Long live Camp Hope
Congratulations to the Town of Canton for winning a lawsuit that would have turned Camp Hope into a private playground.
Anyone who has studied the history of Chamption International and its generous founder, Reuben B. Robertson, could easily conclude the trial ended the way he would have wanted it to.
While the victory is sweet, the recently concluded trial challenging the town’s use of the property holds several important lessons for the future.
Until now, Camp Hope — and its continued use by area residents —has been taken for granted. Complacency about Camp Hope could result in yet another challenge to the town’s right to use it. The town should reach out to others in the county and the region, not only to help improve the facility, but make it more widely available. Many in the area are still unaware of Camp Hope and all it has to offer. The town should take a lead in getting the word out.
Camp Hope could be far more that just a place where area groups, churches or individuals can enjoy the outdoors. It could easily be a site for economic development. Visitors travel hundreds of miles to enjoy the mountains, rivers and wildlife that Western North Carolina has to offer.
The 100-plus acre Camp Hope not only offers all of the above, but it has facilities where large groups can gather and spend the week. While the groups are here, it is logical they will spend a day or two in nearby towns as well.
The possibilities are endless. Let’s get started.