Dick Wells

A Letter to Frank Glick from Dick Wells

March, 2006
Dick Wells was on the 1941 Whitney Trip pictured above.

My son, Rick, recently introduced me to the Wolverton website.

Many thanks for your work on a place that is dear to the hearts of thousands of young men who experienced the High Sierra through their time at Wolverton.

My first exposure to Wolverton was back in 1946 when I was part of a Wolverton to Whitney back packing trip. The trip was led by Alden Barber and Louie Elmindorf and was one of the greatest adventures of my life. I was inducted in to the Order of the Arrow on that trip and was invited back the following year to be part of the camp staff.

I spent summers as part of the Camp staff from that time until 1953. The first couple of summers my main job was to act as a backcountry guide for troops as they experienced Wolverton. Most of the trips were to nearby lakes such as Twin, Emerald or Pear.

In 1948 or 49 we set up an outpost (wilderness) site in the Big Arroyo (some twenty-five miles from Wolverton on the other side of Kaweha Gap). I spent two summers at the outpost where troops would come in from Wolverton for five or six days and we would conduct wilderness training, etc. Our supplies were brought in each week by mule trains but one summer they set up a rather unique delivery system. They arranged to have our supplies dropped by parachute (from an Air Force reserve unit).

Unfortunately the Air Force guys were not very accurate and our supplies were scattered all over the place. It took a lot of hiking and climbing to gather it all in.

Following the outpost days, I spent the next summers as backcountry guide and assistant Camp director (under George Drake).

I graduated from Occidental College in June of 1953, got married (my wife Barbara), and spent my last summer on sort of an extended honeymoon there at Camp.

I have many fond memories of my time at Wolverton and I was very pleased to read your material about the Camp. I am sad that the Camp seems to have taken on a little different structure with its programs, etc., but times do change.

Thanks, again.

Dick Wells