Boy Scouts fight to protect local affordable camps after one closes

Local News

The Boy Scouts of Troop #74 feeling at a loss after the closure of one of their favorite summer camps, Dilley’s Mill Camp in Pocahontas County.

The camp is up for sale and listed at $1.7 million. The camp first opened in 1960, and for almost 60 years, providing great resources for the boys to master life skills and them receiving badges just to prove it.

And for Dacoda Kimble, who joined Boys Scouts at age five, now 18 and an Eagle Scout, recalls the many summers he spent at Dilley’s Mill, and now saddened that he’ll never have the chance to bond with his second family there ever again.

“It makes me sad because it was such a unique camp. You were in the middle of nowhere, no cellphone service, but yet you had the time of your life because there was a lake and the atmosphere was just beautiful, and at one point you forgot about the outside world,” said Kimble.

He recalls his favorite memories of sitting around the campfire telling stories, and from time to time, pulling pranks on his brothers. One in particular, duck-taping another scout’s tent.

Tim Stevens has been a troop leader of Troop #74 for many years and has raised his son throughout the organization. They both spent many summers at Dilley’s Mill and the news of its closure, hard to process.

“It’s a family. Everybody that’s went up there is a family. They still come up and talk to you 20 years later and tell you about their experiences. I’m afraid that we’re not going to have that anymore, and it breaks my heart,” said Stevens.

The closure of the camp is inevitable, but the boys are hoping that that $1.7 million will be handled well by the Boy Scouts Buckskin Council, which oversees 32 counties in parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia.

They don’t want to see this happen again and hope local and affordable camps are restored, because with the closing of Dilley’s Mill, leaving few options instate for future summer camps.

If other camps such as Camp Chief Logan in Logan, West Virginia are updated, leaders are hopeful this will encourage out-of-stater scouts to attend their summer camp in the state, bringing in profit.

Once Dilley’s Mill sells, the camp will only be used for primitive camping purposes.

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