2006.05.08: May 8, 2006: Headlines: COS - Congo Kinshasa: Civil Rights: Older Volunteers: Salisbury Post: At age 60, Julia Maulden taught in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1974

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: Older Volunteers : The Peace Corps and Older Volunteers: 2006.05.08: May 8, 2006: Headlines: COS - Congo Kinshasa: Civil Rights: Older Volunteers: Salisbury Post: At age 60, Julia Maulden taught in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1974

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-129-40-33.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 9:45 am: Edit Post

At age 60, Julia Maulden taught in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1974

At age 60, Julia Maulden taught in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1974

In 1969, after federal Judge James McMillan ordered Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to desegregate its "dual system" through mandatory busing, Maulden became the board's most eloquent defender of the judge's order.

At age 60, Julia Maulden taught in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1974

Reader is setting the record straight, Camp Julia was named for Julia Maulden

Irene Edwards called to set the record straight.

She's been living at Trinity Oaks in Salisbury for six years. But she was a native of Kannapolis and lived there for 82 years before she moved a bit north.

So she still reads the Kannapolis Citizen, the Post's weekly paper for the Kannapolis area.

And she had a correction to make in one of the Citizen's "Looking Back" pictures which are the twins of the "Yesterday" pictures on the Post's editorial page on Saturdays.

"The facts," she said firmly, "were all wrong!"

The caption with a picture that was taken of girls at Girl Scout Camp Julia just outside of Kannapolis on July 19, 1953, said Camp Julia was named for Dr. George Noel's wife.

Not so, Irene said.

"Julia Maulden, whose husband was also a doctor, started Camp Julia, and the camp and the road it was on were both named for her.

"Dr. Noel's wife's first name was Marguerite. They had four children. I taught at A.L. Brown for 26 years and taught all three of her daughters and one son. And she did a lot of good things, but Camp Julia was not one of them.

"Marguerite was active in many, many projects in Kannapolis, but had nothing to do with the Girl Scouts.

"But Julia Maulden was a Peace Corps person and did more than anyone. She was more than just a Girl Scout leader, and she founded that camp."

And she suggested other people who might know more about the Girl Scout camp, and ultimately I caught up with Fran Black Holland, who was a good friend of Julia Maulden.

Fran had known Julia well since she herself moved to Kannapolis to teach Bible in 1951, and Julia was chairman of the Bible Teaching Committee for Kannapolis Schools.

And Fran knew where to get hold of information she didn't have and before the day was out, she had it.

Julia Maulden, the wife of Dr. Paul Maulden, was living at the The Pines, a retirement village in Davidson when she died less than two months ago on Saturday, March 11, at the age of 92.

"Compassion was her calling," said the headline on her obituary in the Charlotte Observer, adding that "she lived a life guided by an unfailing sense of justice and dedication to helping others."

And the Observer story bore out the headline's promise.

Map indicating the location of Camp Julia in Cabarrus County. Graphic by Andy Mooney, Salisbury Post.
"Julia Maulden brought the Girl Scouts to Cabarrus County in the 1940s where Camp Julia bears her name and worked internationally to promote Scouting.

"She was an unwavering champion for desegregating schools through busing as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board in the late 1960s.

"At age 60, she taught in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1974. She spent 15 more months in Haiti on mission work with the Presbyterian Church, and back at home in the mid-1980s she helped start Charlotte's prolific Habitat for Humanity chapter, which she directed for three years at no pay."

Her unquenchable thirst to serve, the story continued, "defined her life and the lives of others."

"Her innate intelligence helped her see the world in broader terms than most people around her," retired minister Will Terry told the Observer. He knew because he had presided over her church, Davidson College Presbyterian, during much of the time she fought for desegregated schools.

She had grown up poor in Wilmington. Her mother died when she was 6, her father nine years later, and she lived with an aunt until she went to Woman's College (now UNC-Greensboro). Her schooling was paid for by high school teachers determined she would get a college education and she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Born so poor that she often had cardboard inside her shoes until her father could get enough money to get them half-soled, she once told an Observer reporter that she believed that "makes you appreciative of the lot of people who because of their skin color or whatever cannot escape from that."

She moved to Kannapolis, where she taught for years at Winecoff Elementary School and married Dr. Paul Maulden.

Her Girl Scout work collided with the South's efforts to cling to segregation, but she managed to work for both her Scout work and integration.

And soon the family moved to Davidson in search of better schools for their two youngest children, sons Paul and Tim.

"It didn't make any difference what color you were to Mother," one of her sons said. "Long before there was a (civil rights) movement, she was doing her own thing to bring people together. She wasn't a crusader. She just said, 'Come on, let's go do it.' "

But her husband died early and she wanted to have an influence on public education.

While she lived in Mecklenburg County, she won election to the Mecklenburg school board by seven votes, just as the county entered perhaps its most turbulent period.

In 1969, after federal Judge James McMillan ordered Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to desegregate its "dual system" through mandatory busing, Maulden became the board's most eloquent defender of the judge's order.

"Those were different times, with a lot of tension and uneasiness," retired educator Chris Folk, told the Observer, but "Julia, in her very graceful, non-judgmental tone, had a way of building consensus without wavering from her beliefs."

She got threatening calls, was called unpleasant names, and nonetheless used her savings to pay for several African students to get educated in America.

When a local low-income apartment project opened in Davidson, she moved in as resident manager in the late '70s and continued her service through Habitat for Humanity.

She then lived with her son, Kerry, in Tennessee for 10 years until her friends in Davidson hatched a plan to get her back. She'd spent her savings on educating and serving others, so the friends began raising money for a fund to pay for her housing and care at The Pines.

Even before moving to Davidson from Kannapolis in 1960, Mrs. Maulden's volunteer work had earned her the 1945 Woman of the Year honor in Kannapolis. She had started the local Girl Scout movement there, even hauling bricks in her old Chrysler to help build the camp that bears her name, Camp Julia.

After the Peace Corps, she spent 15 months in Haiti volunteering on a mission trip. From 1984 to 1987 she served as unpaid executive director of Charlotte's fledgling Habitat for Humanity. She quietly spent part of her savings to send half a dozen African students to school.

"Julia Maulden was an extraordinary woman whose life exemplifies the best of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the South," the Charlotte Observer said in an editorial when she died.

She told the Observer's Tom Bradbury in 1991 that to ask yourself "Am I better off?" is the wrong question.

" 'Are we better off?' is the question," she said.

And the editorial writer answered it.

"Because of Mrs. Maulden's service," he said, "the answer is a resounding 'Yes.' "

When she moved into that local low-income apartment project in Davidson, she moved in as resident manager, explaining in 1979: "Central in all the teachings of both Christ and Moses is compassion for and service to the poor."

That's what she understood.

And many people still remember her warmly, but Girl Scout Camp Julia is no more.

When the error about who the camp was named for appeared in the Kannapolis Citizen paper, Fran Ward Black was one of the people who was curious and drove out Camp Julia Road to the camp's entrance.

But the Camp Julia sign was no longer there. Instead, another sign pointed to the First Assembly Retreat Center.

And Tim Caskey, director of what is still called "the camp," knows the last chapter in its story.

Camp Julia, he says, was vacant for several years before Concord First Assembly bought it about 1985.

"Right now, we use it for youth groups, family reunions and similar gatherings," he says, "but it's almost full of kids all summer."

He doesn't know with accuracy, he says, why it changed hands, "but I was told the Hornet's Nest Girl Scout Chapter stopped using it."

The Cannon family, who had owned the land originally, had given it to the Scouts and it was only to be used for the Girl Scouts.

"But the Scouts tried to sell it," he adds, "and I was told they got into a dispute with the Cannons over the land.

"And that's when the First Assembly Church bought the property, but I'm not sure."

But he is sure that it's being well used now.

"It can accommodate 40 people year-round, and around 70 more in the summer," he says.

And it does.

But he expects its numbers to go up.

"We're in the middle of a name change," he says. "The new name is Cedar Grove Retreat, but it's still under the same ownership.

"It's never been used except by groups from our church, and that sort of put us in a box. We wanted a generic name that was inviting to any church, so we changed the name so any church would feel welcome."

Its purpose hasn't changed.

Camp Julia that became First Assembly Retreat Center and is now going to be known as Cedar Grove Retreat will keep its welcome mat out.

Contact Rose Post at 704-797-4251 or rpost@salisburypost.com.

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Story Source: Salisbury Post

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