TBT: The Alleghany Rattler May 1971: Bill and Cooper Bought Camp in ’63

Editor’s Note:  As part of our year-long celebration of our 100th Year Anniversary (1922-2022), we’ll post a Throwback Thursday edition of our Alleghany Rattler Newspaper to give you a peek into life at camp across those 100 summers!

In this piece we learn about when S. Cooper Dawson Jr. bought camp and began the Dawson camp ownership that lasts to this day, 59 years later! The next few Rattler throwbacks will continue to focus on that summer’s events and reflections.  

Bill and Cooper Bought Camp in ’63

— by Bill Worthington and Cooper Dawson, Jr.

Bill Worthington was a small tyke in 1922, when Camp Alleghany was founded, and he spent the first four years of the camp as a little boy running around underfoot, getting in everybody’s way. He then went on to Camp Greenbrier where he made an outstanding record at Camp Greenbrier and finally returned to Alleghany to help his father run the camp through the late 30s and early 40s. He went into the Navy in 1940, but returned to Alleghany after the war to help his father, and to practice law in Lewisburg.

Bill and Nancy ran the camp together for several years after Mr. Worthington Sr.’s death, and then Bill sold out to Nancy, who ran the camp by herself through the 1963 season.

In the fall of 1963, Bill Worthington and Cooper Dawson bought the camp from Nancy, and have been operating Alleghany ever since. Bill is a prominent attorney in Norfolk, Virginia, but he is the power behind the throne who gives Cooper good advice and helps him with many details of operation, and many parts of camp. He can always furnish good advice and good assistance in continuing the tradition and responsibilities which were established by his father and mother, long ago.

S. Cooper Dawson, Jr., was born in Alexandria, Virginia, where his father and Hugh Worthington grew up together on Seminary Hill and attended the Episcopal High School together in the 1890s. Mr. Worthington went on to college, but Cooper Dawson, Sr., went on to work and he later founded and operated the Penn-Daw Motel in Alexandria, for many years. Cooper Dawson, Jr., went to Camp Greenbrier in 1925 as a camper, and rose through the ranks to counselor, rifle instructor, director of Senior Camp, and finally director of the camp, along with his two partners, Bus Male and “The” Garnett in 1947, when Camp Greenbrier was sold to these three gentlemen by the Hullihen girls. Cooper stayed at Camp Greenbrier through 1957, when he sold out after the death of his father to return home to spend full time on the Penn-Daw Motel.

In 1963, Cooper and Bill bought Camp Alleghany, and Cooper now devotes full time to the operation of the camp. Having spent many years at Camp Greenbrier, and being fully conversant with the whims and actions of boys both at Camp Greenbrier and at the Episcopal High School, it is a great pleasure to be at Alleghany with the fine girls who make up our staff and our camp. Girls are the greatest, and Alleghany is the greatest camp.