Canoeing, swimming, camping and craft-making are just a few of the things Boy Scouts have enjoyed over the years at Camp Tiak just north of Wiggins.|
Katrina's winds and tornadoes did a lot of damage to the 51-year-old Scout camp, destroying almost 30,000 trees, causing $29,000 in damage to the New Rope Challenge Center and major damage to the L.O. Crosby building and the staff living center.
Major campsites, pavilions, the ice house and warehouse roof were destroyed, and damage was done to the rifle-range backdrop, the shoreline of the lake and the health lodge. The storm downed power lines and scattered debris all over the camp.
"After we saw the initial damage to the camp from the storm, our first thought was that we could not possibly open the camp for a year," said Rob Hofmann, scout executive and CEO for the Pine Burr Area Council.
But there was an overwhelming response to the need, says Hofmann. Three Boy Scout councils - from Bethesda, Md., Bay-Lakes, Wis., and Palm Beach, Fla. - hundreds of volunteers and many businesses pitched in to get the camp ready for the summer season, which began June 4. An estimated 800 campers are expected through July 1.
"All program areas of the camp open last year are open," Hofmann said. "We still have to do repairs to the living center, major debris clearing, shoreline repair and front-entry tree-line repair."
Hofmann said volunteers and donations are still coming in and are still welcome, to bring the camp to full use for the upcoming winter camps.
- NANCY BOSARGE