COPE in the Age of Willhite
From today’s perspective, it is hard to imagine the financial difficulties facing camp after Ward Akers resigned. The camp shut down the Boat Harbor and the farm and moved Craig and Parnell to a rotation system, giving up the hope of running three camps at once. While a solid program existed, there wasn’t much to offer older Scouts. Rappelling was introduced in the late 1970s and then came COPE in 1983.
COPE was a godsend. It gave the program an added “older boy” dimension it needed. COPE also brought much needed positive publicity to the camp and the Council. Newspaper articles showed up regularly showcasing the program and it generally featured prominently in camp promotion videos of the 1980s and early 1990s. Today, COPE is hub of a High Adventure Program; 30 years ago it WAS the High Adventure program.
Seen here is part of the ropes course in 1991. On the left in the light blue shirt is John Hickman in his final year as COPE Director.