When a 17-year-old Marion Morrison attended a YMCA camp on Catalina Island in California in the summer of 1922 few of his fellow campers would have suspected that he’d one day have a camp of his own named after him.
Morrison, who went on to become a movie star known as John Wayne, spent two weeks that summer sleeping in tents at Camp Shaw, according to the 2012 book Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne.
One of his last public appearances before his death 36 years ago today was for the unveiling of a bronze plaque with his likeness on it for the entrance to the John Wayne Outpost Camp, a scout camp established in 1979 at the Boy Scout’s Los Angeles Area Council’s Lake Arrowhead Scout Camps.
The event was attended by President Gerald Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Merv Griffin and Telly Savalas and served as a fundraiser for the scout camp. The plaque unveiled that night read “Dedicated to John Wayne for his exemplification of the spirit of American and his living symbolism of all that is inherit in the Scout Law and the principles of the Boy Scouts of America.”
Today the John Wayne Outpost program is part of Camp Pepperdine in the Forest Lawn Scout Reservation.