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2013 Junior Counselor Interview with Founder Gene Corrigan

September 25, 2013 by campwahoo

All the JC’s gathered around to hear the real telling of CAMP WAHOO’s history.

We started out as regular boys summer camp – we had horseback riding – swimming – baseball – basketball – tennis – and we were working ourselves to death – and not making any money!  So a buddy (Bones McKinney – the basketball coach at Wake Forest) came up for a visit and told us that we were going to wear ourselves out -and not make money – he suggested that we should think about having a basketball camp – since all four of us were coaching roundball at that time. (At that time there was only one other basketball camp that anyone knew of in the USA!)

SOOOO the next year we started Camp Wahoo over as a basketball camp and we went from 40 kiddos to over 300 a week in a couple of years.  It coast $46 a week – (Sunday after lunch – until after breakfast the following Saturday) – and we made some big time $$$ to split among us.  Our counselors were college players – and we paid them about $50 a week (not bad in 1960) and they slept in the rooms with the campers.  We built three outdoor courts – which gave us five over-all – and we had five different techniques to teach – like shooting – offense – defense – fast break and team play.  The morning session lasted four hours – the afternoon was a rest period after lunch – then a lecture by some coach or pro player (We had the Boston Celtics coach and there two great guards come for a couple of days and showed off their techniques and I I think we paid them less than $100 for their efforts!)

At one point in time Bones left to coach in the NBA and we had Jerry West become a partner – he was at the peak of his career in the NBA – so we had a true celebrity as a partner.   Anyway – we had some wonderful young people come to camp as campers and counselors – including Pat Conroy – the author – who later in life wrote about his experiences at Camp Wahoo!  So there it is – we had a wonderful experience – and as a result all of our boys became roundball players – some better than others (Big Dave was the best!) – and got to know a lot of good people!  (as an aside – Press Maravich was the coach at Clemson in those days – and he always brought his son Pete with him – who became one of the great players of all time!)


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