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Mill Hollow camp program closed due to lack of funding

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Jun. 18, 2014 at 7:15 a.m.


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HEBER CITY — A camp for kids in the Granite School District closed to more than 2,000 elementary students who usually attend every year. The district is trying to come up with the funding to reopen the Mill Hollow program.

"It's heartbreaking," said Aaron Barker, a former camper.

Barker is working with a group of parents and former staff to raise money for it. They call themselves "Team Mill Hollow" and they have created a website, TeamMillHollow.com to solicit donations.

So far, the group has raised more than $5,000.

"We've been open and receptive to just about any other options to keep the resource available to our students," said Ben Horsley, a spokesman for Granite School District.

The nearly 50-year-old program that takes place in the Uinta Mountains was funded by a recreation levy, but the Utah State Legislature voted to cut the levy two years ago and the camp ran on temporary funding for the past year.

"It was a blast," said Jack Larvie, a former camper.

Larvie went to the camp as a sixth-grader, and he remembers taking a 3-mile hike and making new friends along the way.

"I was like 'wow, why would they close it?'" Larvie said. "I had such a great experience."

"The kids who benefited the most from this are the kids who don't have a chance to go up into the wilderness," Horsley said.

The program gave low-income students an opportunity to go to camp, Horsley said. The current fee is $65 per child, but without the levy that cost increases to $250 per student.

"We hope to find a solution that will allow us to reopen the camp next year," Horsley said.

"It's a special place," Barker said. "There is nowhere else like it."

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Devon Dolan

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