Scouts re-open Sherman Youth Camp

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Sherman Youth Camp will be open this weekend thanks to the efforts of a Craig scout troop.

Three members of Girl Scout Troop 201, clad in brown vest uniforms decorated with badges, presented their success story to the Moffat County Commissioners at a meeting Monday.

"We believe we have accomplished everything we needed to accomplish in order to have this camp cleaned and ready to open on July 17," the scouts said in a statement.

Sherman Youth Camp is owned by the county and used by local scout troops, schools and churches. It was closed to balance the 2004 budget.

Kirsten McAlexander, Megan Trujillo and Katherine Dodd told the commissioners of their efforts to raise $15,000 to hire a weekend caretaker and pay for maintenance.

The girls encountered some initial resistance when local service organizations declined to donate money to reopen the camp, saying they didn't want to bail the county out of its financial problems.

But Kiwanis donated $2,500, Glen Sherman of California donated $1,000, and three other county residents donated $50 each. That was going to be enough to open the camp for scouts, schools and churches, but not enough for everyone in the community.

Now the camp will be open to everyone, thanks to donations from a couple local companies. Amerigas of Craig agreed to donate propane to fill the camp's tanks. That will be about 500 gallons of propane, Girl Scout Kirsten McAlexander said.

Roto-Rooter of Craig agreed to pump the septic tank as a donation, McAlexander said. Moffat County will donate the diesel to operate the camp's generator and will rent the camp's equipment to the scouts for $1.

Those donations made it possible for the girls to use all the money they had raised to pay a caretaker, making it possible for the camp to be open to the entire community, Troop 201 leader Bobbi McAlexander said.

"Do you see a downside to this?" Commissioner Les Hampton asked Parks and Rec Director Steve Grandbouche. When Grandbouche responded no, Hampton said it was a good answer.

The camp can be rented for $50 a day, but the price could increase for larger groups, Grandbouche said. The camp will be open until Sept. 26.

Troop 201 and the Boy Scouts of Troop 144 spent last weekend cleaning up the camp. They cleaned the interior of the building and bathrooms, cut down six trees and cut and stacked five of them, mowed the camp's meadow and trails, picked up trash and sticks, repaired two picnic tables and put log seats around the fire pits.

The Boy Scouts also cemented in new fire pits, a project led by Christopher McAlexander to complete his Eagle project, a requirement for earning his Eagle badge.

The Girl Scouts will earn their Silver Award for raising the money to reopen the camp.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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