The Caddo Area Council Boy Scouts of America last week accepted an offer for the purchase of Camp Pioneer, located near Hatfield in Polk County. The purchasers are Mena residents Danny and Renae Powell and Danny and Beverly Hansbrough.
The Caddo Area Board of Directors voted in 2017 to suspend resident camp operations at Camp Pioneer due to electrical and plumbing maintenance needs. The Boy Scouts decided at that time to invest all future resources in Camp Preston Hunt, which is located a few miles east of Texarkana. Camp Pioneer had been idle since that decision was made.
Located at the confluence of the Mountain Fork River and Two-Mile Creek, the Camp Pioneer property is 215 acres of wooded hills with approximately a half mile of riverfront and creek front on both sides. It has numerous structures, several buildings, roads, city water, a relatively new residence, a shop, trails, developed camping areas, and access by a paved county road.
Danny Powell, speaking for the purchasers, says that the property would be renovated and further developed for use by groups. Specific plans are not being made public at this time.
Due to the non-profit status of the Caddo Area Council, no taxes have been paid on the real and personal property in the century it was used for a scout camp. Being privately owned now, the property will generate tax revenues for Polk County.
This summer is the 100th anniversary of Camp Pioneer. The first Council summer camp was held there in 1920. Since then, there have been literally tens of thousands of alumni of Camp Pioneer from as far away as 500 miles in any direction.
Sign on Highway 71 South that directed Boy Scouts to Camp Pioneer for the past several years.