History of Camp Shenandoah

In 1927, the Stonewall Jackson Area Council held its first summer camp near Natural Bridge, using the Roanoke Council’s Camp Powhatan. The next year, J.W. Fix laid out the second summer camp, called Camp Stonewall, at Blue Hole near Deerfield. The following year, Mr. Fix laid out another camp along Buffalo Creek near Lexington. In 1930, the camp was moved to Island Ford on the Shenandoah River near McGaheysville. The Island Ford camp was named Camp Shenandoah and used for 20 years under the leadership of Mr. Fix.

Land was purchased in 1949 for a permanent Council Scout Camp in Swoope, just west of Staunton. S. Dexter Forbes headed the fundraising drive for the purchase of this new camp, our current-day Camp Shenandoah, which has been in service since 1950. Camp Shenandoah is owned and operated by the Virginia Headwaters (former Stonewall Jackson Area) Council, BSA, and is open for year-round camping. In 1999, approximately 150 acres were purchased adjacent to the main camp and to form the Wallenborn Conservation Reserve, which to this day is utilized and improved for wildlife habitat and ecological studies. Camp Shenandoah’s acreage now totals 456 acres.

This year marks the 110th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, the 93rd year of summer camping in the Virginia Headwaters Council, as well as the 70th year at Camp Shenandoah’s present location. During the past seasons, thousands of Scouts have passed through the camp gates, carrying part of the Scouting spirit along with them into their daily lives.