Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Scouts resume push to finish camp


January 20, 2011

The Haines Venturer Scouts have requested additional legislative funding for a Boy Scout camp on Mud Bay Road.

Greg Podsiki, director of both the camp and the Venturer Scouts, said the project would serve Boy Scouts of America. Venturer Scouts is a coed Boy Scouts program.

"The development of a shower house and a series of tent platforms would meet the Boy Scouts of America requirements for Scout camp, and allow us to bring Scout troops from around the country to Haines," Podsiki wrote in a letter to the Haines Borough Assembly. "Ongoing maintenance of the camp will be supported by private donors."

The assembly on Jan. 11 approved a resolution "reiterating its support for the Haines (Venturer) Scouts’ development of a Scout camp infrastructure in Haines and supporting its request for legislative funding to complete the project."

"When it’s done, we could have as many as 100 (Scouts) per week, but they wouldn’t be staying at the camp the whole time," Podsiki said. "They would be out on wilderness excursions, and they would probably go on a two or three-day excursion and then come back and spend the night, get to dry their clothes and take showers and stuff, and then they’d go on another two or three-day excursion."

The Great Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 2007 announced plans for the Scout camp, to be located at 2.75 Mile Mud Bay Road on land donated in part by the Haines Borough.

The borough resolution noted the Alaska Legislature previously had "approved a grant of $200,000 that was subsequently reduced by one-half in a line-item veto by the governor," and "remaining funds are insufficient to develop the shower house facility and tent platforms."

"This is not a request of the borough for funding; this is requesting support for their efforts to seek further grant funds," said borough manager Mark Earnest.

Podsiki wrote that he had applied for another $120,000 from the state.

"Marketing efforts are in motion to bring Boy Scout troops from across the nation to Haines to explore the surrounding wilderness," he wrote. "This project has the full support of the Great Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America. A national marketing campaign is already underway to bring troops to Haines for this coming summer."

Podsiki said those advertised offerings would be available this year, even if the upgraded campground is not.

"They would use local campgrounds for now, and that is to do a program through Alaska Mountain Guides," he said.

Podsiki said the previous $100,000 in state funding had been used for a well and septic system.

"We need the rest of the money to complete the project, and once we complete the project, we can actually advertise the camp itself and have Boy Scouts from all over the United States come and stay there in the summer and bring a lot of income into Haines."

The camp would operate from mid-June to mid-August.

Eleven Venturer Scouts are looking forward to a March trip to Ecuador. Eleven students have committed to the trip scheduled for a March departure. Fundraisers such as a fashion show and Ecuadorian dinner have been set for February and March.