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 1970-71.

In the mid-to late 60’s, camp feels the influence of former campers, who return as staff, bringing a new, youthful, Spirit-filled emphasis. The 1971 season is when volunteers from California, campers from previous years and several young Navy men converge on Woody as Jesus People (see the “Always Jesus People article), bringing their music and energetic faith with them.  The change is reflected in the operation of the camp throughout the 1970’s. By the summer of 1971, the Evangel has been sold to Rev. Norman Smith, but it takes some time to raise the funds to replace the engine and make repairs.  During the 1971 and 1972 seasons, the camp depends on the help of local crab boats to transport the campers as the Evangel languishes in the boat harbor in Kodiak. In the spring of 1973, the Evangel gets a new engine, and resumes service for Camp Woody.  

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-one seasons of Camp Woody. I returned as a camp Chaplain (Pastor) in 1998, 2006, and 2007. I hope others can continue this saga and help to fill in the rest of the story.

Camp Woody Articles and Photo Galleries List

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, (3/2020)

The Evangel Goes to Camp: A Week at Camp Woody in the 1960’s

A first-hand account, based on experiences at Camp Woody as it was from 1961 to 1970

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):

        Camp Woody 70s Year By Year 70-74 and

        Camp Woody 70s Year by Year 75-77

A first-hand account of experiences while on staff at Camp Woody, with memories and photos from each year, 1970 to 1977

Back to Camp Woody: 1996 - 2005

An article about the Smith family's return visits to Camp Woody 1996-2005, including Tim's service as lay pastor in 1998 and the 2005 dedication of the memorial bench for Rev. Norman Smith, who passed away in 1996

Camp Woody: Summer of 2006 from the 50th Anniversary Season

My experiences as Camp Chaplain (Pastor) and assistant Worship Leader, along with Nathan, our son - third generation staff!

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 - 2006 fifty year reunion. Read about the great weekend we had!

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 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.

Long Island (Alaska) Articles List

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 (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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