Go here to check out the Scouts’ movies from this summer!
You and your Cub Scout will have so much fun at Cub Parent Weekend. All you have to bring is a tent and sleeping bag, we will take care of the rest. After the weekend, on the way home your scout won’t make it to Sunset before they are asleep. This is a weeks worth of excitement packed into one weekend. We have three events at Camp Josepho this year, March 18th-20th, October 14th-16th and November 4th-6th, don’t miss out! These events are a great opportunity for parents to spent some one-on-one time with their sons in a camp environment. Join us for exciting activities such as BB guns, Archery, campfires, games, hikes and more! Click here to register and for more details.
Guests driving into Camp Josepho navigate miles of chaparral, some overgrown fencing, new growth over a burned out area, maybe even some hikers and bikers and… impressive stonework and wrought iron gates. If you ever felt like you were passing Wayne Manor on your way down into camp, you are not alone.
The gates were the entrance to Murphy Ranch, a city-owned parcel that has been home to wealthy ranchers, immigrant bohemians, local artists, and even a famous novelist. The Nazi-narrative has captivated hikers and lovers of urban lore most recently, but the larger history of the landmark paints a picture that is much more complex and interesting, showcasing the intersection of great talent and civil progress with reactionary ideology. Jessie Murphy, who purchased the land from Will Rogers and invested $4 Million developing the area with buildings, a 375,000 gallon water tank, a meat locker, and more to create a haven for German refugees forced out of Germany by the ascendance of the Third Reich. The residents at that time were left-leaning radicals who were forced out of Germany at that time because of their radical beliefs (which were anything BUT Nazi-sympathetic), and wore handmade clothing and lived a “subversive” lifestyle by the conservative standards of the 40s and 50s. The stories of Nazi sympathizers emerged because the Rogers family and Charles Lindberg (both of whom did, in fact, openly support the Nazis) befriended the group while he stayed at Will Rogers Park to avoid the publicity after the sensational kidnapping of his child). Propaganda films were filmed onsite during the war, one of which described a haven of Hitler sympathizers waiting out the war on a compound, which is where docents of Will Rogers Park believe the Nazi stories emerged. The origin of the popular myth ad its veracity, however, remain in doubt to this day, and you are likely to hear various stories from every source.
In the following years, the property was briefly home to Henry Miller and was an Artist Colony until 1965, when it went into disuse. A large fire in 1978 (which burned down every building in Camp Josepho except for the Lodge) destroyed all non-concrete facilities on the premises.
The gates themselves, however, are part of much more complex and interesting history. They were designed for the original Ranch on the property by Paul Revere Williams, a pioneering African American Architect that designed more than 2,000 homes in the 1920s-50s for some of the brightest stars of Hollywood including Frank Sinatra, Desi Arnaz, and Lucille Ball. Williams was a master draftsman fluent in every popular architectural style, and he developed the skill of rendering design draws upside from across his desk so that white clients could see their designs rendered in real time without having to sit or stand next to a black architect. Today, it is Paul Revere William’s contribution to the lost structures in Rustic Canyon that is today most visible and most often misunderstood.
Camp Josepho is gearing up for this summer’s Movie Camps. We will offer three weeks of the Cinematography Merit Badge Cluster, in which Scouts can earn the Cinematography Merit Badge and Communications Merit Badge while learning the basics of film making and animation. Also, our Webelos Movie Camp will be in its third year, and we will be offering more exciting program and weeks of camp than ever before. Check out the promotional video that the staff and some local scouts filmed to explain movie camp, and show it to as many people as you can!