Wallwood Boy Scout Reservation
Wallwood Boy Scout Reservation lies on a tract of land over 600 acres in size along the shore of Lake Talquin in Gadsden County, Florida. The name Wallwood comes from the principal donors of the land, Dr. Charlie K. Wall and his wife Margaret. They donated 476 acres to the Suwannee River Area Council in 1962, and the remainder came from the State of Florida and the Pittman family, whose family cemetery remains on the property near the Fregly Building. Wallwood was dedicated in 1964 with a large ceremony and campout, and summer camp operations began in 1966. Prior to that time, the council held summer camp at Camp Semialachee, closer to Tallahassee south of State Road 20 in the Apalachicola National Forest. That camp was smaller and the land was leased – the council knew its long-term plans for a growing program would require a larger and more permanent arrangement.
Dr. Wall, a retired surgeon from Thomasville, GA, was living in Chaires, Fla. when the search for a new camp began in the late 1950s. Members of the council’s long-range planning committee contacted Dr. Wall and discussed their needs with him. He was immediately interested, and in December 1962 the Walls announced their decision to donate the land for Wallwood. Council officials estimated at the time that this gift would support the requirements of the local Scouting program for about twenty years.
That estimate happily turned out far too conservative. Almost fifty years later, Wallwood is still meeting the needs of the Suwannee River Area Council, although it has grown both in terms of its size and the amenities it offers. One important addition came in 1989 with the construction of Camp Tom Matherly, built to honor the memory of a Scout by the same name from Troop 44 in Tallahassee, Fla. who died in an unfortunate accident. The campsite is structured as a high adventure outpost, featuring several three-sided cabins known as "adirondacks," as well as Wallwood’s COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) course. The campsite and much of the original COPE course, including a 40-foot climbing/rappelling tower, were built in 1989. The popular "high ropes" portion of the course that stands at the site today was completed in 2005, thanks to a generous gift from Julia Woodward of Quincy, Fla.
Other recent additions to the camp include two mixed-use activity buildings made possible by donations from Henry Fregly of Tallahassee and Julia Woodward, as well as a much-needed mini-Olympic-sized pool, a gift of Ralph Proctor, Jr. of Tallahassee and Julia Woodward. These projects were completed in 2000, along with a BMX racing track donated by local businessman Jimmie Crowder of Quincy, Fla.
As the Boy Scouts of America enters its second century of service to the youth of this country, Wallwood remains the vital center of long-term camping programs for the Suwannee River Area Council, as well as a number of training, advancement, and high adventure activities throughout the year. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers continue to enjoy the camp’s facilities, as do a number of outside organizations who find Wallwood suitable for their needs.