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Camp Red Rock

Camp Red Rock

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Built: 1946 | Abandoned: November 2010
Status: Restored (2020)
Photojournalist: Michael SchwarzMary Evans

Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County Girl Scout Camp

Opening in 1946 as the Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County Girl Scout Camp, located right outside of Binger, Oklahoma. These grounds were at the forefront of hundreds if not thousands of memories for Girl Scouts all over the central state. The 285 acres of land that would become Camp Red Rock, even though just thirty minutes outside of Oklahoma City, would transport you into another world. As soon as you drive up to the property you’re surrounded by lush wildlife, huge canyons, heavy foliage and a scenic creek.

The camp seemed to be equipped with just about everything a Girl Scout would need to have a grand time including rustic lodging, an administrative building, infirmary, ranger residence, dining and recreation hall, and maintenance/storage facilities. The mess hall was named “Braniff Hall” after Braniff Airlines, a corporation that dissolved in 1990 after they made a significant donation of $40,000 to the camp. The infirmary was built with the help of the Altrusa Club raising over $4,000. Rotary Lodge was built with the assistance of the Oklahoma City Rotary Club for their Christmas project.

Camp Red Rock
“Anticipating a 12-day stint in this tent during Camp Red Rock’s 1959 summer encampment season.”
Creator: Unknown. April 9, 1959. The Gateway to Oklahoma

After years of renting the land that the camp sat on, the council finally had enough money to purchase all 285 acres. The land was paid for using years of cookie sale savings and they would soon dedicate their camp. While being on the smaller end of camps compared to those like Camp Scott, it still had room to house 75-100 girls. New facilities were out in the works such as a large new swimming pool, crafts & camp skills in the lodges, and guided tours to the deep hole, lookout hill, and outpost site allowed for many adventures. Two of the recreational facilities that received the most traffic were the horse stables and swimming pool during the summer.

Camp Red Rock

The name was then changed to Camp Red Rock because of the gorgeous red rock canyons on the acreage. “I remember them [red rocks] being so majestic when I was young. I wonder if they would be the same to me through adult eyes,” said Halycon. We have had many comments from former girl scouts showing depictions of their memories here.

Kate Kluberton remembers much from her days at the camp, “My sister, fellow scouts and I attended summers of the mid-sixties. What a gas we had! I went all the way through “Outpost”, where we backpacked, hiked at least 10 miles and day and slept in hammocks with mosquito nets. We hauled all our own food and water and dug latrines. I remember one pit stop on our route, a convenience store called the “Fly Inn Resort” near some lake. Armed with our coins and hunger, we bought and shared all of the candy and junk food we could get our 13-year-old hands on. The owner sang us a tune as we left and I remember every word.

“Fly Inn Resort is the place to be,
Fly Inn Resort where you fish and ski,
Bring your wife and kiddies too,
And we’ll be expecting you!”

Also, remember singing before lunch and dinner on the big porch of Braniff Hall. Still know every tune and sing them to my granddaughters. Remember singing “rounds”, where we’d start a song a different times creating harmony? Also, does anyone remember singing to the cooks after a particularly good meal? “Cookies, Cookies, listen while we sing to you, cookies, cookies you’re a part of camp life too! Anyone can make a bed, anyone can sweep, but it takes a Cookie to make us things to eat so Cookies, Cookies, listen while we sing to you!” Campfires, such fun.”

Unfortunately, all good times must come to an end after more than 50 years of functioning Camp Red Rock, as well as Camp Kate, were closed down. The decision would consolidate both camps into two other camps in Western Oklahoma to save money and bring the overall girl scout community together into larger camps. The official closing of both Camp Red Rock and Camp Kate came in November of 2010. Remnants of Girl Scouts and camp leaders saying their goodbyes are written on the walls and the property would sit abandoned for the next ten years.

Redbud Ranch Wedding Venue

New life was breathed into the property around 2020 when work to restore some of the facilities into a wedding venue went underway. Hailey Garrison along with friends and family have worked diligently to turn this property into the Redbud Ranch Wedding Venue. Work included the restoration of buildings as well as the construction of brand new facilities.




Bibliography

https://www.newspapers.com/image/596719043/?terms=girl%20scouts%20binger&match=1

https://www.newspapers.com/image/603475264/?terms=girl%20scouts%20binger&match=1

Emily Cowan

Camp Red Rock

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

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Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

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