Camp Roger Larson, a 40-acre lakeside camp located near Worley, Idaho, has been closed while Washington State University officials decide what they should do with the aging facility.
Following a detailed, on-site risk assessment, university officials decided that camp will not open for the 2003 season, for the protection of the potential campers and concerns for university liability, said Mel Taylor, director of special projects for WSU Business Affairs.
University officials cited several reasons for their concern. First, the buildings at Camp Larson are in poor condition. An estimated $2.4 million is required to bring the camp facilities up to minimum standards. The costs of liability insurance for the camp have increased significantly, especially following the recent settlement of an injury suit involving a camper.
Officials also said only one academic program has been using the facility in recent years, and that program will be relocated to suitable WSU property nearer the Pullman campus. The camp is located in a neighboring state, and given Washington’s budgetary challenges, supporting an out-of-state facility is not a priority.
The camp was named for former director Roger C. Larson, a long-time WSU physical education faculty member. Over the years it has served as a camp for youth with handicaps and for teacher training. WSU’s College of Education has managed the camp since 1955.
Many college faculty and students, as well as children from throughout the region, have participated in learning activities and enjoyed special times at the camp. Several service clubs and community organizations have also been associated with the camp, contributing materials and many hours of volunteer time each year.