About this Blog

I’m Jeff McDanald, a history lover and writer. In June 2007 I began an email correspondence with Robert Harvey of Kingsport, Tennessee about his memories of visiting Camp Daniel Boone in Jessamine County, Kentucky as a youngster. My conversations with Harvey led to an article that will soon be published in the Jessamine Journal’s 2008 Annual Manual. Harvey guessed that there were others that were eager to share their summer camp recollections, and that’s why this blog was born.

There is not an easy way for blog visitors to add photos, so if you have photos that you would like to share you can email them to me at jeffmcdanald@gmail.com, and I will see that they get published on the blog.

You can also snail mail photos to me at:
Jeff McDanald
111 Carolyn Lane
Nicholasville, Kentucky 40356

Published on October 13, 2007 at 2:43 am  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have photos of Camp Daniel Boone that my father took in 1929 and 1930 when he was an adult councilor at the camp. I have 13 photos that total 4MB that I will email to anyone interested.
    Dave Kiefer
    Midway, KY

  2. Dave – Would love to see your photos or hear more about your father. Upload photos yourself to the blog or send them to me at publish@insightbb.com. Thanks, Jeff.

  3. Camp Daniel Boone also had a family camp on Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends from 1954 through 1978. My father, Bill Survant, and some other men involved at the Y decided to go down and stay over Memorial Day weekend and help get the camp ready for the summer and then again on Labor Day weekend to close things up.

    In the early days, I know the group must have been a help but after a while I’m pretty sure not a lot of work went on but a whole lot of family fun transpired. I came along in 1955 and in my early days I remember everyone working when we got there sweeping cabins and such.

    I also remember the old cabins that were wiped out in the first of two big floods we had during these years. Some of these cabins are in the photos on this website. The second big flood in the late 70’s was what led to the demise of the camp. I remember hearing that some of the cabins were washed all the way to Frankfort.

    My family, along with maybe 20 other families, have very fond memories of growing up at Family Camp at Camp Daniel Boone.

    Greg Survant

  4. Greg,
    Thanks for your post. If you have photos, we would love to see them.

  5. Wow…the memories of a simplier time. I attended summer camp for many years during the late 1950’s and always look forward to finally arriving there from the long drive from Lexington. Yes I couldn’t wait for my parents to leave so I could go exploring once again and be with my friends for 2-weeks!

    I have been staring at my computer screen now for 10 minutes thinking about the past and will limit my comments to two lasting images of the many I have. First was the “wet” hikes we took up the creek exploring, swimming and learning about nature. One year we managed to catch a snapping turtle that clamped down on a tree branch we teased him with and he was carried all the way back to the lodge to be shown off before being released. And then there was the dining hall. I remember sitting on the big pourch listening to the rain hit the tin roof and smelling the moisture in the air, sitting on benchs shared by many others before and after me.

    Thanks for the memories and the YMCA.
    Tao Irtz

  6. Like Greg Survant I was one of the families that attended the family camp session. As I remember,all of the families were members of the same church but we were Catholic as were the Muenks family. What wonderful memories of family camp I have- There was horse shoes, canoe racing, hiking down Marble creek, movies at night, tennis, good meals that began with a blessing, cards, campfires. I loved every minute of it! It was the one time that my family did some major relaxing together and it was a true celebration of life, family and friends. If I can locate any pictures I will post them. Gladly!

  7. Hi,
    I went to Camp Daniel Boone every summer from 1968 to 1976. I was Water Front Director for some of those years and under Camp Director Tony Elam of the Lexington Y, I was program director for a year or two. During my time there the camp was in decline with fewer and fewer campers each year. I help clean up one flood in the early 70’s and lamented the loss of the camp in 1978. I grew up at CDB, learned so much about standing on my own and growing in Body, Mind and Spirit. I will always remember Tony, Biff, Dale, Stephen, Buster, Harry, and the best friends that I got to know there. I am currently a minister at the United Church of Christ in Santa Rosa, CA and still speak of camp once or twice a month in my sermons. The congregation sometimes groans when I mention CDB. If I get some time I will post to the blog a few memories. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures — except in my mind. What a thrill to find this blog. Blessings, David

  8. I have 18 pictures of Camp Daniel Boone taken in 1920. My mother, Mabel Krause, met my father, (Albert) Benjamin (Charles) Hoyer met there for the first time which led to their marriage. I remember Dad telling me that he and a few friends had hiked one day and were returning to the camp when it was getting dark. There was no moon and they did not have a map. When they got to a fork in the path it was pitch dark, they couldn’t decide which way to go. They finally decided which one to take and arrived at the camp in about a half hour. They returned the next day to see where the fork they didn’t take went and discovered it ended at a 50 foot cliff drop off. I’ll snail mail the pictures to Jeff.

  9. Would love to see some of your photos, and post them here too if you want. Email: publish@insightbb.com

  10. Boy, what a thrill to have run across this site!! I was a Staff Member at CDB in the Summer 1958 & 1959 along with friend Stanley G. Lawson. We both went to Nam later after graduating from Shelbyville High School in Shelbyville, KY -(also now closed)! Stanley did not make it back alive. Out of five of us who went as friends or kin from Shelbyville, KY I was the only one to make it out of Nam standing. I lost a cousin and a best friend within 30 days of each other and for a while cared not if I ever returned. I have always wondered about that and why……. Anyway, I have many fond memories of CDB for sure and many a story which could be told around another camp fire as we all remember them to have been. I remember other Staff Members, BoBo McComas, the Camp Director Mr. Reems, Staff Member Kenny Lawson and a many other faces whose names I find difficult to recall. I remember many campers as well. All Staff Members had honest, heart felt, feelings for those in our charge and the rest in general. We knew they deserved not only our watchful eye, but the very best we could give them as young memories were being made for a life time. Other Staff Members included an ex-Marine, a Staff Member who wore a Jim Bowie Knife on each side of his belt, another who had a very bad leg and broke it during a Staff Member’s Ball Game, another who was a student at the University of Kentucky and could do running flips in the Dinning Hall isle to the delight of all the campers! As was Nam, my time at CDB was “A Time Like None Other”! I later realized I took much more away from the experience than did the campers. We loved those little guys and we would have given our life for any one of them. I even had occasion to do exactly that to a slight extent when on a canoe trip we had a canoe turn over in the river. Campers were in the water of a fairly swift moving river. A situation to be treated very seriously in any event. In the not so far distance we saw a snake swimming in the river. Not knowing what kind of snake it was made things a bit more perilous and two campers were in trouble due to sheer fear. Two of us reached them, righted the canoe and got all of them back in and safe. The smake was none the worse for wear and probably very pleased we were out of his domain. We no doubt scared the heck outta that snake and he was never the same again. It was a very sad revelation to learn that the camp is no longer there, but I might have guessed that with the advent of modern times. Such a shame the kids of today will miss the experience of a very special time in their lives which helped form the individual I eventually became and was much the better person for having been a Staff Member at CDB for sure. The information here has allowed me a moment of remembering a time long, long, ago, in a place which now seems far, far, away. CDB shall forever occupy a very special place in my memory of most interesting times of my life. I live within a short driving time of CDB now and plan to go back and just stand where CDB once stood. I feel, perhaps, I may per chance run into many a memory of those times. Who knows, surely not I, just what else I may encounter. They say when a mind is conditioned in the proper manner things which we hesitate to acknowledge may very well present themselves to us. Who can speculate as to just what I may experience. Perhaps, just perhaps, I may be blessed to experience another time if only for a moment or so…………….

    “Pleasant memories are food for the soul”!

    William “Bill” Hardesty
    03/08/12 – 9:26PM-EST

  11. Thanks for your comments Bill.

    • Hey….Jeff….No problem at all….was a great treat to run across this site….Thanks much for your reply to my post…..I do appreciate your taking the time to do so….I have about said it all in my previous post, but still can’t get away from those memories and the desire to say so much more…..not that I want to get away from those wonderful memories…..amazing how such a small site could mean so much to so many people and reflect years and years of by gone times of so many lives…..well, I guess CDB was kinda of a small time thing as things go, but it was no small influence to many, many, others besides myself…….like it has been said…..it is the small things which count in life…….

      William “Bill” Hardesty
      03/13/12 – 11:01PM-EST

  12. I too have great memories of Camp Daniel Boon, my brother Danny Petty and I attended the camp for several years in the late Fifties. I graduated to CIT in the later years, I taught fishing and assisted in canoeing, some of my memories include a canoe trip up the KENTUCKY rive to boones brough beach, Standley Lawson and I use to gig for frogs in the local ponds at night and return to camp and fried them up in the galley, We exployered the caves the were along the Kentucky river banks, there was one girl (Lindsey) who lead us in song during the dinners, Standley was the swimming instructor along with HOMER ROYCE, Standley and I use to drive the 8N Ford tractor, we use to also meet with Standley at one of the cabins and talk in the dark, there was one black girl I believe her partents were the cooks. I remember Mr, Reems, and would like to see my friend Richard King from Versallies, ky. I wish I could remember more names. I have some pictures, I will post them when I get them located and scanned…

  13. Well, welcome home Don…..I got a bit misty when I read your post….amazing after all these years…..I was a best friend of Stanley Lawson as we came from the same home town…Shelbyville, Ky…..when we were born our Mothers were in the same room at the King’s Daughter’s Hospital in Shelbyville, KY as we were born only a day or two apart……we started life together and were as close as stink on a skunk…..we were both almost taken out within a few miles of each other in the end…..don’t know why…..I made it out of Nam….Lawson did not……..long time ago that was….yet it seems like yesterday….I can still hear it all….oh, well, so much for that….I too remember that trip up the Kentucky River to Camp Boonesboro with Lawson….I also remember camping trips and the night of “The Order of The Arrow Ceremonies” up on top of the hill where the old train use to run……it was perhaps not the same year as you were there or perhaps it was the same year…..Stanley was there for several years and I for only one year….we were in Vietnam at the same time…..’68-’69….Lawson took the final hit in a Huey, I think it was, while making a pickup…..he was a Marine Chopper Pilot…..he married my cousin….Pat Hardesty before going over…..last time I saw him was at an Air Force Base somewhere I don’t even remember….yeah, I was Air Force (TAC)….when we parted we paused, for one long moment just looking at each other……I now know we both knew that would be our last time together…..a man has a way of knowing things over there…..a week to ten days or so after Stanley bowed out her brother got it in the triangle…….she lost her husband and a brother all in the same month….there was some mix-up I am told over wheather it was her brother Ed Hardesty or myself at the time, but things got straightened out soon enough to not cause too much grief for all involved….it was Ed Hardesty and not myself who had seen his last……almost seems like a dream does it not…..,however, alas, it was no dream….no dream indeed…..That name Dan Petty seems to ring a bell, but then with the passing years almost any name rings a bell I suppose as I have so many ringing around in my head from back when….so to speak…..I remember the frog gigging with Lawson and those caves….I also remember Lindsey…her Mom was the Dietician in the Chow Hall…..she also had a brother there with them named Rudy……Lawson was always trying to see her in one manner or another I think…..Yes, I do believe the black girl’s parents were cooks…..I remember meeting at night and all the stories told in that one shack on the left of the small road out of the camp…Lawson’s brother Kenney was there the year I was there….maybe that will pin it down a bit…Richard King lives in the same town I do now….Somerset, KY….if he is the same one and I believe his might be….yeah, that was a long time ago….DA NANG AND CHU LAI I mean……yep…I will never forget…..I feel as if I should remember you, but like I said….so many names….so many years…..long time ago…..much sadness….much happiness……much time has passed……some memories burried pretty deep trying to forget…..I would be interested in sharing more with you if you so choose….my email is…. >rr0321@windstream.net < ….if ya want…..give me a shout….I am usually dug in or hiding out somewhere…..later brother…….
    [Bill Hardesty]……I'm outta here…….

  14. Don….that email address is typed with the numbers (0321) as opposed to the letter (o)…….just an afterthought…..been meaning to change it for that reason, but just have not done so….not high on my list of priorities for some reason…… ~(:O)

  15. I came across this site on Facebook in a post about growing up in North Lexington. Are you all talking about a camp on Camp Daniel Boone Rd at Valley View at the end of Tates Creek? I bought a house there in 2005 and would love to know the history of the area.

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