Camp Pellissippi History

In it's early years the Great Smoky Mountain Council did not own a permanent Summer camp. Space for Summer camp was leased from other camps like Camp Townsend, Camp Helpful and Camp LeConte.

In 1936, with the recent completion of Norris Dam and the creation of Norris Lake, the council was able to secure land for a permanent Summer camp.

Camp Lake Norris opened in 1940 as a bare bones camp, with no facilities or structures other than the caretakers house. Troops setup camp in locations they found, pitching tents and cooking over their fires.

In 1940 the camp was renamed Camp Pellissippi, after the Cherokee name for the the river, Pellispi, meaning "winding water."

Troops were encouraged to build out camp sites for permanent use, with several troops building cabins and even a dinning hall. Some of these structures still stand today and remind us of Camp Pellissippi's early history.

During the Summer of 1942 the Pellissippi Lodge of the Order of the Arrow was created. The first call out and Ordeal where held at the camp that year. The following year the Lodge's first Brotherhood ceremony was held at Camp Pellissippi as well.

In 1949 the "Winter Lodge" was constructed in preparation for the Order of the Arrow Region Five Conference.

Camp Pellissippi continued in operation as a Summer Camp until 1976 when the dinning hall burned down.

Today Camp Pellissippi is still used by the council for training and by troops for camping and other activities.

Pellissippi Lodge continues to service the camp as part of their program of service