Camp Kelcema (Mathews) 1922 - 1947
By Venne Beauchamp
In 1922, through the efforts of S.E. Bargreen, the Council acquired a lease on 4 acres of Forest Service land at Lake Kelcema. Over the years a lodge, several adirondacks were built and a swim beach developed. In 1944 longtime Scout Executive Capt. R.G. Mathews retired. In his honor the camp was renamed Camp Mathews. In the mid forties the Council's Order of the Arrow Lodge was born.
The summer camp at Lake Kelcema opened on July 27 with a ten day period of 70 scouts, a seven day period, August 6 to 13, with 44 cubs and a Den Chief Staff of 9. The view, previously help that Camp Kelcema with its beautiful surroundings, safe bathing facilities, comfortable lodge and adequate sleeping accommodations made a desirable summer camp location for both Scouts and Cubs, was confirmed by the success of the first season.
With the completion of the Loop highway as far as Silverton, the problem of taking in supplies had been solved, however, for the last four miles, supplies were still brought in on pack mules. For the first time in the sixteen or so year history of Camp Kelcema, we had fresh milk.