1943: 4-H begins using Camp Wahsega

Georgia 4-H holds events at Camp Wahsega in Dahlonega, Ga., for the first time.

Before the valley in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Dahlonega was called Wahsega, it was home to the McDougald family. The McDougalds farmed the fertile flood plain of Ward Creek and used the area below the waterfalls to run a gristmill. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps used the valley as a camp for the men building roads and bridges in the area. The CCC built the boys’ bathhouse and dining hall that are used by Wahsega guests today.

In the late 1930s, the original bunkhouses used by the CCC were torn down and the site was improved with the addition of small cabins, so that it could be used as a summer camp for underprivileged youth. By 1943, Georgia 4-H was using the facility for conferences and rallies.

4-H Summer Camp was first held at Wahsega in 1946, and continued for the next 40 years. In 1988, the director at the time, Walt Chisholm, began working with Diane Davies, State Coordinator for the 4-H Environmental Education Program, to bring the program to Wahsega.

The center boasts beautiful scenery of clear streams and rugged trails that combine with the well-preserved, rustic facilities to encompass a feeling of an authentic American summer camp.