PARTNERING WITH THE COMMUNITY
After purchasing Camp Brookside in 1993, the National Park Service stabilized the structures that have remained largely untouched. Today, renovations are underway to bring the facility up to date to serve as a residential youth camp and environmental education center.
The Need: Partnering with the community and stakeholders to realize the highest and best use of this historic camp.
Located along the banks of the New River, in the southern section of the New River Gorge National River, Camp Brookside once served as an “Isle of fun” as a residential summer camp for boys and girls ages 5 to 15. Opened by the Electro Metallurgical Company (EMCO), a division of the Union Carbide Corporation in July of 1947, Camp Brookside provided a residential summer camp to the children of the corporation’s Alloy, WV plant.
The Solution: Convene a community Round Table to identify and explore how the NPS might partner with the community and stakeholder groups for the camp to serve local community and youth’s environmental education needs, serve higher education in environmental, natural and cultural resource studies and research, and develop next steps for a pilot program and operating the camp on a more permanent basis.
The Results: Since our meeting, the Camp Brookside project has advanced significantly. The NPS has taken the direction provided by the roundtable participants and started a private, nonprofit organization to assist in developing this new site. The roundtable meeting led community leaders to buy-in to this project and provided the National Park Service with a cadre of community leaders who can help them get to the next stage in this project.
Eric Pories facilitated a roundtable meeting to determine the future of Camp Brookside, a National Park Service site. He met with our staff on multiple occasions to plan an agenda that would produce achievable goals. During the roundtable meeting, his facilitation advanced conversations among leaders in community development, nonprofit management and institutes of higher education. Eric’s facilitation provided engaging ways for everyone to participate and adequately capture everyone’s input.