East Tennessee boy scouts are a big step closer to enjoying a newly renovated camp site, thanks to UT Battelle and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The Great Smoky Mountains Council is working on a $4 million project to renovate Camp Buck Toms. The plans include the addition of classrooms for activities centered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
UT Battelle presented the council with a check for $150,000 Thursday to go toward those improvements
ORNL leaders say they are proud to be a part of helping a new generation learn to love science.
"We're very aware of the fact that not all science education happens in the classroom. You see that with things like robotics competitions, but also scouting. And there's a strong tradition here with some of the things going on in this area around ecology and the environment, and that's expanding into other areas, looking at advanced materials, and we want to be a part of that. It gets kids excited about science in an environment where they're working hands-on," said Thom Mason, the director at ORNL.
The camp also is replacing its tents with more permanent wooden shelters.