Thrive Stigwandish Foundation History
Willard A. Friend, first scout executive of the Northeast Ohio Council
in 1929 said,
"In looking forward to the coming year it is my hope that we will be able to have our own camp in operation this coming summer. All of our efforts should be toward this end as the camping program of scouting is the major activity."
The statement about Camp Stigwandish is as true today as it was in 1929. Thrive Stigwandish is a group of concerned Scouts and Scouters who believe that a BSA controlled Camp Stigwandish is the cornerstone of the youth program of the Lake Erie Council.
A Historical Perspective: the Friends of Camp Stigwandish
The Thrive Stigwandish Foundation is proud to provide a brief history of a previous struggle to preserve Camp Stigwandish for future generations. While our organization is not affiliated with the Friends of Camp Stigwandish, a now inactive group, their efforts directly contributed to keeping scouting at Camp Stigwandish, and Thrive Stigwandish is proud to continue that cause.
We applaud and admire the efforts of the Friends of Camps Stigwandish, and will continue to hold our organization to the high standards of scouting, and of those that came before us.
The Friends of Camp Stigwandish archives can be found here.
The Legend of Stigwandish
How Camp Stigwandish was named
Prior to the War of 1812, a Seneca Indian by the name of "Stigwandish" (meaning "standing rock") lived in Ashtabula County, in the neighborhood of Jefferson, OH. He was known as a "good Indian"; he made friends with the settlers and everyone in the locality thought highly of him
When the War of 1812 was declared, the Indians, under Joseph Brandt, fought with the British. Most of them left for the Canadian border where they organized war parties. Stigwandish was compelled to go with the tribes, but before he left, he promised his white friends that he would warn them, at the point of losing his life, if at any time he heard of a plan to raid the locality.
When Stigwandish heard that such a raid was being planned through Erie and Ashtabula counties, he left the tribes to warn his friends of the impending raid. Now on guard, area residents made necessary preparations. Through spies, the British learned of this activity and canceled their proposed raid.
Stigwandish disappeared and no one knew what had happened to him. Quite often the old settlers discussed him and wondered what had become of him. Years later, an old settler on his deathbed confessed to the murder of Stigwandish. He said the Indian's body could be found in a hollow tree on the banks of what is now known as Indian Creek. In fact, that's how Indian Creek got its name.
A party was organized to search along the banks of the creek. The body of Stigwandish was found, but all that remained were a few bones, his tomahawk, and leather moccasins. It has been said that both the leather moccasins and the tomahawk were in the possession of a woman in Ashtabula whose grandfather was in the search party.
The man who murdered Stigwandish did so because of a vow he made to kill every Indian he came across. It seems that during the war his two sons were stationed at an outpost in the Firelands region, near Sandusky. The Indians had raided this outpost and cruelly tortured and murdered two or three men on guard. This man's son was found dazed and wandering several miles away from the scene, his head scalped. He died several days later. The old man repented this act when he found that he had killed the Indian who had warned the settlers and saved hundreds of pioneers from a cruel death.
The camp was named "Stigwandish" in honor of this Seneca Indian because he represented the true "scout spirit". He knew he would meet certain death at the hands of the Indians if he betrayed them and, perhaps, even at the hands of the settlers. But he was true to his friends. Like a "Standing Rock," he kept his word.