An in-depth property planning task force is being mobilized to study all council properties, their current and potential uses, and to develop a long range property plan to focus our resources to the things most important and most needed at each of the eighteen properties. This effort is led by former board chairman Gene Grant, supported by staff advisor Jim Hill. Nearly sixty volunteers will be engaged in collecting data, developing recommendations, and conducting member surveys to ensure that every detail is considered for this important project, and that every member has opportunity to share opinion and suggestions.
Scout Executive Matt Devore announced at Top Team that the board has approved an agreement to sell Scouters Mountain. He felt that he owed it to the key volunteer base that regularly attend Top Team Meeting to inform them of the potential sale face to face.
Matt made several key points including:
- Back in 2004, the council began a study and held discussions throughout the council to consider a potential sale of the property. Then in 2007 the board approved a sale and had a purchase agreement in place. Shortly thereafter, the recession hit and the deal fell apart.
- The present sales agreement is conditional and based on several contingencies. We will know more this fall, and will keep the group informed as things progress.
- There are no guarantees that this sale will be finalized, evidenced by the fact that the council had a sale agreement to sell the property several years ago that fell through when the recession hit.
- Selling a camp comes with sadness and mixed emotions as it is something dear to many of our volunteers, alumni and youth members. However, we are excited about a future of great programs and better facilities.
- Scouters Mountain will be open this summer for Cub Scout camping programs. It is virtually certain that the camp will also be open through the summer of 2014 and possibly for a few additional summers.
- The council has for years been blessed with great properties and at times inadequate facilities. Minimally, the council has struggled for decades to handle the vast deferred maintenance needs that come from operating eighteen properties. This sale has the potential to help with some of our most pressing issues.
Matt shared four key questions that he thought could be of interest to many of our volunteers. These questions and responses to the questions are as follows: 1. How does the proposed sale of Scouters Mountain affect my unit?
- In the short term, there is no effect as we will continue to operate through the summer of 2014. There is even a chance that camp will be operational beyond that.
- A volunteer group is forming to discuss the future of Cub Scout day and resident camp programs and program progression. Gilbert Ranch and Adventure Cove have enough capacity to handle current and future capacity needs. The volunteer group will explore strategies about how to deliver day camp programs throughout the council; for example, most councils do not own their own day camp properties. Rather, they deliver day camp at community sites that are accessible to greater population bases and provide greater visibility for Scouting within neighborhoods and communities.
2. What is next and when could the sale occur?
- During the next six months the buyer (a homebuilder) will conduct engineering studies and other due diligence measures. We will know more about the timing of the contract later this fall. We expect to be able to operate camp minimally through the summer of 2014.
3. How will the money be spent if the sale goes through?
- Our volunteer board of directors will decide how the money is spent. It is quite likely that the majority of the funds will be placed into the long-term endowment fund to support Scouting for many years to come. While the amount of money is currently confidential, we anticipate being able to share the amount eventually, and plan to be very transparent as to where the money is invested. We will take a close look at property priorities that come out of the strategic properties plan. The health and sustainability of Scouting, our programs and properties is vital and if the sale goes through, this resource would provide the funds to strengthen our many programs.
4. How long will camp be available and open?
- Once again, camp will be open this summer and quite likely through the summer of 2014. Future years (2015 and beyond) are not yet certain. We will know more this fall.