Glenwood Dad's Club History
The Glenwood Dad’s Cabin was established in 1956 by Mr. Bill Hayes, and a dozen or so men whose children attended Glenwood Elementary School, in Sun Valley, California. Norm Pierson was the last original members and the current Camp Director. I was privileged to sit down with this 92 year old American vet on May 5, 2012 on a work party weekend and hear his story.

Mr. Pierson, as he was called by young and grown men alike, was driven to the Cabin by is longtime friend and the current President of the Glenwood Dad’s Club, Jack Griffin. When Mr. Pierson stepped out of the truck, I could immediately recognize the long drive had taxed his aging frame. His steps were slow and deliberate, yet confident. He wore a tattered military service ball cap and carried his customary pink box of donuts that he passed out to volunteer workers. His presence commanded my ready attention, drawing me from my current task, to do his bidding, as any well respected commander could do. The side entry to the cabin presented a higher step due to the erosion of dirt and time, but didn’t impede Mr. Pierson from what he came to do; observe the work party for the annual readiness of the cabin for the summer campers. As he sat perched on the chipped folding chair, I imagined him as he must have been in some Military field office at some post of strategic importance. As it were, his voice boomed with directness yet kindness when he addressed any of us. Mr. Pierson was very much the energy driving the Club that had impacted youth and men alike for some 56 years. He lent vitality and passion for the Club’s mission; to provide a place for urban youth to experience and explore the wondrous wilderness. It must have been difficult for him that day to know his time on earth was coming to an end. I believe it gave him comfort to know the little non-profit organization he had been so much a part of, for nearly six decades, would live on.

I asked Mr. Pierson if he would tell me how the Cabin came to be; and this is what he said. The Angeles Crest Hwy, winding through the San Gabriel Mountains was being constructed. Bill Hayes, a good friend of Mr. Pierson, met the road construction crew as they were in the process of removing an old abandoned school house. The building was destined to be demolished or sold off for a $1000.00, because it stood in the way of the proposed road work. Bill Hayes, a WWII vet, went to the VFW in Sun Valley and requested a donation to have the school house moved and converted to a Youth Group and Scout cabin for winter camping in the nearby San Gabriel Mountains. The VFW scrounged up $2000.00 in support of Hayes’s proposal. Mr. Hayes made a side deal with one of the road crew workers to move the building to a location 3 miles west down an old logging road for an additional cost of $1000.00. The move began on a Saturday. All was well as the tractor pulled the trailered building over the dirt path until the building got stuck, pinched by a great tree on the sharp right turn down the narrow logging road. You can still to this day see the smashed metal roofing on the east side of the building. The Crewman was embarrassed of his miscalculation and said he would get another tractor during the week and finish the move. At last, the school house arrived and Mr. Hayes along with several volunteers, set up a temporary resting place for the Cabin on a bed of 55 gallon drums.

Mr. Bill Hayes obtained a 50 year lease from the forestry department and the Glenwood Dad’s Club was born. It took two more years for volunteers of the Club to create the raised concrete foundation that the cabin sits on today. The volunteers of the Glenwood Dad’s Club gather twice annually, as they have for the past 60 years, to lend their time, tools and materials for the repairs and maintenance of the old Cabin that has served generations of youth so well. Thanks to all, you know who you are.

It was two weeks after he relinquished his position, handing the torch to the next Club Director, Mr. Norm Pierson past way. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Mr. Norm Pierson a man of strength and compassion, a Navy veteran, an American hero.

Thank you Lord for the blessing of relationships and experiences you give me. Regards, Kurt Krzyzopolski (Treasure)