Goodwin Hall at Camp Lawton
The buildings at Camp Lawton: As you enter Camp Lawton from the road, Goodwin Hall, the dining hall, is close to the road. There is a full kitchen and wash area, commercial stove, refrigerator and freezer. Storage for all equipment and dishes. A bedroom and bathroom are furnished for a cook during camp sessions (see my previous article for more on Camp Lawton.) The little building next to Goodwin was the Hen House. there was a small library where campers could relax and visit. On occasion someone had to sleep in there over night. Camp Lawton was very versatile in that it could make changes on short notice. There was a shed for the riding lawn mower and other tools necessary.
A large meadow separated tent row and the other buildings down by the lake. Most outdoor activities were held in the meadow such as baseball and other competitive sports. There was a tennis court in one corner by Pyke Hall. Pyke Hall was one of the first buildings constructed.It was a memorial to Ralph Pyke, the first choirmaster and first camp director when Camp Lawton opened. The Women of the church raised the $1,900 for this building. Pyke Hall had a large stone fireplace on one end. It housed many activities. Campers put on plays, played games, did crafts and was a place to go when it rained. A small room kept game equipment and other items. Over the winter tents were hung from the rafters as storage and to dry out. Cots, mattresses and items that needed to be inside were stored in Pyke Hall.
The boat house was built as a memorial to Hal S. Woodruff, organist/choir director during 1916 – 1923. The boat house had storage for the fleet of small sail boats, canoes and rowboats on the lake level. The second floor had arts and crafts. A small room housed the Waterfront director. The law required a licensed life guard be present at all camp activities. An earlier Sauna was destroyed by fire. A new Sauna was built in the 1970’s with funds from Robert Gile, Jr. as a memorial to his father, Robert Gile, Sr. Robert, Sr. was a choir boy in the 1910-20 era, former treasurer of the camp and active in raising funds to buy the camp.He donated many of the aluminum boats and sailboats. All volunteer labor constructed the Sauna under the direction of Bill Nightingale. You may remember some of the crew: Dr. Ken Osterberg, Chris Ries, Scott Garoutte, Sr., Duff Johnston, Perry Smith and Win Trumbull. And a number of sideline carpenters. Perry Smith was City Engineer and obtained a stove for the Sauna.
A small building had the bathrooms. It was called the KYBO (keep your bowls open). Because it was old and plumbing needed updating a new building was constructed with more stalls, urinals and showers. It was all cement block and modern plumbing. Goodwin Hall and the KYBO had the only running water. Water needed in other areas had to be carried just like in the olden days.
…to be continued
Contributed by Rose Nightingale