Caretaker to move in at Camp Hope
Camp Hope will soon have a full-time tenant and ambassador on-site after town leaders appointed a caretaker for the property at a meeting this week.
The Canton board of aldermen and Mayor Mike Ray considered a stack of about eight applications for the position until finally appointing 24-year-old Edward B. Rogers for the job.
The Friends of Camp Hope, a group of people whose mission is to help the town care for the property and keep it usable for the public, wrote a letter of endorsement for Rogers.
Pam Kearse, a founding member of the organization, has been encouraging the board to choose a caretaker for weeks.
“We’ve always asked that they look for someone who is not only a caretaker but an ambassador as well…I think he will be a great asset to Camp Hope and the town,” Kearse said.
Town Manager Al Matthews said the caretaker’s position is unique because Rogers will not be considered a town employee. Rather, the position will be “housing exchange compensation.” Instead of receiving a paycheck from the town, Rogers will be living in the three-bedroom caretaker’s cottage rent-free. In return, he will be responsible for oversight, maintenance and operation of the main 10-acre property.
That will include mowing and weedeating with town equipment, routine painting and upkeep of the buildings.
Another provision is to patrol the entire property to ensure compliance with the requirements set forth in the property deed, including making sure no one cuts down trees, camps in non-designated areas or hunts.
Rogers works full-time at Evergreen Packaging in Canton as well, but Kearse said volunteers with Friends of Camp hope have committed to being on the property any time an event is scheduled during his work hours.
Rogers said he applied for the position because he understands the value of Camp Hope.
“I’ve lived in Cruso my whole life. We used it while I was in the boy scouts and it’s a really neat place. I feel like I could be somebody that would truly watch after it and make sure something doesn’t ever happen again,” he said, referring to a recent civil suit.