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Camp host enjoying Morgan Lake
He fought in Vietnam, has traveled the country and enjoys time with his grandkids.
This summer, though, he is slowing down to enjoy the pace of life at Morgan Lake.
Theissen arrived in La Grande last week and says the first week as the camp host volunteer has been welcoming.
“People are ready for it,” he said. “Most people are saying, ‘We’re glad you’re here.’”
The La Grande City Council discussed earlier this year placing a camp host at the lake to help parks staff with cleanup and to help deter visitors from violating rules. The city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee recommended putting a host there after neighbors raised concerns about vandalism, loud partying and litter at the lake.
“The neighbors have wanted someone up here for a while,” said Stu Spence, parks and recreation director.
When the council opted to move forward with the host, the city budget about $6,500 for the job. While the host is a volunteer, City Manager Robert Strope said the city does have to provide things like fuel and sewer disposal.
“We do have to provide certain things,” Strope said. “There are some costs associated with it.”
City staff said they believe this is the first time a host has been set up at Morgan Lake, but it’s not Theissen’s first rodeo; he’s been a camp host before. He came to La Grande in his pickup and trailer with his dachshund, Cinnamon, from Lake Cascade, Idaho. La Grande’s Morgan Lake, though, is one of the “grandest” sights he’s seen.
For the complete story, see Wednesday's edition of The Observer.