To serve the young people today- and in the future- our Council volunteers and professionals have been evaluating every aspect of our program and business to set Scouting up for success in the 37 communities we serve.
While we’ve changed greatly in the last 18 months, more change is necessary to succeed. This can be painful but is necessary, especially when looking at the situation we are in. Our Council is not exempt from the nationwide declines in membership organizations like the BSA have experienced. This, coupled with challenges over the past several years, means our Council needs to make major changes to survive.
To make those changes, the Council needs to secure funding and right-size our portfolio of properties to a level we can maintain. Simply put, we own too many properties for the membership we have today. While the outdoors are critical to delivering Scouting’s mission of preparing youth for life, owning property is not. This has been studied by the Council Executive Board for the past year as well as the Board’s Properties Committee.
On February 17, the Council Executive Board made the difficult decision to sell Deer Lake Scout Reservation. This decision wasn’t taken lightly and was done with the Scouts of today and tomorrow in mind. While we are divesting from Deer Lake Scout Reservation, the buyer is allowing the Council to lease the property for at least the next three years to operate it as a camp.
We recognize the passion behind preserving the outdoors and have had discussions with organizations committed to such while encouraging them to submit a competitive bid that can be accepted by the Board. To that end, the Board has negotiated for a specified window in which it can consider superior offers to the one currently being pursued, and any such offers would need to be received by March 31.
The net proceeds from the sale of Deer Lake Scout Reservation will be reinvested into Camp Sequassen and Hoyt Scout Camp to both improve and expand the facilities, programs and infrastructure.
As a Council, we’re continuing to evaluate how to best serve the youth of today and prepare us to serve the youth of tomorrow and appreciate the work our volunteers, families and supporters do daily.
Scout Executive/ CEO