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Off-island low-income youth enjoy camping at local Troop Camp Bogardus

Last year the Troop 90 Trust, a 501c3, which owns and operates a 15 acre Scout Camp on the westside of San Juan Island for the benefit of Troop 4090 here on the island; was awarded a 25k grant from the State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. The grant is for 'No Child Left Inside' and was aimed at getting low income and or minority youth out of the home and into nature.

Due to insurance coverage, only American Legion Post members (the Troop 4090 Chartering Organization) and registered Scouters, can utilize the facility. As a result the grant money for this project was aimed solely at registered Scouters throughout Washington State. Of the $25,000, only a portion of the grant money went into the camp itself for: new picnic tables, supplies to support the trips made to the island by these Scout units.

Thus far, Camp Bogardus has hosted Troops qualifying for the Grant compensation from: Okanogan, Omak, Grand Coulee, Tonasket and Seattle's Rainier neighborhood. Thus far over 100 youth have been able to make the trip of a lifetime to the San Juan Islands, enjoying: sea kayaking, whale watching tours, mountain biking, hiking, and interacting with local wildlife.

The funds provided by the State have been significantly augmented by the generous support of our chartering organization, American Legion Post 163, as well as local businesses and non-profits, who have provided us with discounts on purchases, and rentals, including: American Legion Post 163, ACE Hardware, Harbor Rentals, Brownes, Frontier Lumber, San Juan Safaris, San Juan Island Outfitters, Cycle San Juan, the National Park Service and the Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Wolf Hollow is supporting the program through educating the campers about wild animals.

Not only is this program hosted by our local Scout Troop 4090, helping low income youth from around the state, it is boosting the local economy and introducing a new generation of young people to the wonderful place we call home.

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