|The History Of Camp Daisy|
|"Way down in the valley, there's a place I'm dreaming of..." This special wooded valley is Camp Daisy Hindman. Founded in 1929, the camp actually began a few years earlier in the mind of Mrs. W. C. "Daisy" Hindman, who wanted a camp easily accessible to Topeka, yet far enough away to give girls a sense of adventure. In 1925, Mrs. Hindman, as Girl Scout Commissioner, found the twenty acre site near Dover, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Ross.
Mrs. W. H. Stanley, Camp Chairman, leased the site and Mr. W. E. Glover, a Topeka architect planned the camp layout. The actual building and site development started promptly. Mr. R. S. Nystrom headed the construction. The idea of Girl Scout camping was brought before the public. Local clubs and business men were made aware of the project. Among generous donors were the C. B. Crosbys, Ben Franklin and David Neiswanger, chairman of the fund drive.
The main lodge, then known as "Trading Post" housed a kitchen and dining hall. Six or seven cabins for sleeping were constructed. The cabins were financed by a generous friend of Girl Scouting. Carpenters, stone masons, painters and other craftsmen donated their labor and time on weekends. Mr. L. G Echols, a carpenter whose wife was on the Council, was instrumental in getting various members of the union to work gratis at the camp every Saturday afternoon during construction. Council members desiring to be part of the action, cooked food and brought it to camp for the men's dinner. Most of the materials such as roofing, siding, cement, etc., were donated. The camp was referred to as "Dover Camp" or "Established Camp."
The Girl Scouts made homemade cookies from an official national recipe at the Gas Service Company and sold them. It took four years of cookie sales, numerous money making projects and a successful marionette show held In the old City Auditorium to build the first construction.
In spite of the unfinished condition of the camp two sessions were held in 1929 with Miss Mildred Wohlford, Girl Scout Director, in charge. Other staff members were Mrs. David Neiswanger - Dining Hall Director; Mrs. Beryl Johnson - Dramatics; Mrs. Dorr Pelton - Handicrafts; Mrs. Pearl "Woody" Maus - Naturecraft, geology and pioneer camping; Mrs. J. W. Mower - Archery (the girls made their own arrows during the winter); and Mrs. E. F. Johnson, from Fort Leavenworth - Photography and Sketching. In the evenings around the campfire, Mrs. Johnson told the girls of her world travels.
In 1930, the camp was officially opened. There were four cabins, a
partially constructed lodge, hospital, office and outdoor kitchen dotting the hilly landscape. A specially constructed tank made in Topeka held 21,000 gallons of water for the shower house. The dam was built and the lake completed. Equipped with boats, canoes, stone pier and float, it could be used for swimming also. Miss Lucy Ann Hostein, Physical Education teacher from Girard, Kansas taught swimming and life saving.
The original twenty acres cost $12,000 and this debt was completely paid off in January of 1934 before Mrs. W. C. Hindman relinquished her office as Commissioner. In 1934, Mrs. J. R. Burrow was elected Commissioner and it was during her years in office that the Council members voted unanimously to have the camp named in honor of Mrs. Hindman. To this day it is known affectionately as "Camp Daisy Hindman."
In 1935, when Mrs. Roy Testerman was Commissioner, there was an especially successful summer camp at Camp Daisy Hindman. The units were named "Ipesi" (now Sleepy Hollow), "Juliette Low" and "Trails End". At camp was a favorite horse the girls named "Daisy", They enjoyed rides with Daisy drawing the cart. Goodness knows how many miles Daisy traveled around the camp.
In the years between 1930 and 1943 more acres were ]eased and then purchased so the camp totaled one hundred acres. On June 26, 1952, the Girl Scouts at camp held a dedication celebration in honor of Mr. R. S. Nystrom who had been with Camp Daisy Hindman for twenty-two years. He was given a pin and made an honorary Girl Scout member. Mrs. Nystrom, who helped her husband around the camp is remembered for her delicious meals. Then, in 1952, Mr. & Mrs. L. J. Lomax gave the lighted wagon wheel, which hangs in the dining hall, in honor of their daughter, Janie. Janie, an active Girl Scout, died of a brain tumor at age 16.
From 1952 to 1960, the summer camping program at Daisy Hindman was very limited because of the shortage of water, The three acre lake was dry and the dam wouldn't hold water. The Girl Scouts feared their lovely camp would have to be abandoned. Finally, in the spring of 1959, the rains came and Camp Daisy had a new lease on life. A bright spot during these years was the composing of the Camp Daisy Hindman song by Camp Director, Martha Adams.
A master plan for redeveloping the camp was prepared. The Site Development Committee retained land planning, architectural and consulting engineering firms to provide professional advice and services. Plans were made to bring the Dover water line into the camp to eliminate the hauling of water. Land planner, Richard Elliott and Architect, Dwight Brown began work on development construction.
Work progressed and Camp Daisy was ready for campers by the summer of 1960. There was a contest held to name the new units, prizes to apply on camp fees. Former "lpesi" was named "Sleepy Hollow" by Mrs. Carl L. Longren. "lpesi" (which was moved to a new site), is a native African word meaning "Whither", used by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, to stand for the unchanging principles in Girl Scouting:
I for Inspiration
P for Possibilities
E for Example
S for Service
I for Ideals
The Counselor-in-Training unit, formerly "Pioneer", which provides a home for Senior Scouts becoming future counselors was named "Top Brass" by Kacky Worden. The name has fallen into disuse however, and the unit is now called simply "CIT". The primitive unit, in which girls develop their own campsites, pitch two man tents and build the necessities for camp, etc., has become "Pioneer" although named "Hidden Valley" by Edona Halleck. Maren Longren gave the winterized cabin the name of "Cliff House". The cabin provides a troop camping site the year round.
In 1961, new kitchen facilities were added to the lodge which enabled the camp to care for more girls. In 1962, two new troop cabins were built on the hill. Sleeping cabins replaced tents in "Ipesi", home for first year campers.
In July, 1962, the year Girl Scouting celebrated it's Fiftieth Birthday, Camp Daisy had the privilege to have as an honored guest, Mrs. W. C. Hindman. The campers were awed at first by her presence, but soon were seeking autographs from this gracious woman.
The 35 x 75 foot swimming pool was built in 1963 on the hillside overlooking the lake, at a cost of $31,000, plus private donations. One such donation was given by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur R. Springer, who gave $1,000.00 dollars toward the construction.
In 1967, a new feature was introduced with the installation of five tornado shelters. Each unit has a shelter which is a poured, reinforced concrete underground structure, with the capacity to shelter all the unit's campers.
Camp Daisy was also very fortunate to have had Mr. C. H. Lister as caretaker. Affectionately known to girls and counselors alike as "Chief", he was a quiet, dependable man with a ready sense of humor. Chief worked around the camp Intermittently since its opening in 1929 and had seen many little campers grow into counselors. The new infirmary has been named "Chief's Medicine Lodge" in his honor.
Volunteer work groups have always been a great help at Camp Daisy Hindman. These groups meet before May Open House to prepare the camp in many ways. Sometimes they are club members, or business men or parents. All are great friends of Girl Scouting.
Camp Daisy Hindman is considered one of the finest Council owned Girl Scout camps in the country. Over $100,000.00 has been invested in its one hundred and ten acres of rolling hills and wooded dells. It can accommodate one hundred and fifty lively Girl Scouts during a session and over seven hundred girls take advantage of Its beauty each summer. Girl Scouts from thirteen counties, under the jurisdiction of the Kaw Valley Girl Scout Council use Camp Daisy each year.
Mrs. W. C. Hindman died July 1, 1965. But her vision has given Girl Scouts
a treasured valley for quiet thoughts, high adventure and good times with best friends. Camp Daisy Is "... a place I'll remember and always will love."
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