Camp Simpson to get storm shelter

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

BROMIDE, OK - John Spring has camped at Camp Simpson several times during his 5 years as a boy scout and he's glad the Arbuckle Area Council is building a storm shelter for scouts.

"It's pretty crazy out there and I think it'd be a very good idea," said Spring.

Scout Executive Brett Matherly said after seeing the destruction in Moore last year their plan needed an update.

"The plan is if something hits find a low area or go down to the lower part of camp," said Matherly. "It just takes too long to get there. And so we discovered we better find an alternative to protect our scouts."

Their solution is a 40 x 10 x 8 foot tall steel structure on a concrete slab. The rocky ground makes it difficult to install an underground shelter, so the FEMA approved above ground structure is being built off site. Paul Tucker directs Carter County Emergency Management and said this kind of planning is key to National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

"People need to start thinking now because storm season is just around the corner and as we've seen in the past severe weather can strike at any time of the year," said Tucker.

And with that new shelter scouts at Camp Simpson will have an improved plan for severe weather.

"My first instinct will be to go get everyone in my troop and then dead spring toward the tornado shelter," said Spring.

The shelter costs $85,000 and is mostly paid for by Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation. It can hold 100 people and should be finished in May. Because the camp has up to 200 scouts at times, the Arbuckle Area Council is accepting donations for a second shelter.


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