Sherman drums up support for camp

Son of youth camp's founder meets with commissioners today

In 1973, John Sherman started the Sherman Youth Camp to provide scouts with a nearby camp to visit on weekends.

Thirty years later, the lease on the camp expired, and the Moffat County commissioners, strapped for cash, shut the camp down.

"When I heard that, it really upset me," said Glenn Sherman, the son of the camp's founder.

Sherman, a former Craig police chief, lives in California, but he's been visiting Craig for the past several days, attempting to drum up support for the youth camp.

Today, he meets with the commissioners to answer questions about the camp. He's also meeting with the Rotary Club and the Craig Lions Club, the latter of which he hopes will support a grant request he intends to write to the Kenneth Kendall King Foundation for funds to replace the camp's caretaker's quarters.

"I'm not asking for money," he said. "I'm just asking for people to voice their opinions about the youth camp."

Sherman already has told Commissioners Saed Tayyara and Tom Gray that he will subsidize the camp this year to keep it open. But that offer is good only for one year, Sherman said.

"It is my desire that the present commissioners get fiscal problems of the county straightened so they can again get the camp going," Sherman said.

Sherman Youth Camp lies near Freeman Reservoir on the western edge of Routt National Forest. When the county's lease with the U.S. Forest Service expired, the Forest Service announced its intentions to increase annual lease fees from $100 to $300.

But that wasn't the major stumbling block for the county. Forced by revenue shortfalls to make major cuts in the 2004 budget, the commissioners opted not to hire a caretaker for the camp.

The county estimated that it would cost at least $12,000 to pay a caretaker to work at the camp on weekends, and Girl Scout Troop 201 offered to raise the money. The scouts raised $3,500 -- enough to open the camp for the use of scout troops, church organizations and Moffat County School District students, but not enough to open it to the general public.

The commissioners have discussed sharing a caretaker's pay with the Forest Service, but during a meeting last week, Forest Service representatives were unable to provide the commissioners with any new information about the deal.

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

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