Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Legacy of Lake Ann at Camp Robinwood

As the 2017 Summer Resident Camp season approaches and girls register for their favorite camp sessions, many of them will know the name Camp Robinwood for all the fun times they've had there over the years. Many still will know the name of the lake on the camp property, but not the Girl Scout it is named after. Read on, and remember to share with your friends and family so the next time they are at camp they can remember the camp, the lake and the memory of Ann Lockett Winchell.

The story of our life is ours to tell, but when two lives are cut short the storytelling is left to those who loved them and knew them best. Ann Lockett Winchell was born on October 24, 1958. She was a joyful little girl with copper-colored hair and sparkling blue eyes who loved being a Girl Scout Brownie.

In October 1966, Ann was riding her bicycle in her neighborhood when an accident happened. This was long before bicycle helmets were invented, so Ann was not wearing one. During the ride, she fell off of her bike and hit her head on a sharp rock. She was badly hurt. Her parents took her to the hospital, but she didn’t get better. Ann died on October 23, 1966, the day before her ninth birthday.

Ann’s family decided the best way to remember her would be to create a lake at Camp Robinwood. Her family and many friends contributed money so that other Girl Scouts could enjoy the experience as much as Ann. The lake and amphitheater at Camp Robinwood are a tribute to Ann Winchell and all of the people who loved her. Ann’s mother, Earline Winchell, also loved Girl Scouting. She was Ann’s troop leader, and she spent many years teaching Girl Scouts how to cook, sail, appreciate music and enjoy the outdoors. In 1969, two years after Ann died, her mother was in a car accident. A drunk driver hit the car that she and Ann’s father were driving. Ann’s father survived, but her mother died that night.

Ann’s father, brother and sister believed that Girl Scouts at Camp Robinwood would enjoy paddling canoes on Lake Ann. Many friends gave money to buy the canoes and build a boat dock so that Girl Scouts would be able to enjoy and explore Lake Ann in new ways.

So this is the story of Lake Ann, the boats and the amphitheater that have been at Camp Robinwood since 1967. Her family hopes that every Girl Scout that comes to enjoy this lake will remember Ann as they walk along its paths, paddle through its silent waters and contemplate its quiet beauty. It is a lasting legacy to a little girl and her mother who believed in the goodness of Girl Scouting from her family and friends who loved them.

For more Girl Scout stories, visit and visit the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council's Publication page.