Scouts get new regional camp, thanks to gift
A gift from the widow of a renowned adventurer will help enable Boy Scouts from around the region to enjoy high-country adventures at a new summer camp east of Glenwood Canyon and north of Dotsero.
The Steve Fossett Spirit of Adventure Base Camp will be the first summer camp operated by the Western Colorado Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 15 years.
The camp will operate from June 15 through Aug. 2 this summer, with a capacity of 150 scouts per week. It will be located at the Anderson Camp, which operated summer camps from 1962 to 2012 near the confluence of the Colorado River and Sweetwater Creek.
“Our Scouts have been scattered in camps across the country every summer because there has not been an option here on the Western Slope, so this is a homecoming of sorts,” Mark Switzer, Scout executive and chief executive officer of the Western Colorado Council, said in a news release. “The Steve Fossett Spirit of Adventure Base Camp will provide Scouts the opportunity to enjoy a first-class camp close to home.”
Fossett was an Eagle Scout and part-time resident of Beaver Creek in Eagle County who set numerous records including the first solo nonstop around-the-world flight in a balloon. His many other exploits included reaching the summits on the highest peaks of six of the seven continents, swimming the English Channel and completing the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii and the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska.
He died in an airplane crash in 2007, but the crash site and his remains weren’t found until more than a year later.
Fossett’s widow, Peggy, donated $50,000 to establish the Boy Scout camp in her husband’s name, and has committed to match an additional $50,000 in donations as a challenge grant.
The Western Colorado Council has an exclusive five-year lease on Anderson Camp. It will offer a full-service dining hall, cabins for camp staff, rappelling from cliffs and a tower, corrals and a shooting range. It also will build 32 teepees where Scouts will sleep.
Scouts ages 11 and up also will be able to participate in nearby activities including mountain biking, orienteering, backpacking and mountain climbing. Glenwood Adventure Co. will provide professional guides for activities including whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseback riding and ATV excursions.
Steve Beckley, an Eagle Scout and the father of two Boy Scouts who with his wife Jeanne owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, was instrumental in making the deal happen.
Donations toward start-up costs and a scholarship program are being sought. More information on fundraising may be found by visiting http://www.wecanadventure.com or calling 888-248-0045.
More information on the camp and online registration are available at http://www.wccbsa.org/camping/getoutside/wecanprogram.