The Boy Scouts of America Sam Houston Area Council plan to break ground on a new Camp Strake in the Sam Houston National Forest in the second quarter of 2016. The camp is scheduled to open in time for summer 2019.
The camp will be available to SHAC boy scouts and will be one of the most comprehensive Boy Scouts camping sites in the organization’s portfolio of camp properties to date. It includes a shooting sports complex, lake and pool-based aquatics programs, zip lines, climbing towers, and mountain bike and all-terrain vehicle programs.
“We have offered these amenities in different formats over time, but we have never had a property that is able to offer all of this in one place,” said Thomas Franklin, Sam Houston Area Council chief operating officer. “We are really building this thing right.”
The council purchased the 2,800-acre property after it sold the former Camp Strake property in Conroe to Grand Central Park developer Johnson Development Corp. Franklin said the property was sold because urban encroachment was causing a drop-off in participation at the camp.
“We had everything from the freeway noise to light pollution. We even had gang activity and vandalism on the property,” Franklin said. “Those issues really had a lot of our troop leaders choosing to go to other areas rather than going to Camp Strake. It became evident that we needed a new home that met the needs of our scouts.”
Franklin said the new Camp Strake will not face the same issues because it is surrounded by the national forest, which protects it from similar urban encroachment and is only 30 minutes away from the former camp location.
“This property stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates,” Franklin said. “While we own 2,800 acres, there is thousands of acres of national forest surrounding us, so we will never have the encroachment issues of the old camp.”