Re: Camp Closing Policy
Jim Miller Sr. (JJMSR@AOL.COM)
Fri, 20 Oct 1995 14:53:39 -0400
In a message dated 95-10-20 12:26:08 EDT, austin@APS.ANL.GOV (Bert Austin)
>disturbing rumor. I was told that
>National Headquarters is urging councils to dispose of camp properties and
>to use public and other privately owned facilities for their camping needs.
This rumor has been widely circulated, but as a council president, who has
attended National Annual Meetings fro a number of years, I honestly cannot
say that I have ever heard any national, regional, or even council level
professional express this.
There has been added this year to the Strategic Planning document that all
councils are supposed to use two benchmarks regarding camping and "assets"
The former encourages councils in the strategic planning process to develop a
plan to meet the need for adequate camping facilities for the foreseeable
future. It suggests that this be done with either council owned facilities,
joint operations with other council or whatever way possible. In other
words, it says to determine what camping facilities you will need and find a
way to adequately and economically provide them.
The latter regarding use of assets directs the council to do an analysis of
all assets including council offices and camps and determine if the current
use is the best possible use of those assets. If not, the council should
plan to take appropriate action to maximize the use of the asset by increased
use, joint operations with other council or whatever way possible. It also
implies that disposal of the asset might be appropriate in some but not all
Unless some secret directive has been given out to professional at the top
hands conference (and I seriously doubt it since I haven't caught them
keeping any secrets that well yet) national is only trying to get councils to
best use their assets. Not a bad goal overall if you ask me.
OTOH, I have seen many councils disposing of camps and living off the
proceeds of the sale. This IMHO is a major error in judgement. Lands thus
disposed of can never be recovered. The Adorondick camps in NY are a classic
example. NJ councils are beginning to sell off these camps due to low
attendance and increasing cost of taxes, insurance etc.
I have suggested in another forum (AOL) before that perhaps we should create
a Scout Land Preservation Trust similar to the Nature Conservancy to preserve
these lands by selling them to others with long term leaseback arrangements
or perpetual use agreements. In that way, we could get those who wish to
preserve natural areas to "foot the bill" for these properties while still
having use of them (a have your cake and eat it to strategy).
Anyone want to comment out there?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City