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|The Great Hall, also known as Ogden Hall, at Camp Ouachita.|
Photo courtesy Ouachita National Forest.
Off Route 324, northern side of
Ouachita National Forest
is the only surviving Girl Scout camp built by the Works Progress
Administration and the first Girl Scout camp constructed in Arkansas.
Background: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935 to ease the unemployment crisis by funding a broad range of public works projects. From its beginning in 1935 until the official close of the program in 1943, the WPA provided almost 8 million jobs and spent approximately $13.4 billion. WPA projects included the construction of roads, bridges, and buildings, as well as arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.
One of the WPA projects was the construction of
Arkansas’ first Girl
Scout camp. Sue (Worthen) Ogden, the president of the Little Rock Girl Scout
Council, spearheaded the effort to create the camp, using WPA grants, private
donations, and U.S. Forest Service support. The camp was located deep in the forest on the northern shore of . Lake Sylvia
The centerpiece of the Girl Scout camp was the Great Hall, also known as Ogden Hall after Sue Ogden. Other buildings included the caretaker’s residence, the director’s cabin, the camp’s infirmary, staff cabins, sleeping cabins, a bathhouse, and tent platforms.
served as a popular Girl Scout camp from its dedication in 1937 until its
formal closing in 1979. Camp Ouachita
In the 1990s, efforts began to restore and reopen the camp as part of the full range of recreational activities around
Save Lake Sylvia America’s
Treasures funding was instrumental in restoring the historic Great Hall.
|Ouachita National Forest.|
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Notes from the Editor: Encompassing nearly 2 million acres,
Ouachita National Forest spreads across 13 counties in Arkansas and two counties in Oklahoma. The Ouachita River runs through it, giving the forest its name. The river's name dates back to pre-European times, with the word “Ouachita” or “Washita” describing a sparkling silver river running through good hunting grounds.
The Caddo people lived in this area long before the arrival of the Europeans. Although largely relocated to the west, the Caddo Nation remains active today, with its tribal council and a Caddo Heritage Museum located in
There are still old growth forests in Ouachita National Forest, along with lakes, rivers, valleys, and mountains. Naturally, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, and camping are popular activities. The
site has full information available for visitors interested in exploring the
area, including detailed information on the many trails that run through the
park. Ouachita National Forest
Other Recommended Sites: Hot Springs National Park is located just an hour’s drive southwest of
Within the park, Bathhouse Row is a
uniquely preserved collection of turn-of-the-century bathhouses, splendidly
outfitted to cater to a prosperous clientele.
|Sign to Camp Ouachita.|
Tour America's History Itinerary
Monday’s destination: Clover Bend Historic Site
© 2012 Lee Price