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Contact: Angela Allison, 304-465-6508
Glen Jean, West Virginia, March 2, 2015—A diverse group of leaders in community development, nonprofit management and higher education gathered in Hinton last week for the Camp Brookside Roundtable Meeting. Participants shared ideas for a future for this emerging education institute, located in Brooks, WV. Camp Brookside opened as a summer camp for the children of Alloy's EMCO employees, and was purchased in 1993 by the National Park Service. In 2012, New River Gorge National River received funding for materials and local labor to restore the mess hall, seven cabins and caretaker's residence. As restorations are nearing completion, park service staff is exploring how the site can serve the needs of the community and higher education. According to Superintendent Kicklighter, who opened the roundtable, "The future is ours to create".
During the meeting, participants split into two groups, one focused on community needs and another on higher education. Top ideas from the community needs group included creating an alumni association for former campers and hosting day programs such as photography workshops and naturalist courses. Top ideas from the higher education group included creating a link to regional institutes of higher education and creating a base camp for field research.
Both groups merged again to brainstorm how to turn these ideas into reality. Next steps include hosting pilot programs this summer and forming a nonprofit friends group to fundraise and advocate for Brookside. If you are interested in becoming part of this group or providing input on the project, contact Angela Allison at 304-465-6508 or e-mail us. Additional information can be found by visiting https://www.nps.gov/neri/
Park updates will be posted to the park's website at www.nps.gov/neri. You can also find updates on the park's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/