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Who wants to lose a treasure once they’ve found one? That’s what happened this week through the abrupt announcement that Camp Kysoc will close. Carrollton loses a treasure in every sense of the word. Our family is devastated. Our community should be as well.
Our son, a long-time Kysocer, asked every year when we picked him up, “How many days ‘til I go to camp again?” Camp Kysoc was literally the highlight of his life. Before we lived in Carrollton, we drove five hours to get to camp—a trip worth every mile.
Do you who’ve made this decision know the impact on the lives of our special needs children? Our son has a voice. He can express, “I am sad my camp is closing.” What about the children who have no voice—ones who only knew on a hot day their parents brought them to a place they had fun for a week? What about the parents whose only respite was bringing their kids to Kysoc? What about Kysoc’s 50-year heritage?
Yes, there are other camps for special needs children. We have experienced several. They’ve ranged on a scale of poor to Kysoc--Kysoc being a 10! The leadership helped kids like ours attend even when we didn’t have the means. Not all camps do. Not all parents can travel great distances to find one.
I am not saying building a junior college is a poor decision, but there’s certainly enough land for both college and camp.
What about the timing of this announcement? Not only does the State Assembly have to approve the transfer of land (state park-owned land), but there’s no state budget for anything right now, let alone building a junior college.
Let’s be realistic. How many years will Camp Kysoc lie empty while bureaucrats and agencies hammer out details, cut red tape, and struggle through hard economic times? And what about those who’ve lost their jobs—Mr. Ebert and the others?
Why now? Summer staff were hired, camper applications turned in, deposits paid, kids and parents anticipating camp, If nothing else, couldn’t you have given our kids one more time—sharing the treasure called Kysoc?