The Core Program
Cookouts were one of the highlights of your week.
Cabins did one hike and hobo dinner. Tents did a breakfast and a chuck wagon dinner. Unit III did around four cookouts of their choice along with an overnight trip away from the unit.
You had whole week with a skills area.
You were able to practice and develop skills such as sailing, canoeing, rowing, riflery,, archery, crafts, and nature.
We were one big team.
The camper arrived on a Monday and in the earlier years, was paired up with a buddy from his home church. Each chapter had a leader and 10 kids or five pairs. The idea was to meet someone from other towns. This helped form lifelong friendships and get away from the "my town" mentality of today's camping operations. So your own church was not a team as it is today. I must admit it would probably be hard to go back to the buddy system unless we provided all the counselor staff to lead each chapter.
Highlights of your week at original Hudgens
Real Oklahoma hobo dinner
Campers earned patches
One of the highlights of the week was earning Royal Ambassador patches. It included a refresher course for R.A. counselors. The the cabin campers earned a hiker patch. The tent campers earned a day camper patch. The kids who completed the beginner swimmer program earned either a minnow patch from YMCA or got a beginner swimmer card from the Red Cross. In the earlier years, these patches were awarded on the last day of camp, which started out as Saturday. Toward the end of camp issuing patches, we gave the kids a certificate and they could purchase a patch for $1 at the camp store.
Missions was the emphasis at Hudgens, always.
One rumor spread by uninformed, detached, former supporters of camp was that it got away from the mission emphasis. Wow, that was a very strong untruth and quite frankly, an outright falsehood. As a camper in mid 70's, I remember missions was done at 9pm at night when we were tired and the missionary came to the Unit I and then II lodge. They often brought a projector and by the time it was over, the counselors were waking us up to go back to the cabins or tents.
Missions was changed through the years to a whole hour per day in the dining hall. Then we constructed the Malawi hut and the Guatemala home complete with kitchen. The kids hiked to the mission areas and we covered the work being done in these areas. We sometimes had animals at the missions hut such as chickens and goats. The missionary also had additional time with the kids in the evening program.
Mission NEVER lost emphasis. We made sure the kids knew about mission work and by the time their week was over, they were pretty much experts at SBC mission work. By Friday, I would put these kids mission knowledge against most BGCO members at your typical member church. To say anything else is an outright untruth.
Have you seen the World Missions Center at Falls Creek?
My conceptual idea for a World Missions Center dates to 2000. I did it for the original Camp Hudgens website. You can see a suspiciously close version at Falls Creek just east of the Tabernacle. Their version is not lifted off the ground. Their version is 10 sided but that's only a factor of 2 over mine.
This is my conceptual design
This is Falls Creek's finished building
Move mouse over buttons to reveal a sub-menu.