Davie Loud machines are mulching up trees at Camp Seminole, clearing away the area Hurricane Wilma wrecked 20 months ago. But a year from now, the 117-acre camp should be operating as usual, with its busy dining hall, swimming lake and an outdoorsy feeling that has lured visitors there for almost 50 years.
Camp Seminole is in the midst of an $8 million rebuilding project. Wilma flattened its vegetation, uprooted water lines and sewage systems, and destroyed bathrooms and the electrical system. Broward County donated the land to the South Florida Council of Boys Scouts of America in 1958. The property, at 3301 SW 142nd Ave., had long been in need of major changes, even operating on 14 septic systems instead of using water lines, and the council in early 2005 had formulated a plan for upgrades, said Jeff Hunt, the council's executive director.
"But after Wilma hit, it really caused us to look at our plan," he said. The cost estimate includes the clearing work, but the council has been fortunate there, said Art Hawkins, director of support services. Downrite Engineering, based in Miami-Dade County, brought out its mulchers and clearing machines to Camp Seminole at no charge, and will continue to do other facets of the plan, he said.
The company's overall donation: About $1.5 million, Hawkins said. As a result, the campground will reopen as Downrite Engineering Scout Reservation — Camp Seminole.