Camp Tiak Celebrates 50th Anniversary - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/31/05

Camp Tiak Celebrates 50th Anniversary

A South Mississippi Boy Scout Camp marks a significant milestone this year. Camp Tiak is celebrating 50 years.

And although some of the facilities may have changed, the foundation of scouting remains the same.

"That's me when I had hair. That's Rev. Wharton and this was Master Sgt. Minter," said John Pearson, as he pointed to an old black and white photograph.

Pearson has fond memories of Camp Tiak. He was a 19-year-old scout leader when the camp opened in 1955.

"In my case it was a moral compass that I think got me started on life. Looking back fifty something years, anybody could do the same thing. It's something I very much value," he explained.

A new generation is learning some of the same lessons John Pearson taught his troop 50 years ago.

"The camp fire has been rebuilt because that's different than the one in the photograph. But the area was here in the camp site just like that," he said.

Some things at camp don't change all that much. The makeshift showers come to mind.

"And the shower heads, I think it had three or four shower heads. And it was all cold. But it got you clean," Pearson said, chuckling.

Here's some historical context to consider. When Camp Tiak opened 50 years ago, Dwight Eisenhower was president, Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" topped the record charts and McDonald's opened its first restaurant.

Scouts today learn teamwork and trust on a forty foot tower.

"This wall here, what everybody likes about it is once you get to the top of it, you can actually hang like they do in cliff hanger," said Scout camp director, Shane Cooley.

The newly built ropes and climbing course is among the largest in the South.

"You've got the low course which is made for team building, build self esteem. Then the high course which is mainly for individual achievement," said Cooley.

Camp Tiak is still molding the young men of today, just like it did a half century ago.

By Steve Phillips

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