scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Patriots Point, SC
W W Hills III (wwhills@INFOAVE.NET
Sat May 20 2000 - 11:42:08 CDT
Just thought I would try to make the situation at Patriots Point a little clearer. As many of you know, Patriots Point has hosted Boy/Girl Scout troops and other organized youth groups onboard USS Yorktown (CV-10) since 1980. Part of the camping program here is a trip to Fort Sumter via boat service which is contracted by the National Park Service (not owned by Patriots Point). The NPS will soon have a new facility across the harbor in the city of Charleston from which they propose ALL boats depart for Fort Sumter.
Presently visiting scout troops walk down the pier to board the boat to Fort Sumter. With the new NPS plan, all troops visiting Patriots Point will need to travel across the Cooper River bridge to Charleston, park and unload, and walk 250 yards to the NPS facility then board the boat. The NPS facility is adjacent to the brand new SC Aquarium http://www.scaquarium.org/ which opens today and projects over 1,000,000 visitors in their first year. Also a brand new IMAX theater will be opening in July in the same general area.
I don't know if many of you have been to Charleston and tried to find a parking spot during the high end tourist months, but ?good luck. There is only one parking garage with 900-1200 spaces available to the general public next to the site, the next parking lots are at the Gaillard Auditorium (0.5 miles west) and at the Charleston Visitor Center (shuttle bus to the site).
This also affects the general visitor as at present people leave from Patriots Point or the Charleston Marina for visits to Ft. Sumter. The NPS wants to give up this flexibility of two departure points and force everyone to leave from their one facility. Note that parking at Patriots Point is free and presently 60% of visitors to Ft. Sumter depart from Patriots Point.
For those of you who have been here, I believe you would agree that the NPS plan would negatively affect your visit here (if you still planned on going to Ft. Sumter). Indeed, Patriots Point may need to drop the trip from the program and let folks schedule trips on their own if they desire.
I am glad to answer anyone's questions on or offline. Good scouting to all?
Waring "Butch" Hills
Director of Education
Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum http://www.state.sc.us/patpt/