Camp Winthers Reunion 2014


Camp Winthers

 By: Jessamy Johnson

A sanctuary where old friends meet rekindled conversation

Where nostalgia is more common than the chipmunks

Where socializing is a pleasure, not an obligation.


A place where the inhabitants rise before the sun

And the loud yet low "bong" of the bell

Signals another scrumptious meal to be had.


An environment where the trees call to you

Where one can breathe the pure air with confidence

Where the sun glistens across the surface of Long's Lake.

Where the mud onshore is so thick that getting stuck up to your ankles requires no effort


A time we, united, can share

Roasting s'mores under the full moon's light.

And sparks dance into the sky


Where old friends meet new experiences

Camp Winthers.


Reunion Comments

Well, this weekend was a highlight of my life! I came down the mountain yesterday afternoon, 8/10/14, with so many happy thoughts of the just-completed experience. So many friends to add to those I already have - and so much changed after I graduated in 1957 from El Camino. And surprise!!!!! Remember how we used to joke about how we would be old and gray-haired before they ever got a swimming pool? Well, it only took about two years to get it done, I was told. And the inclusion of girls! If we had included the fair sex back in the 50s, we probably would not have accomplished so much! I know that I would probably have been spending too much time looking at them. Naw......I already had lots of girls who were good friends and being kind of shy in those days; friendships were all that would have come of the experience.

So many things changed. All we basically did in those days was shoot against some other schools. It did not take long for much more to be added - a brigade was formed, with at one time a lady assigned as the Brigade Commander. Contestants went to Olympic tryouts in Colorado and we had one of our own, a lady, go on to be an Olympic contender for several years. And she's the nicest person you could ever meet!

We sent people to Camp Perry. And so many went into the service, some like me staying to retire. And the career paths taken - we did accomplish amazing things.

Sad was the news about funding causing San Juan School District to disestablish the program, which had sent so many off to conquer the world. But I learned that other districts in the state have continued the training, so we will see many more CCC alumni for a long time to come.

What was sad - so many really great names did not participate and have not. Everyone has their own priorities. Ever since I found out about the program back in the 90s from Jack Espinal I have wanted to come and now I have done it. Never again will I drive from Las Vegas to Reno, though. What a long and tedious drive!

I am so glad to be an alumnus of such a great program.

Doug Thomas, Cadet SFC, 16th Bn., and Retired Gunnery Sgt., USMC, Rio Rancho, CA.


2014 Reunion PicturesCamp Winthers pictires


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