MRPC News Release

For immediate release
Feb. 27, 2017

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge at (573) 265-2993 Ext. 103

MRPC board learns about Camp Brim Shire

ST. JAMES—The Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) board learned of a “unique resource” in Phelps County, Camp Brim Shire, as described by MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge at the Feb. 16 meeting.

Richard and Sherry Hashagen run Camp Brim Shire, which is an accessible campus focused on providing developmental and social programs for disadvantaged or disabled youth.

“Sherry and I started this foundation back when we only had $100 and an idea that we could do better,” Richard said. The camp served 400 children last year.

The facility features 100 beds in several unique cabins, a recreation hall, an in-ground therapy pool, education center, emergency medical center, several playgrounds, fitness trail, stocked lake and both paved and unpaved nature trails. Founded in 1980, the camp is provided by the Association for Midwest Disadvantaged Youth (AMDY).

“Our camp is a unique camp,” Richard said. “We are the only camp in the United States that we know of that has a Ronald McDonald type house on it. It has a blind trail, a wildlife development program for children who want to learn about different species of plants and mammals and many other different unique features.”

The cost of using the facility is free for groups consisting of individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors in nursing homes and their family members, $2 per person per day for groups that are outside of Phelps county or groups that are not non-profit or tax exempt and $3 per person per day for groups wishing to use the facility for family reunions, meetings or retreats.

“We are not a fancy camp,” Richard said. “We are not here to make money. We have no employees; we are totally volunteer run.”

Right now, the Hashagens are in the middle of a fund-raising campaign to refurbish the therapeutic swimming pool and make it accessible by including an internal ADA wheelchair ramp. They still need to raise $49,000 of the $155,000 project. Donations are tax-deductible. Donations can also be made at

Camp Brim Shire sits on 40 acres just north of St. James on County Road 1250.  For more information on Camp Brim Shire or to visit the facility, call (573) 699-4351 or visit

In other business, the MRPC board:

  • Approved Shane Anselm as the representative for at-large labor on the MRPC board and Gary Larson to fill the Dent County vacancy on the Meramec Regional Development Corporation (MRDC) board;
  • Approved changes to the Missouri Association of Councils of Government (MACOG) bylaws, the state association of regional planning commissions and councils of governments;
  • Heard legislative updates with an emphasis on state aid to the regional planning commissions, Delta Regional Authority (DRA) cost allocation assessments and the possible elimination of the Economic Development Administration;
  • Learned that the first Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) meeting is scheduled for March 28;
  • Heard a report by T.R. Dudley, who represents MRPC on the Central Region Workforce Investments Board (CWIB), on the Certified Work Ready Community initiative, which is a certification program that helps to certify a workforce is trainable. MRPC still has grant funds to pay for test proctoring in Crawford, Dent, Phelps and Washington counties; and
  • Learned that Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded six grants and that each grant went to a different county. MRCF will also be hosting a “Bring a Friend to Lunch” meeting in March.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at or on Facebook at

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