will be built on slab which, along with front part of cabin, would become the handicraft lodge. two basement windows show location of the infamous Kiva

          Behind and south of the main lodge where the construction staging area was located, a smaller "Director's" cabin was built. The front quarter of the cabin was walled off  and along with the front porch covered by a shed roof, would become the handicraft lodge. The back part of the cabin served as the Camp Director's quarters during the summer and on weekends.
A small dug-in basement with a step-down entrance door and two small windows would be taken over by the staff in 1941 and nick-named the Kiva. Staff hung out in the Kiva for late night camaraderie and bull sessions which, in the summer of 1942, led to the formation of the Order of the Arrow in Crescent Bay Council.
          More folklore has it that wood for a even smaller cabin of about 12 feet x 15 feet was recycled from tearing down cabins at Camp Emerald Bay when the Council packed up and left after the 1939 summer camp. This little cabin was located across the road from the pool and became the camp Hospital.
Camp Josepho Pool

          The large oval pool, located beyond the north end of the parade grounds, was originally surrounded with grass to give the feeling of a Sierra meadow pond.  It measured 60' by 100', ranged from 3' to 14' deep and was said to be the largest pool at any Scout Camp in

. The pool's automatic chlorination recirculating system (a fancy piece of technology for 1941) moved 250 gallons of water per minute.  A diving board finished off the design on the
deep end. Much of the grass border
would later be replaced with
concrete when it  was realized it
wouldn't grow, falling victim to
 chlorine and the pounding of running and jumping Scouts who also dragged grass and dirt into the pool on the bottoms of their bare feet.

                                          Finishing Touches

          Once fully cleared of brush and rocks, the Parade Ground sported a new quarter-mile oval running track. Lush sod was placed inside the oval, around the perimeter and up the hill to 

Crescent Bay Pack Burro
Spring 1941

Beal Belford of Roberts News, undoubtedly discussing the opening of Camp Josepho with Pete or Repete (not sure which) in the parking area at the entrance into camp.
         an elevated terraced area where a simple flag pole was erected by the Tribe of Temescal, Crescent Bay Council's Scoutmaster Training Key Association. The flag pole would be dedicated to George Bundy, first Silver Beaver Award recipient of Crescent Bay and original member of the Tribe of Temescal.
        Down hill from the main lodge and adjacent to Rustic Creek, a corral was constructed. This corral became home to Crescent Bay Council's two pack burros Pete and Repete for most of the year. The burro's were brought from Camp Wolverton to Josepho in 1940 and driven back to High Sierra Camp Wolverton for the 1941 summer camp and 1942 Whitney Pack Trip.
        Archery and rifle ranges were built behind the handicraft lodge, all popular spots for the Scout Campers.

        And of course, no camp is complete without campsites. The idea was to allow troops and patrols the opportunity to use their scouting skills in a natural & primitive setting. Eight areas were cleared up along Rustic Creek, each lacking piped water and electricity. A camp stove and pit latrine were the only improvements.
Everything else was left to the scouts.

                                                                              Campsite Areas Along Rustic Creek
                                                               Spring 1941 Photos

                           8 locations were ultimately chosen for Scout campers. Camp stoves and pit latrines were the only improvements.

Much of the materials and most of the work to build Camp Josepho were donated by volunteer Crescent Bay Scouters and Scouts, thereby increasing development in the camp well beyond the $30,200 donated by Anatol Josepho. (It is widely believed that Josepho ended up donating much more to the camp than the original amount). Construction of Camp Josepho dominated Council activity and resources the first half of the year. Excitement and anticipation was at an all-time high among the public and scouts alike.

Scouts Begin Using the Unfinished Camp

          To say the Scouts were anxious to begin using Camp Josepho would be an understatement. The pool unofficially opened on April 19, 1941 for weekend use.

Camp Josepho Pool
Nearly Completed
April 19, 1941

Photo of original pool, nearly complete, showing the first time Scouts were allowed in for
 a swim on April 19, 1941. The thick, newly sodded lawn around the pool is clearly visible.
While the metal fence poles around the pool are in place, the chain link fence and barbed top wire have not yet been assembled between them. Also visible at the end of the pool are the metal supports for the diving board which had yet to be installed. Less clearly visible are several Senior Scouts around the pool who are ready for skinny dipping, (an activity that would not fly today).

          On Sunday, April 27, 1941, the Council Band held a free concert at Camp Josepho attended by over 400 Scouts and others in addition to the "Scouts camping there", suggesting there were also troops back in the campsites that weekend. The concert was held in front of the flagpole on the parade ground by the newly re-organized Council band led by Dee Fisher, Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 10, Santa Monica. The band, boasting 23 members, was resurrected in January, 1941 by Troop 25, Santa Monica, and was also scheduled to provide music at the Camp Dedication on June 7.
          Crescent Bay Council's first Explorer Field Day was held at Josepho the weekend of May 3-4. Explorer Scouting was just beginning nationally and 1941 was the first year it organized in Crescent Bay on a Council-wide basis. At that time, there were no Explorer Posts. Instead, groups of older scouts formed their own patrol within their troop. 65 explorers from 12 troops throughout the Council attended the Field Day at Josepho where 13 athletic Competitions were held. The event was organized by Scouters Theron Patten of Culver City and Clinton Kirk of Santa Monica, Explorer Scout Commissioner and Chairman, respectively, of the Council's newly organized Explorer Committee.
          The Sea Scouts were next, holding their Beach Combers Ball in the lodge on Saturday night, May 24, 1941. Senior and Explorer Scouts were also invited with their dates for an evening of entertainment, refreshments and dancing. The final Council events prior to the Dedication Camporal were scheduled by the Council training committee on Monday evenings  May 26 and June 2, 1941. The two-session training course led by Ralph DeBolt was focused on Troop Camping. Registration was $1 which included dinners each night provided by the Council and cooked in the Camp Josepho kitchen.

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Camporal and Dedication

          Crescent Bay Scout Leaders decided to combine the 1941 annual Camporal with the dedication of Camp Josepho on June 7-8, 1941. However, it was questioned if capacity at the untested new camp would accommodate the huge turnout of troops, patrols, guests and spectators expected for the big event. For the first time, Scout participation at the 1941 Camporal would be limited to only the best patrols in the Council. A schedule of competitive District Camporees was organized to determine 80 patrols to be invited to the Council Camporal. Three separate camporees were scheduled:
  • Santa Monica and Westwood - May 10-11, 1941 at U.C.L.A. Athletic Field
  • Culver Palms, Mar Vista and Venice - May 10-11, 1941 at the Southwest Kennel       Club Dog Track at Washington & Lincoln Boulevards.
  • Beverly Hills - May 24-25 at Beverly Hills High School. 

Certificates were awarded to patrols at the District Camporees as well as the Camporal.

1941 Camporee
Venice District-Southwest Kennel Club
May 10-11

                1941 Camporal
Held at Camp Josepho Dedication
June 7-8


Certificate used by various Districts for
District Camporees in 1941 (and 1942-43)
AWARDED TO: Beaver Patrol Troop 34, Venice
SIGNATURES: F.R. Hill • A.M. Fellows
Size: 7 ¼" x 7 ½".
Certificate used only at the 1941 Dedication Camporal. NOTE NAME: "District" Camporal
AWARDED TO: Beaver Patrol Troop 34, Venice
SIGNATURES: F.R. Hill • P. Mackey Jr.
Size: 7 ¼" x 7 ¼".

                                                                             see more  >  Camporal and Camporee Certificates

          As a consequence, the new plan meant the majority of Crescent Bay's 2,600 Scouts would not have a chance to attend the dedication, a fact that may not have set will with many of the    Council's troops. None-the-less, Camporal & Dedication schedules were announced by Milton Mackey Jr. Director; L. W. Holinger Assistant Director; and Roy Feree Adjunct; George Irwin Health Director and Keith Monroe Pool Lifeguards.
          On Saturday, June 7, all qualifying patrols were to be in Camp no later than
11 a.m. Then, by 11:45 a.m. all Scouts assembled at the upper camp entrance gate where the new access road joined Sullivan Fire Road, awaiting the order to march back down the road into Camp which came at 12 p.m.
As martial music provided by the Crescent Bay Scout Band blared up the canyon walls from below, all the boys marched down the road and onto the oval parade ground where the dedication ceremony began. Twenty-five hundred people were estimated to be in Camp.
          First up was the dedication of the flag pole donated by the Tribe of Temescal followed by a formal flag raising ceremony. Next, the Camp was blessed by prominent religious leaders in the community, followed by words honoring Mr. and Mrs. Josepho and presentation of a gift purchased with thousands of pennies donated by the Scouts. Speeches were also made by Los Angeles Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, movie star Leo Carrillo and other local dignitaries.

Camporal Encampment
Parade Ground Oval Track

Dedication Speeches
Flag Pole Area above Parade Ground


Scouts marching into camp from Sullivan Fire Rd. above, onto
the oval track (right side) and making their way around to begin the dedication ceremony.

Popular actor Leo Carillo speaks to the crowd as
 the Josepho's and other dignitaries look on.

Gift Presentation
Flag Pole Area Above Parade Ground

Plaque Dedication
Flag Pole Area Above Parade Ground


Scouts throughout Crescent Bay Council were called upon to donate pennies towards the purchase of a gift of appreciation for the Josepho's. The gift box is marked "fragile" but the actual gift remains a mystery.

Photo op around the dedication plaque.
Josepho family: Marco, Gana, Anatol, & Roy.
Leo Carillo sits behind plaque. Scouters in Indian bonnets are leaders of the Tribe of Temescal.
Mayo Wright is chief between Leo and Anatol.

Camp Josepho Dedication
Original Kodacolor Transperancy Slide
June 7, 1941

Scouts and dignitaries assembled after the formal dedication ceremony for a photo op.
L-R: Leo Carillo • L.A. County Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz. Underneath the Blue Crescent Bay Council Flag
are the Josepho family, Anatol, Marco, Roy and Gana; and L.W. Holinger.

           After the ceremony, the Camporal opened with Scouting skill competitions and swimming periods in the new pool. Dignitaries and VIP's, walked up from the parade ground to the Lodge where the Council organized an invitation-only Luncheon beginning at 1:30 p.m.  The cost was $1.00 per plate. The Camporal continued on Sunday June 8, and culminated in an awards ceremony when top patrols were recognized.

Swimming Period at the Pool
Original Kodacolor Transperancy Slide

Dedication Luncheon

June 7, 1941

Camporal participants crowded the pool on the afternoon of June7.
NOTE: The grass around the pool is already browning and showing signs of
wear-and-tear in the short time since the pool opened on April 19.


Numbered (no. 296) invitation
to Chester L. McCluney.
                                                                                Summer Camps Open

         The inaugural Crescent Bay Summer Camp at Camp Josepho opened on July 5, 1941. Camp Wolverton in Sequoia also opened the same day as an outpost adventure camp.
The Wolverton staff was reduced to two people: new Crescent Bay field executive Alden Barber took over for Mart Bushnell as Camp Director. Carl Helms returned as the Packer. The Council's burros, Pete and Repete, were driven from Camp Josepho to the High Sierra Camp for use by those troops willing to bring their own food and all other supplies.
        Camp Trefoil
opened on July 10, 1941, Senior Scout and Troop 10 Assistant Scoutmaster Woodi Fisher, was Camp Director and the only staff. Trefoil was a "by request" camp that boasted some improvements from the previous year including a new cabin, concrete pool decking, and a spillway emptying into the pool that collected mountain run-off, warmed in the  sun, and thereby warming the frigid pool temperatures from previous summers.

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                                   First Camp Josepho Staff

          The inaugural adult staff for Camp Josepho was announced in the May issue of the Scouting News. "Skipper" Al Miller, Camp Emerald Bay staff since it opened in 1925, was picked as the first Josepho Camp Director. Other staff included: Deforest (Dee) Fisher Activities Director; Martin Weinstein assistant Activities Director;  Dean Kennedy Quartermaster; Philip Hutchins Handicraft; and John Wuest Waterfront. Joel Stearns and  Dave Lowenberg worked in the Health Cabin. A staff photo for 1941 has yet to be located and most of the youth staff that summer remain undocumented. It is thought that Jack Davies, Dick Rice, and John Erhlichman may have been included as well as returnees from the 1940 High Sierra Wolverton staff.

"Skipper" Al Miller
Camp Director

Martin Weinstein
  Asst. Activity Director

Dave Lowenberg
Health Cabin

Joel Stearns
Health Cabin

Several prominent Crescent Bay leaders were not on the inaugural staff for Camp Josepho. Most notably was Mart Bushnell, who was undoubtedly the most experienced camper in the Council having served on the first Camp Emerald Bay staff in 1925 and throughout the 1920's-30's. He also staffed the Council's High Sierra Camps in the 1930's and was the first Camp Director of High Sierra Camp Wolverton in 1939 & 1940. Bushnell had taken a position as Scout Executive of the Scout Council in San Luis Obispo in the spring of 1941 and was involved with their camp. His replacement in Crescent Bay, Alden Barber, was also unavailable, spending the summer in Bushnell's previous role as Camp Director of Wolverton. Council executive George Bergstrom was also not part of the first Josepho staff having recently taken the position of Scout Executive for the San Fernando Valley. And Frank "Pop" Pudney, Handicraft Director at Camp Emerald Bay in the 1930's, was not on the 1941 Josepho staff but would join in 1943. 

                                       Schedule & Activities

          The 1941 Camp Josepho summer camp included eight sessions of one week each at a
cost of $7.00 per boy. The fee included 3 served meals per day but initially no transportation provided by the Council. Scouts signing up for a full week-long session became eligible to earn the coveted
Good Camper
badge. For troops prepared to "rough it" by bringing and cooking their own meals at the campsite, the cost was 10 cents per boy per day.
          The main attraction was the pool. Water Carnivals and swim meets were scheduled each session. Swimming and life saving merit badges were taught and it may have also been possible to work on canoeing and rowing merit badges as well.
          A complete sports activities program was available to campers. Included were baseball, football, basketball, track, volley ball, lawn tennis, badminton, ping pong, soccer and even shuffle board. Evening activities, including campfires (in the lodge fireplace), bull sessions, community singing, amateur nights and entertainment on the Lodge stage, were all scheduled for scouts during each session. Singing was a regular activity during meal times, on the trail and at the campfires. Hikes of all distances and duration were also part of the program.
          By all accounts, that first summer of camping at Josepho was widely attended and a huge  success. Yet very few photos, documents or articles about the progress through the summer exist today. The last camping period ended on August 30, 1941,  but the camp remained open for additional events and weekend troop camping the remainder of the year.

                                    Final Events for 1941
          The First Annual "Water Carnival" was held on Sunday, October 5, 1941. It was billed as a departure from the "old fashioned  swim meet" where the same top swimmers won the awards every year. Water Carnival events were held at the Camp Josepho pool. They included; Rescue Relay; Tub Race (troops were required to furnish their own tubs); 50 & 100 yard free style; Treasure Hunt (where troops dove into the pool to retrieve the "treasure" which were 10 lb. rocks); shallow water "Scramble" for non swimmers; Egg Relay; Life-Saving Drill; Horse-to-Rider Tourney and an "All-Wet Award".
          Exactly six months following the dedication of the new camp, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and World War II was on. Authorities arrested Herr Schmidtt and his silver shirt Nazis down-canyon at the Murphy Ranch and scout camping in Crescent Bay Council would take a very different direction for the next four years.

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                                                                        pre 1940    1940  <  history on other pages  > 1942-48

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