Boy Scouts to Benefit From Oil Discovery on Their Land

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

Tucked away in Jackson County is a 220-acre playground: Camp Teetonkah. And every year, thousands of boy scouts run its trails, but flowing underneath it is black gold.

"The beauty of the oil is it does help us with our budget," said Dan Deverell, vice president of programs for the Great Sauk Trail Council.

The oil discovery will put about $10,000 in the bank every month for the council. That's money it will use to improve facilities, recruit more scouts, and fund programs.

"The council has organized a long-term capital fund, a short-term program fund, and a day-to-day operations fund," said James Shotwell, chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners and a member of the council.

Shotwell is also a former boyscout, and he grew up at Camp Teetonkah.

"Everything from environmental science to camping skills to wilderness survival," Shotwell said.

All skills scout parent David Mayne wants for his seven-year-old tiger scout.

"Not only do you learn ethics and morals, you learn how to get along with others. You learn how to take care of nature, not just to use it, but to preserve it so it's there for others," said Mayne.

The camp turns a century old in April, and with new funding to preserve it, the council hopes it will live on another hundred years.

"The kids really benefit overall from having the opportunity to come out here. They get to cook, build fires, hike," said Deverell.

The boy scouts haven't received any of the oil money yet because there was a complication with the property title. But now that the board of commissioners has cleared that up, the council hopes the money will start flowing sometime before April. How long that money will last, and exactly how much they will receive, is hard to say.

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