Camp gets support

Commissioners say nonprofits could use space

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For the past several days, Glen Sherman has encouraged Moffat County residents to support the youth camp his father founded in 1973.

His efforts were rewarded Tuesday morning.

The Moffat County commissioners said Tuesday morning that they should be able to open Sherman Youth Camp, at least for the use of nonprofit organizations, this year.

"That's kind of rejuvenated interest in the community -- you're being here and talking to people," Commissioner Tom Gray said. "I think this is a good start, and it's early enough in the year (that) maybe we can get more stuff going."

The commissioners closed the camp in 2004 while cutting $1 million from the county budget.

The camp lies on the western edge of Routt National Forest, near Freeman Reservoir.

Sherman said he, his friends and family members could contribute $3,000 to help keep the camp open. Girl Scout Troop 201 raised $3,500 last year to keep the camp open, and the county still has $3,000 of that amount. Also last year, the Kiwanis pledged $2,500 to the scouts, and the group never has fulfilled the pledge.

Those funds would be used to pay a caretaker to tend the camp on the weekends. Finding a caretaker has been one of the major obstacles for the county while it tried to keep the camp open.

During recent years, the county has struggled to find a responsible caretaker for the camp. The commissioners are hoping to find a retired individual or couple who could stay at the camp for several days at a time.

The commissioners also have been working to partner with the U.S. Forest Service to share a caretaker that would tend Sherman Youth Camp as well as Sawmill Campground and the Freeman Recreation Area, both of which the Forest Service operates.

But after a couple of meetings with the Forest Service, progress has yet to be made on the deal.

Troop 201 Assistant Leader Ann Dodd said the scouts would continue to volunteer to clean the camp, as they did during the summer.

The commissioners are considering applying for a grant from the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund to make camp facilities handicap accessible.

Sherman thought it likely that the county could receive a $50,000 grant from the Kenneth Kendal King Foundation to build new caretaker quarters.

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

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