CAMP CREEK, W.Va. – West Virginia state parks have always been popular for family reunions, and no one knows that more than the Wood/Farley/McBride family, which recently hosted their 52nd reunion at Camp Creek State Park. Since 1962, this family has had their reunion at the Farley Branch Shelter, which was built for the public’s enjoyment in 1960. More than 100 family members attended the 2013 reunion gathering.
At this latest reunion, seven family members who came to the first reunion in 1962 were able to return. They include: Lorene Slusher, who organized the family’s first reunion at her late grandfather’s request; Fred and Lou Belcher, who were newlyweds in 1962; Elizabeth Turpin, Dolly Bishop, and Marie Cales. (See photo)
According to Lou Belcher, “At this year’s reunion we came from 14 states including Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia to congregate on this ‘hallowed’ ground of Camp Creek State Park. And next year we will once again feel the call of the mountains and return to view the waterfalls and walk the trails and teach our great-grandchildren how to look for the best place to catch crawdads at old Camp Creek.”
Frank Ratcliffe, park superintendent of Camp Creek State Park and State Forest, said “It makes me very proud that our state park system provides services and maintains settings for quality family time and memories. I hope that 50 years from now our parks continue to be supported, enabling us to continue to serve West Virginians and our families like the Wood/Farley/McBride reunion.”
Camp Creek State Park is located in the southern part of West Virginia, between Beckley and Princeton. From the West Virginia turnpike, (I-77), take the Camp Creek exit 20, onto US 19 south and follow the signs less than one mile to the park access road. The park features campgrounds, hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking and shelters, horseback riding, and ball fields. Hunting is permitted on the 5,300 acres of state forest property. Camping is available year-round weather permitting. For information visit www.campcreekstatepark.com
or call 304-425-9481.
Frank Ratcliffe, Supt., Camp Creek State Park