As my retirement date quickly approaches and I try to write this last article, my emotions are all over the place. I’m excited to be moving back to my family but on the other hand sad to be leaving Cherry and the close bond that I have developed with many of you. So many good people have come here to be a CCV Staff member and to do the important work that we do, I feel so proud to have been apart of it. It is so important to teach our youth about Scouting, the environment, and the value of the out of doors that we as CCV alumni must continue to do what we can do to continue to support and nurture this wonderful place.
Many of you already know Karen and I arrived at Cherry to start our jobs on February 1,1989. Both Ron and Judy Wood would arrive soon to help us get moved in, but that first night was a real eye opener. The quite was something I had never heard before and the abundance of wild life was impressive. As I walked around the camp that first morning I felt alone for the first time in my life. It quickly became apparent that I was anything but alone. I learned that Karen and I were sharing the valley with a bison, numerous pigs, deer, fox, quail, squirrels, and ravens, not to mention the abundant sea life we saw on our first snorkel. Those people that have the opportunity to experience Cherry Valley when all the campers are gone are treated to a truly wondrous place. For the remainder of that winter and spring I had the opportunity to hike all over the valley and the west end to discover that not just Cherry was special but all of Catalina as well.
As a camper for three weeks (mid 60’s) and a staff member for three summers (late 60’s) and now a year round resident I was excited to see the campers arrive and begin to enjoy this wonderful place. Watching the staff do their stuff and seeing the campers enjoy the program and this place was a true joy to be apart of. Whether the campers were here to participate in a BSA Program or environmental studies the staffs, the program and the place never failed them. The kids were better for having come here.
The friends Karen, Kevin, and I have made here are some of the best people in the world. Not only those that were on staff but the town of Two Harbors, other camps, the county agencies, and the Cherry Cove Yacht Club are so kind, thoughtful, friendly, and honest. There is not a member on the Search and Rescue team that I would not trust my life with. Mark, thank you for the time we spent together my friend.
My family thanks you all for everything you have done for us.
The Hartley Family