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Flood closes Scout camp named for Bob Hardin

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By Mark Manicone

A Boy Scout camp named for Lancaster’s Bob Hardin has been closed for the rest of the summer after flash flooding wiped out roads and damaged structures at the campground.
The Boy Scouts of America campground in Saluda, N.C., was originally named Camp Palmetto, but was renamed after Hardin in 1985.
Hardin served as the district Boy Scout executive for Lancaster and Chester counties for 38 years. Under his leadership, the number of Boy Scout troops in Lancaster grew from 10 to 39, with more than 1,000 boys participating.
Hardin died of a heart attack in 1980 at the camp that now bears his name. At the time of his death, had the longest tenure in the same location of any Scout executive in the nation.
Rains swept through Polk County, N.C., May 18 and 19, inundating the campgrounds and surrounding areas with swift-moving floodwaters. BSA’s Palmetto Council, which runs the camp, agreed to suspend camping and all other operations at the camp until it can be assessed and rebuilt.
“It is with a heavy heart that they have agreed to suspend all operations at Camp Bob Hardin until further notice,” said Greg Leitch, executive director of the Palmetto Council.
“Our camp home sustained massive road and building damages as well as structural issues with some of our program areas. The area is under review by state and federal officials to determine the best course of action for rebuilding homes, roads and businesses.”
More than 100 scouts and leaders were staying at the camp when the rain started May 18, according to local ABC  station WLOS.  Everyone was evacuated by 3 p.m. May 19, according to an update on the Camp Bob Hardin Facebook page.
In the meantime, BSA officials are working with neighboring camps to ensure that each troop that signed up for camp will get to continue their camping at another location.
“The Palmetto scouting family is strong. We will move forward from this tragedy quickly to ensure that scouting will continue to grow and prosper in our community,” Leitch said.