Shawnee State Park to host Shawnee Storytime and tour of Camp OYO

Our View

January 31, 2013

Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

Shawnee State Park will host the second Shawnee Stories event 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, at Shawnee Lodge. The featured speaker is Park Ranger Matt Taylor, who will share stories and information regarding Camp Oyo.

Besides telling the story of Camp Oyo, Taylor will conduct a tour of the scenic camp along Turkey Creek with timber framed cabins built by Civilian Conservation Corps workers immediately following the story session.

According to Taylor, Camp Oyo is owned and operated by Boy Scouts of America, and the land for the camp was acquired in 1926. The buildings on the camp site were not constructed until the 1930s.

“Outside groups can, and also come in and rent the camps. Church groups, hunters can come in and rent a cabin, the camp is open and available to the community,” Taylor said.

The buildings at the camp were originally thought to only last for 25 years, but still stand today as a vital part of local history.

“We get guys that come in from all over the country at different times, from California, Arizona, Wyoming, that come back to the camp, and say that they were here as a boy and want to see Camp Oyo,” Taylor said.

In addition to his 32 years of service of working as Camp Ranger, Taylor has sentimental ties to Camp Oyo from childhood.

“I attended the camp as a young boy. This camp has helped to make me who I am, the best years of my life have been spent here at Camp Oyo. I do this job because it’s Camp Oyo,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experiences about Camp Oyo, and believes the Shawnee Stories session on Sunday will be very beneficial to all who attend the event.

Shawnee Stories take place at the lodge the first Sunday of the month at 2 p.m.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or portiawilliams@civitasmedia.com.