b'rom beloved Boy Scout camp to breathtaking master-planned community, the story of the 2,046-acrepiece of pristine wilderness that would become Grand Central Park is one intertwined with that of a wildcatter, marshmallows roasted over campfires and a developer dedicated to creating a place that not only honors the propertys grand legacy, but is also where homeowners and nature can co-exist in perfect harmony.Grand Central Park sits on the former site of Camp Strake, knownCamp Strake went on to become one of the largest camps in for more than 70 years as the flagship camp for one of the nationsthe United States, with generations of young boys spending fondly largest Boy Scout councils, the Sam Houston Area Council.remembered summers camping, fishing, earning badges and telling ghost stories around its flickering campfires. Story The history of the camp is bound up in the greater history ofTime marches on, however, and Camp Strake went from44the Scouting movement in Texas and the formation of the first troops in the Houston area.a pristine oasis to an island surrounded by homes, bright lights and honking horns. Eventually, the Council concluded that in The Houston Council overseeing Scouting in Houston wasorder for a new generation of Scouts to experience organized in 1913. In 1938, the name was changed to thethe serenity of nature, a new site for Camp Strake needed Sam Houston Area Council Boy Scouts of America, whichto be found. now encompasses 16 counties in southeast Texas serving more than 50,000 coed youth. The Council put the historic property up for sale, and JohnsonDevelopment Corp. saw the potential for a master-planned In the 1940s, the Council made the decision to create a specialcommunity where residents could live, shop and dine in a camp for the boys under its jurisdiction. Finding a pristine areabeautiful, wooded environment. The company purchased for Scouts to experience the excitement of camping wasntCamp Strake in 2013.difficult; however, paying for it was a challenge.Today, Grand Central Park is a growing, thriving community, Help came from a member of the Councils executive board,attracting residents with a wide variety of upscale home choices George Strake. Strake was a wildcatter who discovered thesurrounded by the same, naturally wooded beauty that has Conroe oil field which, at the time, was the countrys thirdattracted legions of young nature lovers for more than 70 years. largest. In 1943, he donated the funds to the Council toOnly about 800 acres of the property will purchase the more than 2,000 acres of land 35 miles northbe developed, with approximately 1,200 acres of woodlands, of Houston, and the new camp was dedicated to him in 1944.100 acres of lakes and miles of existing trails remaining Strakes son George Strake, Jr., as well as his grandson,as Scouts and their families remember them.Steve, have served on the Councils executive board. In fact, Steve continues to serve on the board to this day.'