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Camp Cherokee, Cherokee Area Council
near Wyandotte, Oklahoma
Departing Camp Arrowhead in Missouri, we proceeded on to Camp Cherokee. Heading down Route 44 to the Miami
(we learned this is pronounced "Miama" when in Oklahoma), we took Route 10 east and then south to
camp. Camp Ranger Tim Potts' wife Susan showed us to a very welcome shady parking spot with electricity that
gave both our generator and air conditioner a much-needed rest.
Camp Director Steve Berner, Program Director Steve DeFrees, and Nature Director Buzz Palmer gave us a warm
welcome and invited me on the Bat Hike. Not wishing to seem ungrateful and not quick enough on my feet to come
up with an airtight excuse to decline the invitation, I hopped into one of the fine camp trucks to meet a group of
Scouts already on the way to the bat cave. Upon meeting the Scouts, we proceeded down to the home of the endangered
bat species, one of only seven or eight locations in which they are found.
Halfway down I wondered just how I would ever get back up. Three quarters of the way down, I wondered if it was
just a cruel trick played on a flatlander. On the other hand, the younger and certainly more athletic boys seemed to
do just fine down and up. The tough descent was well rewarded with the appearance of hundreds and hundreds of
bats, as promised, making the gruesome ascent (gruesome to an old guy, that is) far less painful.
The following day, Charles Lewis took us under his wing and escorted us around the property. We took hundreds of
photos, none of which individually do the camp justice. Camp Cherokee, the second stop on Camp Tour 2001, was part
of a great beginning to a great tour. We found the staff accommodating, friendly, and helpful not just to us but also to
the Scouts in the program areas we visited.