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Inland Northwest Edition

May – June 2013 • $3.95 ®

A Promising New Future in Spokane Camp Four Echoes Three Short Train Stories Latton’s Kiddie Land on North Division

Call Across the Bay and You Will Hear Four Echoes Returning by

Susan Joseph Nielsen


ention the word camp to a Girl Scout and it conjures images of fun, friends, activities and some of the most memorable times girls have in their Girl Scouting journey. Mention Camp Four Echoes and you’ll be inviting stories from girls and women who have spent a part of their summer during the past 75 years at Camp Four Echoes, a Girl Scouts Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho owned and operated resident camp located in Windy Bay at Lake Coeur d’Alene in Worley, Idaho. Since its founding, more than 34,000 girls have attended Camp Four Echoes at Windy Bay and Lake Coeur d’Alene. A Waterfront Camp for Girl Scouts The year was 1938. Franklin Roosevelt was the president of the United States, the Superman comic makes its debut, the first Xerox copy is made, “You Can’t Take it With You” was in theaters (a movie ticket was 25¢), a first class postage stamp was 3¢, gasoline was 10¢ a gallon, ballpoint pens and Teflon were introduced and Kate Smith introduced the song “God Bless America.” The plan for Camp Four Echoes began in 1937. The Spokane Girl Scout council* (now Girl Scouts Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho council) was hoping to establish a waterfront resident camp. Fortunately, the Spokane Central Lions Club was looking for a major project and the two organizations met to collaborate on a plan to move forward with a committee to search for suitable lake property for a Girl Scouts summer resident camp. *The regional Girl Scout council has changed names three times since 1938. These are the various names: 1938 Spokane Girl Scout council; 1954 renamed to Inland Empire Girl Scout council; 1993 renamed Girl Scouts Inland Empire Council; 2007 renamed to Girl Scouts Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Right: Four Echoes Lodge, 1945. 14 B Nostalgia Magazine B May-June 2013

“Hey, Hey, Hey Do you remember What a good time Can really mean? Say goodbye till September

And come along And go with me To where the sun shines bright on the golden sand, And the breeze makes ripples

on the bay. To where the moon shines down on the blue lagoon. Camp Four Echoes, that’s where I’ll stay!” This song was sung by camp staff lined along the road as the campers left at the end of each session.

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Archery at Camp Four Echoes, circa 1941. Photo courtesy of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. 16 B Nostalgia Magazine B May-June 2013

In notes written from Lions Club members who participated in the search for camp property, Lake Coeur d’Alene was the preferred lake location. Most locations were viewed and evaluated by boat due to primitive roads. The land in Windy Bay at Lake Coeur d’Alene was the preferred site and the land for Camp Four Echoes was purchased in the spring of 1938. The deed indicates 127.2 acres was initially purchased for a very fair price, which included more than a mile of waterfront, for the Girl Scout camp. The Lions Club had given a great deal of thought to how the funds of the initial purchase of the land would be raised. There were Lions members who personally donated cash, hosted raffles, plays and concerts (one play netted $8,000!). This was quite an accomplishment in the midst of The Great Depression. It was agreed that no temporary shelters would be erected and the first camping season would include a limited number of girls for a four week summer session which would begin on July 3, 1938. Camp counselors arrived June 29 for a one week training session. A water supply had to be secured, sanitation facilities had to be dug, units located, tents borrowed and arranged and a post office box secured so that campers would be able to receive letters from home. Each unit had its own fireplace and hot water tanks connected to the fireplace. Open air showers were enclosed in canvas. The campers ate together under a large canvas fly which was also used for crafts. That first year, 45 girls attended camp and had a marvelous time on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene! Activities included outdoor cooking, hiking, crafts and swimming. By 1940, the Lions Club was building a lodge at Camp Four Echoes, designed by Lion’s member Ernest V. Price. The lodge included a kitchen, dining space, porch and a large room with a fireplace. The Lady Lions were tasked with furnishing the lodge.

This year included six weeks of camp and about 135 girls attended. The cost for one session was $8 per girl. In 1946 the camp hosted the directors of all the camps in the area. Guest included the Community Chest, YWCA, Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts, YMCA and the Salvation Army. By 1950 more than 600 girls were attending Camp Four Echoes each summer. Many were from the Spokane area, but the camp’s reputation and location was attracting girls from throughout the Inland Northwest. During this decade the camp outbuildings included a caretaker’s house, a boat house and a new dining hall and kitchen were added to the lodge. The 60s brought more Girl Scouts to this beautiful setting on Lake Coeur d’Alene to learn about outdoor activities including, archery, tree and plant identification and trail building. In 1968, the camp expanded and 40 more acres were added to the camp bringing the camp to 167 acres. “One of my first trips to Camp Four Echoes was in the family station wagon. My family of nine went out for an open house before camp opened. My first trip to camp in the bus from downtown Spokane, I remember seeing the lake from the road that led to our camp on Windy Bay. At some point in my childhood I started the tradition of screaming ‘I saw the lake first’ at the moment the vehicle I was in rounded the bend that allows the first glimpse of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Almost Heaven! Last year I was able to travel to camp with my favorite camp counselor, Ellen Flanigan, and she yelled ‘I saw the lake first!’ Since Ellen (Tog) helped make me who I am, I don’t mind letting her beat me to it!” Rosanna Gray, C4E camper 1966-70 counsel in training, 1971-72; counselor, 1973-75, 1978.

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Pictured above, the Camp Four Echoes staff, 1951. Pictured right, campers enjoying the summer of 1939. Photos courtesy of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

During the 1970s, sailboats, environmental/ conservation and international programs were added to the camp activities. Between the cookouts, sunrise hikes, moon watching, star gazing and waterfront activities, campers were left breathless at days end! The 50th birthday of Camp Four Echoes in 1988 brought a reunion and celebration. The camp has been a summer experience for so many Girl Scouts. Many of the early campers sent their granddaughters to Camp Four Echoes to make their own memories! 50th Birthday Song “Take the Lead” Take the lead Come and join the fun 18 B Nostalgia Magazine B May-June 2013

Camp Four Echoes is #1 For 50 years, it’s been the best Positively, in the northwest. We have Sky Meadow, Singing Pines, Sherwood Forest and Swagman’s Fine, Smugglers have a beach of their own, Gazebos are sequoia’s home The Inland Empire should be proud Girl Scouts here will shout out loud Neath the trees on Windy Bay Camp Four Echoes is here to stay!” The camp activities continued to evolve throughout the 1980s, 90s and into the new century. Wind

May-June 2013 B Nostalgia Magazine B 19

surfing, bike trips, backpacking, canoes, kayaks, paddle boats and sail boats were added to camp sessions. The camp property continued to improve and the camp sites took on a thematic approach. 75 Year of Camp Memories Camp Four Echoes will celebrate 75 years of delighting tens of thousands of girls this year. A 75th anniversary event is planned for August 24-25, 2013 at camp to bring together hundreds of girls, women and families who have spent countless summer days at this amazing and beautiful camp on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Go to for more information about the 75th anniversary celebration event. The Spokane Central Lions Club continues their financial and club support of Girl Scouts Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho and Camp Four Echoes with annual opening and closing camp preparation and seasonal clean ups. The ongoing support of the Lions Club, donors, alumnae and event sponsors enabled Camp Four Echoes to remain a treasured camp for Girl Scouts, women and visitors. d Susan Joseph Nielsen, M.S. APR is chief communications officer for Girl Scouts Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. You may reach her at

20 B Nostalgia Magazine B May-June 2013

Why is the camp named Camp Four Echoes? Because when you stand at Echo Point (near the amphitheater) at the Sky Meadows campsite, and holler across the bay, you will hear four echoes returning to you.

Camp Four Echoes Factoids Opened in the summer of 1938 on land purchased by the Spokane Central Lions Club. New lodge completed in 2011. Total acres: 212. Total waterfront: More than a mile. Different themed campsites: Six (tee pees, traditional cabins, chalets, gazebos and tree houses). Total campers since 1938: 34,000+

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SAMPLE STORY: Camp Four Echoes  

"Call Across the Bay and You Will Hear Four Echoes Returning" by Susan Joseph Nielsen, May/June 2013 issue of Nostalgia Magazine www.nost...

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