Camp Woody and Woody Island Adventures INDEX
Long Island (Alaska) Adventures INDEX
This map of Woody Island, Alaska is adapted from a photo of the large maps made by Marianne Boko, which hung for many years on the wall of the dining hall in Camp Woody. I superimposed the major place names and alternate names in green letters, and tinted the lakes blue. Camp Woody’s location is in red. Mirror Lake became Mirror Lagoon in the Earthquake and Tidal Wave of 1964 when the dam was washed away and the island sank six feet. The top of the map is roughly north.
Introduction and Chronology
This index contains stories and photo albums of Camp Woody from its inception to
the 1970’s. Here is a brief timeline of Camp Woody: formal, organized camping begins
in the summer of 1952 at Fort Abercrombie near Kodiak. From 1953 to 1955, the camping
program is held in abandoned Army buildings on Long Island. Transportation to and
from camp is via the Mission boat Evangel run by Rev. Norman and Joyce Smith (my
parents). In 1956, Camp Woody opens on Woody Island when the Kodiak Baptist Mission
regains title to over 600 acres. The property now includes several large buildings
left by the Navy. In 1961, the chapel and craft house are moved from FAA sites across
the island to the camp grounds, and go into immediate use. The Evangel continues
as the primary transportation. The 1964 Earthquake and Tidal Wave change Mirror Lake
below camp into a lagoon, forcing the camp to switch the swimming area to the much
more distant Ehuzhik lake. By the 1965 season, the Evangel has been sold to the
Sea Scouts, who continue to allow its use (as the SES Chinook) for camp transportation
until the engine gives out in the winter of 1970-
In the mid-
In 1977, Rev. Norman Smith retires as an American Baptist missionary, and it is also
the last year of regular Smith family participation in Camp Woody. That summer,
I marry Deborah Sullens, former Camp Woody counselor, beside Tanignak Lake. These
articles chronicle the years when I, as a son of Norman and Joyce Smith, participated
in Camp Woody. From my birth in 1953 to 1977, I was at camp every summer, including
the first twenty-
The Evangel Goes to Camp: Camp Woody Early History
An article with photos chronicling Christian camping from 1952 through 1961 (at Fort Abercrombie, Long Island and Camp Woody)
Author’s Note: Two of these articles are part of a series called “An Island Journey With the Evangel,” and tell the camp story from the perspective of the Norman and Joyce Smith family, They ran the Evangel and helped to start the camping program in Kodiak.
The sweatshirt for the 2006 Camp Woody 50th Anniversary featured the Evangel on the logo, chosen by artist Mat Freeman to honor the boat’s important role in the early years of Camp Woody. The chapel at Camp Woody is named “Smith Chapel” in part to honor Norman and Joyce Smith. I am their son, and was part of Camp Woody from 1953 to 1977.
–Timothy Smith, Tanignak.com (3/2020)
The Evangel Goes to Camp: A Week at Camp Woody in the 1960’s
Camp Woody in the 1970’s: Camp Woody 70’s Memories
A collection of features and memories of camp in that decade, with topics such as the Chaffins, the buoy swing and more, including some secrets and surprises!
Camp Woody in the 1970’s Year By Year (In Two Articles):
An article about the Smith family's return visits to Camp Woody 1996-
My experiences as Camp Chaplain (Pastor) and assistant Worship Leader, along with
Nathan, our son -
A Report from the 50th Anniversary Celebration: Camp Woody at 50
I had the great privilege of being the chairperson for Camp Woody’s 1956 -
Long Island (Alaska) Map (Articles Below)
This colorized map of Long Island was created from a photo of Marianne Boko’s Camp Woody wall maps. The red letters indicate the general locations and types of some of the World War II military installations. The info comes from the kadiak.org Kodiak Military History Museum site. Long Island was then known as Fort Tidball, a part of the Army’s installation at Kodiak called Fort Greely. Most of the facilities on the island were not completed until 1943, about the time the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska were taken back from the Japanese. The base was put in caretaker status in 1944 and then abandoned by the early 1950’s.
The Evangel Visits Long Island (Fort Tidball) in the 1960’s and 70’s
From within a giant hillside ammunition bunker, a rusting metal door at the abandoned Fort Tidball hangs open, inviting us to come and visit Long Island, one of Alaska’s most interesting places.
The Evangel article describes a favorite destination of the older campers at Camp Woody, with a brief overview of the features of the island.
The three following articles describe the abandoned Fort Tidball in great detail, with many photos. For more technical info and military data on Fort Tidball, please visit kadiak.org (not a link), the site of the Kodiak Military History Museum.
A Long Island Photo Gallery Part One: Castle Bluff Including photos from the 1940’s to 2005
A Long Island Photo Gallery Part Two: Deer Point Including photos from the 1940’s to 2005
A Long Island Photo Gallery Part Three: Headquarters South to Burt Point Including photos from the 1940’s to 2005
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