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SALUDA, N.C. – Since the 1940s, Boy Scouts from Chester, Lancaster, York, Union, Cherokee and Spartanburg counties have been going to Saluda, N.C., for summer camp.
Originally known as Camp Palmetto, the camp expanded in the early 1980s and was renamed Camp Bob Hardin in 1985, in honor of Hardin, a Lancaster native, who was active in the Boy Scouts.
Hundreds of boys and leaders from the three counties have made the trek up to Saluda during 2013. This year has been the biggest, best year ever for Camp Bob Hardin with a variety of new additions.
One new feature at camp is the new Friday adventure options which include a Gorge Zipline, kayaking the upper Green River or the lower Green River, tubing on the Green River, rappelling 200 feet down Big Bradley Falls and a swimming hole hike.
The camp has partnered with four Saluda-area businesses – Gorge Zipline, Green River Adventures, Green River Gorge Tubing and Wilderness Cover Tubing – to give scouts the chance to experience high-adventure activities.
There is also the new “mountain man” program – a week-long adventure into the past.
In addition to the new features, the camp has a climbing tower, zipline and high-climbing area.
At the swimming area, there is a new 100-foot long, 30-foot high water slide, inaugurated in early June by Hulic Ratterree, who first swam in the lake as a scout Aug, 5, 1945.
The camp is now home to more than four miles of mountain biking trails (which will grow to more than seven miles next year) and a mountain biking program.
In the future, the mountain biking trails will hook into a network of trails that extend to the Green River.
Scouts still learn valuable skills, from knot-tying to using GPS units.
Webelos and Cub Scouts get a chance to go to camp later in July to take part in programs tailored to their ages and abilities
The camp is hosting 820 scouts during the four weeks of summer camp this year, including troops from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and other areas of South Carolina.
With the camp’s business partners, the camp is able to tap into the Green River Gorge and the adventure opportunities that only a mountain camp can offer.