Posted 15 September 2012 - 03:45 PM
Yeah, Beav, that is, I think, one of BSA's greatest short comings. When they need money or folks for a work day, they're OUR camps right up until the day the sale is announced. Just like we are "stakeholders" during FOS season but "customers" when someone wants to make substantive program decisions. We're "members" when they need someone for some thankless district job but just part of the red-jacketed rabble when there's an opening on the executive board.
Generally though, I see this from UCEagle's perspective. I don't know much about the camps in other parts of the country, but my understanding is in some areas there are just too many camps. Seems there was a report a year or two ago from the NE Region related to this which came with a long string of recommendations for minimum camp sizes, endowments, maintenance budgets, etc.
Around here, most councils seem to have one big summer camp, often outside the council, and another, smaller camp which serves the Cubbies, training, and other functions where tacking a two-hour drive to the event would be a problem. That seems to work well. Through the council's history I think we've had two other camps, both which were sold to buy the two current camps. While I love the history and tradition of old camps, I can only imagine the financial burden if we still had the two old camps. Not to mention that without the capital from their sale, it's unlikely we would have the to great camps we do.
It's kinda like family homes. You really hate to sell the little intown bungalow where you lived as a young couple, but the extra space, big back and better schools is what your family needs. Seems like a lot of councils are on the back end of that curve -- empty nesters who need to downsize, cut costs and eliminate maintenance.
From working at National Camp School, I know a lot of folks on the regional camping committee. When you can cut them away from the heard, they'll tell you there are some councils which don't have any business running camps. The don't have the program staff or maintenance budgets. Consequently, they'll run two weeks of camp at 40% capacity and do a half-assed job of that. I'll grant you the solution there should be to kick some butts, not sell the camps, but after years and years of kicking, it may be time for a new strategy.
And I'm not discounting the fact that some councils have been mismanaged and run into the ground financially and the sale of property is the quick or easy way out of the hole. (See paragraph 1, above.)