Older Member's Association

Camp Wangum

During 1942 Claude Rose, an Honorary Member of the OM’s, located a run down girls summer camp in Falls Village, Connecticut on the Housatonic River.  Through the efforts of Mr. Rose, the camp was acquired by the Club. It became an outstanding acquisition to the assets of the Club and worth many times over the price actually paid.

Over the next few years, the Older Members completely equipped the kitchen at a cost of $1800 and raised funds to purchase ten aluminum canoes costing $1200. Other major repairs of the camp also were financed by the Older Members and in 1948 -1949, 40 boys who could not afford to go were sent to camp at the expense of the group. Camp fees were held at a minimum through support of the OM’s, friends and businesses allowing many boys to attend two week camp sessions during the summer months.

In 1951, Graham “Spike’ Norton became Executive Director of the Boys Club and during his administration, Camp Wangum further developed into a first-class camp. Through the work of the OM’s, the original wooden cabins were replaced with cinder-block barracks. In 1957, a swimming pool was built and dedicated. The road to the camp was black-topped in 1959 again through the efforts of the OM’s. The OM’s and another local organization provided funds for camp bus in 1962.

From the beginning, the OM’s were instrumental in maintaining the upkeep of the camp. A typical two day work weekend at camp involved 15-28 volunteers during several weeks prior to the opening of the season. In 1972, a disastrous fire destroyed a large portion of the main lodge at the camp. The OM’s rebuilt the building in time for the reopening of camp in 1973. The camp continued operating until 1986.