Beloved Summer Camp On The Auction Block
Sunday, May 20th 2007, 7:12 PM CDT
Sixty years of summer camp memories are up for sale. For more than half a century, Camp Cherokee on Grand Lake has been a retreat for hundreds of Oklahoma Boy Scouts. Now, it's on the auction block. It's a matter of economics. The local Boy Scout council would rather run one camp than two. The News On 6â€™s Joshua Brakhage reports at the same time, lakeside property brings a premium.
"It is nature really at its finest," said marketing coordinator Kristen Allbritton.
But soon, this quiet slice of nature could be roaring, not with camp announcements on the PA, but with the sound of bulldozers and chainsaws. For decades, Boy Scouts would picnic on the lawn, swim in the pool and worship at the chapel.
The folks looking at the property say the hardest thing to leave behind are the memories, like a totem pole the Boy Scouts carved for the 50th anniversary of the camp back in 1998. Several generations pass through, fathers and sons, and it's always hard to say goodbye.
Summers could be full of hiking and horseback riding. One dad came for one last visit. He first came as a camper in 1962, saw a second generation call Camp Cherokee home, and eventually became camp director. He got an emotional phone call from his son who will be sad to see the camp sold.
"It's a very bittersweet moment where you've got people who have these memories of what this camp meant to them growing up as a young child coming here during the summer, and then now it's going to be auctioned off. It could all be swallowed up in a matter of two minutes," said Allbritton.
The camp is split up into seven sections. The two parcels with lakefront property are expected to fetch a premium. Boy Scouts may have left their final footprint on Camp Cherokee. The next chapter in the camp's history is sure to be punctuated with dollar signs.
Staffers will move to Camp McClintock, the Boy Scout camp near Bartlesville. The real estate company auctioning off Camp Cherokee isn't sure if it will be sold in pieces or altogether. Corporate buyers have expressed interest. The realtor says it would make a perfect hunting retreat. Of course, there are always lakeside developers in the mix.
The auction is Friday.
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