*IMG_7175Brittney Burns – Staff Writer

Gathered around a campfire in a remote area of Macon County, Cub Scout Pack 263 celebrated its 10-year anniversary at Lumpkin Adventure Base over the weekend.

“We [pack leaders] decided to celebrate the Pack’s 10th anniversary,” said Cub Scout Pack 263 leader Dr. Charlie Vargas. “It was chartered by the Knights of Columbus, Council 8363, *IMG_7109where 263 comes from, of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on May 17, 2006. There was a big party that day, and we have lots of photos in our scrapbook. One item is the actual charter that all new leaders and Scouts signed that day. I had to make one since we didn’t have the actual charter in hand–and it’s awesome.”

*IMG_7122To join in the celebration, Boy Scout Troop 202 joined Cub Scout Pack 263 for the campout on Friday night, and together, the troops joined volunteers on Saturday for a workday at Lumpkin Base Camp.

The scout’s workday on Saturday helped to continue the revitalization of the Lumpkin *IMG_7155Adventure Base, which went untouched for years, nearly rendering the entire property completely useless and in disrepair. Since the fall of 2013, the Daniel Boone Council volunteers and the Lumpkin Trust Board of Directors have worked together to bring the camp back to life.

Three years into the revitalization of the Lumpkin Base Camp in Macon County, the Daniel Boone Council held a community open house on April 30 to show the community the significant improvements made possible with the help of various scout groups and volunteers from across North Carolina and Georgia.

April 30 marked one year since the last time the community was invited to tour the property, and over the last year, significant improvements have been completed and dozens of people have been able to utilize the property.

*IMG_7149According to Dan Rogers, assistant scout executive with the Daniel Boone Council, in the last year, volunteers have renovated Litten Lodge, which sleeps 24; renovated Cabin 2, which sleeps four; and renovated Swift Lodge, which sleeps 12. A road was also constructed on the property that involved clearing land for a shooting range to be developed in the future. Volunteers also cleared out and made way for a hiking trail around the perimeter of the property and developed three campsite areas.

“We had scouts from Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Macon, Jackson counties as well as Georgia campers utilize the camp,” said Rogers. “Thus far in 2016 we have logged 337 camping nights. We are working with Peaks to Piedmont Girl Scouts, Macon 4H, Appalachian Trail Conference, Royal Rangers and several Venture Crews and troops from out of the area for program opportunities later this year.”

While most of the work is being completed with volunteer hours, funds for the project are *IMG_7131always needed and are constantly being raised.

“We have raised over $30,000 in funding this year to help with continued renovations,” said Rogers. “Project sale opportunities exist from $150 donation to get your name on a picnic table or Frisbee Golf Hole to naming rights for cabins.”

Lumpkin Adventure Base Camp has flushing toilets, heated showers, a full kitchen, a campfire circle, parking lot, and a large program field with flag poles. While scouts from all over utilize the property, the intended use of the camp is for the community at large. School and business retreats, reunions and family gatherings are all encouraged to use the property as desired.

*IMG_7124There are ongoing projects planned for the camp which include the addition of a conference center, development of a maintenance area, additional trail building, additional campsite development, renovation of a fourth housing cabin, new bridges, addition of frisbee golf and corn-hole games, as well as a geo-caching course, and human foosball game. “We also have a high ropes course that will be upgraded later this year,” said Rogers.