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RememberSchiff

El Rancho Cima (TX) selling? for nearly $25million

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https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2017/08/18/boy-scouts-list-former-hill-country-camp-for.html

2,348 acre  scout camp sold for nearly $25million.  They (Sam Houston Council?) will use the proceeds for the development of the new Camp Strake in the Houston area.

I thought the sale of the old Camp Strake covered that expense and then some?

farewell...

http://republicranches.com/landlisting/el-rancho-cima/

Edited by RememberSchiff
Apparently NOT sold yet?

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I hate to see this.  This was my favorite camp growing up.  But, usage at the camp was down, and a significant amount of its infrastructure was damaged/destroyed in the May 2015 floods along the Blanco river.

 

On the other hand, if I win the Powerball tonight...

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I agree with @@Chisos...it was my favorite camp growing up. Still is.

 

One reason usage is down is that they never rebuilt River Camp after the 2015 floods.  Not many people really ever went to Horseshoe Bend or Hammond. River Camp was the big draw.  If they did't rebuild the most popular camp, what did they expect would happen?

 

Also, some of this was just penny pinching and making decisions centered on the council rather than the boys. When I went as a youth in the late 70s, early 80s, the tents in every campsite were up on the hillsides in the shade. They were 8-man tents so you could put your whole patrol in them and they were set up on the raised platforms that were 5' to 6' off the ground in the front. Really fun and really different. Then, over the years, they did away with all that and ended up with two-man tents set up on wooden pallets in the flat areas in the sun. Not nearly as much fun and the difference between being in the shade and in the sun is substantial. Like much in scouting, they just made decisions that gradually degraded the experience so that it just wasn't what it could have been or should have been.

 

EagleSchiff, the cost of the old Camp Strake was supposed to cover the cost of the new one but something went wrong and they didn't have enough. I don't know if they overestimated the worth of the old one or if they underestimated the cost of the new one. So, they figured rather than putting money back into River Camp (again), they would sell it and use the proceeds to cover the shortfall for the new Strake. I would like to put a trace on all that money to see what they really spend it for, because my guess is a lot of it won't actually be spent on the youth or their program.

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Interesting.  I wish there was a way to keep it as one piece of land...those are getting to be fewer and fewer...maybe as some sort of nature preserve or otherwise development limited area.  I'd hate to see it get chopped up in to a bunch of 5-acre "ranchettes."

 

@@Ankylus, I didn't know about the 8-man tents!  I must have just missed them...I was there in '87, '89, and '92.  Two of those years we stayed in Ironwheel Mesa--shady campsite, with two-man tents.  One other year we were across the river, just on the other side of the low water crossing...not as much shade and it was hot!

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Update on construction of 2,800 acre Camp Strake which is near Huntsville, TX at edge of Sam Houston National Forest.

Scheduled to open summer 2020.

28 acre man-made lake

STEM center, 450 seat dining hall, 9000sq ft Grand Pavilion,  total of 66 structures

photos, including aerial photo

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/bizfeed/article/Construction-progresses-at-Camp-Strake-campsite-14063649.php

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2 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Update on construction of 2,800 acre Camp Strake which is near Huntsville, TX at edge of Sam Houston National Forest.

Those of us in the Sam Houston Area Council have been awaiting this camp's opening for a couple years now.  SHAC is the 4th largest council in the U.S., but has not had a single operating summer camp since 2017, when the council closed El Rancho Cima (the original Camp Strake closed in 2014, and construction of the new Strake commenced).   The projected opening of the new Camp Strake has been delayed several times (mostly due to wet weather forcing delays in construction plans).

Can't wait to camp at the new Strake!  Being an avid outdoorsman, I particularly appreciate the site being adjacent to the Sam Houston National Forest --- the camp might only be 2800 acres, but with all that protected forest right next to it (and the Lone Star Hiking Trail passing nearby), it gives scouts a "virtual" camp of more than 150,000 forested acres).

Can't wait!!!

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Former scouts and scouters with fond memories of camping at El Rancho Cima will be somewhat pleased to learn that 533 acres of the former BSA summer camp might be preserved as a public park (out of a total original area of over 2,000 acres). It's not the whole camp, but it sounds like it includes the former River Camp and many of the camp's facilities.

Story is here:  https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/plans-to-turn-wimberley-boy-scout-property-into-public-park/269-9621162b-ed9f-49d2-bfdd-cccb16dc2752 

 

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From the map, it looks like the park will encompass all of what was the former River Camp.

Unfortunately, El Rancho Cima was a big place (2,400 acres) so the public land will only be about 20% of the former Boy Scout camp.

It's better than nothing, I suppose, but to me, much of the magic of El Rancho Cima was all of the rugged hiking trails that really exemplified all that's wonderful about Texas Hill Country.  There were scrubby cacti everywhere, a good chance of spotting a few rattlesnakes out sunning themselves on the sun-baked rocks, and lots of mesquite and sharp elevation changes. Climbing to the top of Sentinel Peak was a joy and let you really get away from "development", if only for a few hours.

Sure, the river will make for a good swimming hole --- after all, there's a reason why most troops preferred camping in River Camp instead of up in the main camp....but, the real Hill Country magic is in that 80% that will remain undeveloped and in the hands of who knows what private land holders.....

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Agreed--wish the whole thing could be preserved but I'd prefer this to it being cut up into a bunch of little riverfront ranchettes.

I still miss that camp....though SHAC was not my home council as a kid we went to Cima a lot, and it was my favorite of all the scout camps we went to.

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