Loss of council campsite
Steve Tobin (srtobin@MMM.COM)
Fri, 15 Apr 1994 14:58:58 -0500
I'm really bummed out. I talked to the council exec yesterday about my
troop doing some work at some property the council owns, which used to be
a winter camp. It is really beautiful; a large valley leading up into the
bluffs from the Mississppi River, large mixed hardwoods, year-round
spring in the bottom of the ravine, and just about every woodland wildflower
known in this part of the country. It used to have 3 cabins, an outhouse,
electricity and freeze-proof water supply, but no resident ranger. Well,
local college kids discovered it, trashed the buildings, and burnt down the
log cabin several years ago during a party. As a result the property has
been sitting unused ever since. The only reason I even knew about it was
that I went there as a scout myself about 3o years ago. Not one of about
30-40 scouters at my roundtable even knew it existed.
So last year I started taking my scouts there for day hikes, and they
immediately fell as much in love with it as I am, which surprised me a
little. No fancy facilities, no hot programs, no neat equipment. Just
a patch of unspoiled nature where they can hike and explore to their hearts
content. So we have been back there several times for hikes, and they have
been wanting to go for a weekend campout. As it happens, the only
building in usable shape is the outhouse, the one thing that is really
useful, but it needs new roofing to keep it that way. Hence my call to the
CE for permission to do it.
I was told I was free to go ahead and do it, but the council was considering
selling it, and using the money for an endowment to run their new Cub
Scout Amusement Park, ah, Camp. They haven't decided yet, and it is not
a priority, but there it is. They consider it a liability, and want to turn
it into an asset. Sounds like the bean counters have taken over. I've been
in a blue funk ever since. The only
saving grace in the whole thing is that the property is surrounded by State
Park on 3 sides, so it will most likely be sold to the park and be preserved.
But the State Park system allows hiking only on trails, so it would, for
all practical purposes, be off limits to anyone.
Anyway. I don't know if it is my imagination, but everytime I have contact
with the council or district I come away feeling like I've been run over
by a steam engine. I don't even know what to do about it, if anything can
be done. There aren't even any bulldozers that I can throw my body in front of
(an appreciable obstical, believe me). Maybe I can tie myself (with a square
knot, of course) to the outhouse and go on a hunger strike... naw.
I haven't told my scouts yet, and am not looking forward to it. I'm considering
suggesting we skip the spring camporee and going to this place instead,
so we at least have the chance to camp there once. We'll see what happens.
Steve Tobin, SM
Eagle Class of '65
Troop 39, Cannon Falls, MN; Cannon River District
Gamehaven Council (Southeastern Minnesota)
Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Member: * Minnesotans for Global Warming
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