Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Present, Ex-Scouts Prepare Goodbyes to Chowenwaw; Champagne and S'mores Are on the Menu at a Girl Scout Fund-Raiser

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Present, Ex-Scouts Prepare Goodbyes to Chowenwaw; Champagne and S'mores Are on the Menu at a Girl Scout Fund-Raiser

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY MARAGHY

Sandy Chapman fondly remembers sunrise canoe trips to Peter's Creek, cooking bacon, eggs and bread -- called frogs in a hole -- using a tin can, paraffin wax and an open flame, showering under a spigot behind palmetto leaves and swimming in the spring-fed pool.

"Three whistle blows meant you have to get out of the pool, usually because there was a snake. But they never bothered us," said Chapman, 67, of Mandarin, recalling many summers spent at Camp Chowenwaw, a Girl Scout camp on U.S. 17. "That was our summer. We looked forward to it every year. We cried every time it was over."

Because of encroaching development, Camp Chowenwaw -- 153 acres between Green Cove Springs and Fleming Island -- is for sale. Clay County hopes to make a public park of the spot scouts have used since 1933.

"It [Camp Chowenwaw] is not leaving, but the Girl Scout aspect of it will be leaving," said Tia Ford, public relations specialist for the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council Inc. …

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