Lamar Boy Scout Troop 218 meets during the school year and frequently for camps and events during the summer months. Troup leaders, Paul Westhoff, David Parker, Carl Bender, and Rick Francis are shown here with the troop preparing to leave for their Yellowstone National Park Camp Trip – summer of 2008.
Camp Amache – Boy Scouts on Patrol
(This was an Eagle Scout Project for Riley Widener.)
Watching Bronson Stagner paint a sign near the entrance of Camp Amache, Kenton Verhoeff learns a lesson about History. The World War II encampment housed just over seven thousand Japanese-Americans after the Japanese Siege on Hawaii. Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, a day that lives in infamy. Will we ever forget?
A late arriving baby boomer, I’ve watched the tyranny of terrorists invade our country and yet, I wonder at the mindset of those who captured and imprisoned fellow countrymen of Japanese descent. Fear brings about strange events. Was it truly about the fear?
Boy Scouts tenderly care for the grounds where Amache once lived. The heartbeat of a nation throbbing in time with the turmoil of war, these countrymen, many whose brothers or sisters fought for their freedom alongside other Americans lived under lock and key. Even so, they raised enough food for not only their own camp, but to supplement other encampments located around the United States.
John Hopper, an instructor of Social Sciences at Granada High School, spends his down time working toward preservation of the camp. Armed with shovels, rakes and paint brushes, his students battle prickly pear and sage brush in an attempt to restore this Historical Site for future Generations.
As the sun beats down on a Colorado summer day, Boy Scouts at the direction of Riley Widener, a Junior at Granada High School, prune trees, paint signs, and work the fields keeping nature at bay. Meadow Larks whistle and chirp, singing natures song and somewhere in the grass a snake rattles his warning. The boys work steady, striving to meet their goals.
A walk path with $7,500 of gravel chip provides a nature trail for passersby. Picnic tables and benches offer a respite from travel along U.S. Hwy 50, formerly the Santa Fe Trail. Signs offer direction around the Camp where Artifacts, foundations and history remain buried. A butterfly flits around the site, flies buzz and for just a moment time stands still, holding off echoes of the past.
One can almost imagine a world at peace. Tranquil and serene, time ticks on and memories fade, but in this little space, on this parcel of ground, history is remembered.
If you’re planning a vacation this summer and your destination includes a drive through Southeastern Colorado, plan a stop at Amache. Located just three miles west of Granada, Colorado on the Crossroad of America, U.S. Hwy 50.
More information about the History of the Area can be found at the Big Timbers Museum on the Santa Fe Trail just 15 miles further west on Highway 50 at Lamar, Colorado where you’ll find restaurants, hotels, and other resources.