Closed Camp: ‘Expenses far outweigh income’

EMPORIA (KSNT) – A popular summer day camp program ended with little fanfare, and virtually no notice to parents Friday.

Officials at Camp Alexander, created from property donated to Lyon County by a former slave, say the program closed its doors Friday and will not re-open anytime soon.

Board President Brian McCracken tells Kansas First News, “Maybe we grew too fast or too quickly or added too many staff, but our expenses far outweigh our income.”

McCracken, reached at the camp office on Sunday, says the death knell was a reimbursement plan for a grant the camp received. “It just was too much and we couldn’t keep up the payments.”

He says the camp notified parents with children in the program on Friday, and spent the week-end reaching out to other parents who had planned to use the program for the rest of the summer.

The day camp operated from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and looked after as few as 40 children and as many as 80 children.

“The other facilities here at the camp remain open, the campgrounds, catch and release fishing, camping, horseback riding – all are still open,” added McCracken “it’s only the daycare portion which is closed.”

He says he and several other board members spent Sunday going through the financial books and future reservations trying to find a way to reimburse all pre-paid tuition for the balance of the summer.

“If at all possible,” he concluded “we want to make sure everyone gets their money back.”

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