Neighbors speak out against proposed camp

Residents of Triumph say the camp doesn't fit with their community.

BLAINE COUNTY - Neighbors of the proposed future site of Camp Rainbow Gold are speaking out about why they are opposed to the plans.

Residents of the small town of Triumph in Blaine County say they appreciate the work that the camp does for Idaho's kids with cancer, but they have concerns whether their town is a good permanent home for the camp.

Camp Rainbow Gold hopes to call a 275-acre ranch off East Fork Road its future home. But to get here you have to go through the small town of Triumph and the residents there say they have some major concerns.

“Picabo Street grew up in Triumph, that's what we're really famous for,” said Jitka Sullivan.

Jitka Sullivan has lived in the tiny town of Triumph since the late 1980s.

The town is quiet, situated where the pavement ends on East Fork Road near Hailey.

“It's just a regular old country road and where we have bicyclists, people walking their dogs, we have people jogging along there,” said Sullivan.

When news broke that a summer camp could be moving up the road, residents were doubtful of the plans.

“My main concern of this camp is one of safety,” said Sullivan.

Camp Rainbow Gold has operated in the Wood River Valley for more than 25 years - giving Idaho's kids with cancer the chance to just be kids again.

But finding a place to lay down permanent roots had been challenging until the directors landed on this piece of paradise three miles east of Triumph.

"We are doing all of our due diligence to find out if this is the piece of property that we can deliver a safe home for the campers," said Elizabeth Lizberg, Executive Director of Camp Rainbow Gold.

The land was partially donated to Camp Rainbow Gold, but the board is still in the early stages of purchasing the rest.

“Our message really right now is we're looking into it. We want to hear this feedback. Even though it's hard to hear some of it, we want to hear it,” said Lizberg.

The camp's proposal includes 14 cabins and 11 other outbuildings. It would accommodate as many as 200 people at one time.

“I'm concerned that in case there were an emergency situation like a fire in these hills at any time, and if an evacuation was required you would have hundreds of people trying to evacuate, you know really endangering people’s lives,” said Sullivan.

Triumph residents say they appreciate the work the camp does for Idaho's kids with cancer.

“I don't think anybody in Triumph wants to be the bad guy and appear unsympathetic to sick children and their families. Quite the opposite. But they're concerned that this site is not the best fit for the camp's future,” said Sullivan. "Idaho is a big state, I honestly think that the Camp Rainbow Gold board of directors should look elsewhere for a more suitable location."

The Camp Rainbow Gold board of directors will meet tonight to discuss the future and whether to continue pursuing this purchase.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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