Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Flooding Dampens 2016 Carbide Camps Reunion Plans on Blue Creek ; Organizers Relocating Events to Sissonville

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Flooding Dampens 2016 Carbide Camps Reunion Plans on Blue Creek ; Organizers Relocating Events to Sissonville

Article excerpt

cthomas@cnpapers.com 304-348-1232

Rekindling 20th century memories and reviving relationships born decades ago, the 2016 Carbide Camps Reunion was scheduled weeks ago for July 15-17 at Blue Creek in Kanawha County. Due to the recent catastrophic flooding in Blue Creek and surrounding areas, however, the reunion's planning group is, at presstime, considering a change in venue and activities.

The reunion is for those who attended the annual camps held each summer for children of Union Carbide employees in the Kanawha Valley, plus guests. Carbide's sites at Blue Creek were known as Camp Camelot, launched in 1949, and Camp Carlisle, established in 1953. They closed in 1982 as summer camps for youths. A third Kanawha County Carbide camp, Camp Cliffside in Alum Creek along the Coal River, closed in the 1970s. (A fourth Carbide recreational facility, Camp Brookside, was constructed near Hinton, Summers County, in 1947 and has recently undergone rehabilitation.)

Reunions of Carbide campers have been held in Blue Creek every year since 2002.

Attendance to this year's gathering will be free, although donations will be accepted to support future reunions, ancillary Carbide Camps activities and flood relief efforts.

"This is one of our annual reunions, and it takes place at a time of continuing and disturbing changes on Blue Creek. The Hunting and Fishing Lodge has seen much damage and vandalism since the closure of the residences and campground nearby -- an early consequence of property ownership changes on the Creek. Former Camp Galahad was still for sale the last we heard, but there are also sad stories and mysteries about events there under previous management. Details on its current status are unknown, said reunion organizer Robert W. Lilley in an email to fellow campers and the media.

"We've suspected for some time that there would be changes and new purposes for our' campgrounds on Blue Creek. …

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