Wednesday, January 25

Camp Rotary permit renewal deserves community support

Camp Rotary, one of the oldest (if not the oldest) camps in the entire Forest Service, is applying for a renewal of its permit to operate. The camp is located off US89 near Monarch.

The camp has been operated by the Great Falls Rotary Club since 1917. The camp is primarily operated for the benefit of area children, and is used by over 800 youth campers each year.

Annual camps that take place at the facility include weeklong trips for children whose parents are deployed in the military; children with deceased parents and children with incarcerated parents. The facility is also used by many church groups and faith based institutions.

Last year, Camp Rotary was home to the annual Shabbaton for the Montana Association of Jewish Communities.

As its age suggests, the camp is also in need of several significant improvements.

The first needed improvement is a replacement of the camp septic system. The existing system is of unknown age, condition and mechanism. It dates back to 1917 and needs to be refurbished.

Going along with the septic system is the bathhouse. The current bathhouse is crumbling and needs to be replaced. The Rotary Club has drawn plans for a new, aesthetically pleasing building that will house showers, sinks and toilet facilities.

Other needed improvements spelled out in the 10 year renewal include refurbishing the foundation of the main lodge (which was built in 1917 and has no underground supports) and leveling the playing field to better accomodate sports.

The permit renewal requires public comment. To support the renewal, please send a letter to District Ranger Alan Koss, Belt Creek Ranger Station, 4234 US Highway 89, Neihart, MT 59465. The deadline for comments is February 17.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Great Falls Rotary Club, and strongly support the permit renewal.

1 comment:

dona stebbins said...

Aaron, I wrote a mayoral support letter this morning and mailed it. It sounds as though they plan to renew the permit, but every little bit helps!