Camp Patten is a great outdoor classroom, where the Outing in Scouting comes to life. Camp Patten is located in Lakeland, nearly in the center of our Council. Improvements are continuing at camp.
History of Camp Patten
What is known today as Camp Patten began as a gift from an incredible Friend of Scouting, Mr. Lawson Leo Patten (1896-1983). Camp Patten was donated to the South Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 1965 to further promote the ideals and methods of the Scouting movement. The property consists of 184 acres. The original pond was built by Mr. Patten in 1936 as a fun place for family and friends.
Lawson Patten was born October 10, 1896, in Milltown (now known as Lakeland). He attended school in Milltown, Sparks High School, Riverside Military Academy, and Georgia Tech. At an early age he became interested in baseball, playing on the local teams and at Sparks. In 1917 he went into the cold storage business in Milltown, while also farming. He served as a yeoman in the U.S. Navy during World War I, stationed at Hampton Roads, Virginia. In 1920 Lawson married Clyde Purcell, from Wayne County, who came to Milltown to teach school. They became the parents of three children, Betty, Nell, and Robert. Through the years Patten held several political offices, serving on the Milltown City Council, as mayor, chairman of the Lanier County Board of Education, State Representative, State Senator, and chairman of the State Highway Board. His civic and business interests included deacon of First Baptist Church, superintendent of the Light and Water Department, general manager of the Lakeland Railway, Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge, American Legion Commander, Consul Commander of the Woodmen of the World, publisher of the Lanier County News, and director of the Farmers & Merchants Bank. His other business interests included farming, an oil distributorship, a seed clearing plant, and sod grass production. He served as president of the Georgia Seedsmen Association and president of the Georgia Crop Improvement Association.
Mr. Patten died January 21, 1983, at the Louis Smith Memorial Hospital in Lakeland. It is because of Lawson Patten's love of his community and support of its endeavors that thousands of lives have been forever touched at Camp Patten. The South Georgia Council, BSA wishes to thank Ms. Nell Roquemore for her assistance in providing the information on her father.