Our History

( a short history of Public campground and Camp Taylor with updated info.)

The recreational possibilities of this part of Mink Creek were recognized early by the Forest Service and some of the people of Pocatello. Water was available from several fine springs at the base of Scout Mountain. Several small flats covered by stands of Aspen, Douglas Fir and Alpine Fir were ideal for use as summer home sites, organization camp sites or public campgrounds. It was located at an elevation of about 6,500 feet above sea level and would always be relatively cool when the valleys below were sweltering in summer heat.

Apparently, development of the area began in 1920 when the Boy Scouts of America were issued a permit to build a summer camp where Camp Tendoy Girl's Camp [ Camp Taylor] is now located. The Forest Service extended a narrow road to the camp site, and the Scouts put up a few rustic buildings, and used that part of the area until 1946. The next development was the construction of summer homes, the first of which was built in 1926. by Idaho Glass and Paint Co., in the newly- laid out Scout Mountain Summer Home Area.

During the depression, when the Public Works Program was started to give unemployed men gainful employment, the Forest Service started thinking about developing a forest campground on the area. Ranger Sterling R. Justice was in charge of the Pocatello District during this time, 1908 to 1938, and took such an active part in the early- development of the Scout Mountain Area that it is still known as "Justice Park" by many local people. [The story of Sterling Justice is included in the book, The Forest Ranger on Horseback, by Sterling R Justice published in 1967, a copy was found in the Idaho State University Library and at the Forest service office in Pocatello] In 1937, the Girl Scouts applied for and were issued a permit to build an organization camp on the North Fork of the East Fork of Mink Creek in the same general area.

During the late 30' s, the roads were improved and a start was made on the construction of improvements on the public camp area. In 1939 and 1940, a development plan was made for this campground and approved by Supervisor Merl Varner of the Caribou National Forest and J. W. Stokes of the Regional Forester's Office in Ogden. Under this plan, 27 stoves, 101 log tables, 17 hydrants, 2 fountains. 4ea.4 unit toilets, 1ea. 7-unit toilet, 2 swings, 2 see-saws, a scenic overlook shelter, a 400 seating capacity amphitheatre. a 10,000 gallon water storage tank. 6500 ft. of pipe line, 1/4 mile of foot trails, and 1 mile of road were built on the campground by the C.C.C’s under the direction of the Forest Service. They also put about 2miles of fence around the area to exclude livestock. This program cost the tax Payers about $30,000. In 1946, the Boy Scouts relinquished their permit on the Tendoy Camp [Now Camp Taylor] and it was transferred to the Camp Fire Girls.

In 1953, The Girl Scouts gave up their permit on their camp site and went in with the Camp Fire Girls on the Camp Tendoy [Camp Taylor] site. This move was intended to pool the resources of the two organizations so they could develop one good camp. Much has been gained by the merger. The old Girl Scout Camp was reserved for future development as a public Forest Camp. A plan has been drawn up and the work of making a nineteen family unit campground will probably be done this year or next year to relieve the pressure on existing campgrounds. During the C.C.C. Program, camp and picnic units were also established on Pebble Creek to accommodate eighteen family units. They received much use and a rehabilitation job is planned for that area this summer. Let's get back to Scout Mountain where we started. By the late 1950's most of the tables and stoves had suffered much at the hands of time, users and vandals. After we had worked the more dilapidated Cherry Springs Camp Improvements over, we turned our attention to Scout Mountain Forest Camp. In 1959, under the "Operation Outdoors" program, we rehabilitated the camp.

"We replaced all the old log tables and most of the stoves, built 3 new loop roads and added several more camp units. A new road and parking area was built at the amphitheatre. A new 2-unit toilet was built and the water system extended to serve an expanded area. Half a mile of fence was reconstructed and 3 bonfire circles were built. Parking was provided for 120 automobiles. The job of installing over a mile of stone and concrete barriers along roadsides and parking areas to prevent vehicle damage to ground cover and improvements carried over into 1960. That year the railing around the overlook point, west of the amphitheatre, was also replaced with concrete posts and treated logs. This campground work cost about $16,000.00." Between 1957 and 1960, Bannock County and the Caribou National Forest built a new road to the Scout Mountain Area and put a crushed gravel and asphalt surface on it and on the roads in the campground. There are now ten summer homes in the summer home area at Scout Mountain. Camp Tendoy [ now Camp Taylor] has been improved and expanded thru the efforts of the Kiwanis Club, the Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, and the Tendoy Camp Board. The public campground now has 6250 feet of barriers, 3 group bonfire circles,1 big entrance sign, 1 big bulletin board, 1/4 mile of foot trails, 1 3/4 miles of road, 2 miles of fence, 42 new grills, 16 stoves, parking for 120 cars, 47ea. 8' tables, 16ea. 16' tables, 1 ea.32' table, 1ea. 2-unit toilet, 4ea. 4-unit toilets, 1ea. 7-unit toilet, 1ea. spring head box, 1ea. 10,000 gallon storage tank, 7100 feet of pipe line, 26 hydrants and fountains, 1 amphitheatre, 1 small overlook shelter and 2 swings.

1918-19 Work was done on and old saw mill road on the East fork of Mink Creek about 3 miles of road was completed so that they could have a recreational area, the first one for Pocatello. ~ $100 was spent on this project.

Other Notes from verbal recollections of various people:

1908- 09 Kenny Harten remembered a large beaver pond @ the site where Camp Taylor stands. He was there on a hunting and wood gathering trip.

1920 Boy scouts of America applied for a Special use Permit for the Camp Area. A location for the camp was selected along with several city officials in attendance. Forest service approved $200 and 200 pounds of TNT to improve east fork road.

1923 eleven thousand dollars was approved by Forest Service for the East Fork Mink Creek road. The road was completed and the first automobiles traveled the road to the scout camp.

1924 Name of mountain changed from Scab Mountain to Scout Mountain ion honor of the Scouting use of the camp. Several pictures of the camping during these years have been collected. The area was selected for summer homes and a location for a public camp ground was selected. The Boy Scouts organization completed a road to their camp area. The Forest service completed improvements on the East Fork road.

1925 A water line was run to the summer home area from the spring near the Scout camp. The girl scouts were Looking for an area to build their camp [ present Camp Taylor], With Forest service help a road was built to their camp area. 1933 CCC camp was established in mink creek are to build a cement water pipeline from 'Valve house' to Pocatello. Work was also completed on a road to the Girl scout Camp.

1938 CCC Civilian Conservation Core Established a Work camp on the site and built the Hygecia and Woodland cabins. Rest of camp area used temporary tent “cabins” some with concrete floors. Some remaining concrete debris is located across near the east side of the camp area.

1948 BSA Boy Scouts of America transferred the camp to Tendoy Girl Scouts

1953 Girl Scouts Combined the operation with Camp Fire organization

1954 Incorporated as Tendoy Girl Scouts inc.

1961 Renovations: Dining Hall , Bath house, Hygecia, 5 each 18x 20 cabins ‘Kiwanas pre fabricated the buildings, 653 campers worked 3866 man days on the camp.

1980 the original lodge was burned by vandals during the winter. Fire was started by placing flammable liquids around the edge of the building.

1984 Camp Fire and Girl scouts transferred operation and permits to Camp Taylor Board for operation. 1984 Al Taylor spearheaded the building of the current Lodge with adjacent managers & Nurses Cabin. The name was changed to Camp Taylor Inc. to honor Al Taylor’s major contribution to the rebuilding of the lodge and nurses cabin.

Camp Taylor was incorporated in 1980 as a 501 (c3) tax exempt corporation. Ref: Employer Id # 82-0346966

2017 new water supply well and control system installation was completed with solar power and battery backups, The well is 430 ft. deep with the pump placed at a depth of 300 ft.

More Old Photos

© Camp Taylor, Pocatello Idaho