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Lee Coleman


Camp Deerwoode practically raised me. Everything I really need to know I learned there (hard work, positive mental attitude, respect for authority, PC+F=P, “yes sir”).

That swim lake is still the best waterpark I have ever been to. The opportunity to shoot guns, play all night capture the flag, canoe/tube down the French Broad are all experiences that every child should have and I am glad that Deerwoode was there for me. Too bad for today’s kids.

Bill always liked to shake the ladder once he sent someone to the top. I experienced this firsthand while a JC but the time Bill tried it on Andy was the wildest.

Andy was at the top of a ladder changing light bulbs (I think) in the PC gym when Bill started to shake the ladder. Andy simply grabbed the steel girder and when hand over hand to the side and then slid down to the floor. I was about 10 years old and the ceiling of the PC gym seemed really far up there. I was amazed at Andy and I think even Bill was a little impressed.

I squirted Gordon Davis in the face with cow’s milk on my first attempt to milk a cow. I could keep going….


First Memory of Deerwoode? Pulling up to camp down that road next to the river and through the gate…. was greeted by my Cabin 1 counselor Jack Hall (one of the best).  I didn’t know what I was in for but knew it was going to be big.

Favorite Memory of Deerwoode? This would have to be the first night of Farmer’s Indians and Pioneers, we were the pioneers and Jack Hall organized an early morning (just before sunrise) attack on the Indians who were sleeping by then.   It was a sight watching Jack Hall wake up Gordon Davis to get him to go but we set a record for points!

Greatest Achievement at Deerwoode? My greatest achievement was making it from Cabin 1 to be a JC.  Stated another way, I wanted to see my name on all the boards in the dining hall and I got to the 8-year camper board.  The only PC award I got was one year I improved the most of any camper from the last PC test of one summer to the first PC test of the next summer.  I’d like to say it was because I kept up the PC after the session was over but really I think it was just my growth pattern.

 Favorite River Trip Memory? Jack Hall used to like to hide in a tree and drop out to tump over the other canoes.  It was tough for me to understand why we were getting knocked over all the time as it seemed so counterproductive.  Only later did I realize that it was a big part of learning how to canoe (dealing with and recovering from a turnover). 

 Special Trips? We were in Cherokee and doing the bumper cars.  Bill was his usual self and was aggressively trying to nail as many campers as he could.  Perry Skoglund somehow got up a head of steam and hit Bill head- on when Bill wasn’t expecting it.  The collision was so big that it knocked Bill’s fake tooth out.  So, the rest of the time behind the wheel every so often a crazed looking Bill without a front tooth would nail you with his car.  Truly bizarre scene.