Camp Bobwhite has offered a swimming pool since the camp opened to the public in the 1940s. Long before the use of air conditioning, swimming pools offered a fun place to cool off during the summer months and campers looked forward to pool time.
The old pool remained in operation for nearly 40 years before being shut down in the early 1980s. Each summer, organized groups, like the Campfire Girls, used one of the camp's pools to cool off during their camp stays.
National Park Service workers expected the lifespan of the pools constructed in the 1930s to be approximately 40 years. Inclement weather, shifting ground, aging concrete, and failing plumbing all factor into the life span of a pool. Bobwhite's pool required careful maintenance to ensure the pool ran well during the summer swimming season, and it required careful maintenance prior to the winter to ensure the start-up went well the following year.
Despite the careful attention of park staff to the maintenance of the Old Pool for nearly 40 years, by the early 1980s the pool at the Bobwhite camp had come to the end of its expected lifespan. The old pool was left in place and it was filled in with dirt and you can still see and visit the remnants today.
The new pool was constructed in the 1980s, and it has been in operation each year except 2020, when COVID-19 forced its closure. Newer pools have a longer lifespan and with careful maintenance, the current pool should be in use for several more decades.