Camp Russell Closing After Almost 100 Years [AUDIO]
Camp Russell, the local Boy Scout destination is closing after nearly 100 years of service.
The camp was donated to the Boy Scouts in 1918 by the Russell family of Ilion, and has hosted scouts every year since.
Scout Executive Steve McEwan says after nearly 10 years of consideration, the New York State Scouting Board made the decision to sell Camp Russell along with Camp Cedarlands which has not been used as a summer camp for three years.
McEwan says with three camps including Russell, Cedarlands and Kingsley, they have more property than they need, the space is under-utilized and a lot of maintenance has been deferred because the Scouts simply can’t afford to make improvements at all three locations.
The two camps will be sold to invest in the 400 acre Camp Kingsley in Ava, where scouts from Herkimer, Oneida and Madison Counties will now call their home away from home.
McEwan says new activities like snowmobiling and ATV riding will be installed at Camp Kingsley, along with better quality programs and facilities that kids want today.
Camp Russell will remain open for the 2015 season, but will close just three years shy of its 100th anniversary.
He added that the decision to close the camps was a tough one, and they know many will be disappointed, but overall they feel Camp Kingsley was the best camp to keep because it has the greatest potential for the things that are being done to improve the program going forward.