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The Michigan Madness


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#21 SSScout

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 09:22 PM

Can anyone say "Chicago Area Council"? I say follow the money. The problem is NEVER too many camps. It is always too few campers. If one works at it, there are always other appropriate uses and therefore sources of income: ecology study centers, school nature centers (our public schools require a 3 night camp for fourth graders), local rec departments (our council does this with some county rec departments), "other" summer camps (computer, athletics), Outdoor Leadership School, BSA training center (wilderness first aid, IOLS, Philmont shakedown), church retreat center, etc., college bio courses, astronomy camp. Camps can often be used to form "green" easements, which have tax advantages. Someone needs to be tasked with the promotion and arrangements. Query: BSA is a not for profit (officially) organization, right? If the camp is owned by BSA (or it's franchisee), does the camp get appraised and taxed like a Locheed-Martin factory? What is the real motivation to sell? Who gets the sales commission? I was once on the board of a local AYH council. A fellow got himself elected to the board, and was soon promoting the idea of selling off the local hostel, which was the only one owned outright by the council (we had several in our area). His argument was that the hostel would be better managed in private hands, as all the others were privately owned. It was located in a downtown area and was worth a good sum as a possible "real" hotel, but had been a low cost hostel for a long time. It was run by a full time manager, who reported to the board, and lots of volunteer help. It always was in the black, We had had no past problems with it, but our new member insisted that with his experience in real estate, it would be wiser to sell it. Our answer was, and do what with the money? What was our purpose, if not to run a low cost accomodation? The majority of the board held it's ground and the new member eventually moved back to Colorado, from whence he had come. We later found out that the corp that had asked about the purchase was "owned" by our new member.
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#22 Roadkill Patrol

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:21 AM

What I don't understand is that the Scout Executive for President Ford Council told us during this year's summer camp that the 2 camps in our council were the only 2 in Michigan that had both an increase in kids and were both profitable. So why not keep both open to Boy Scout Summer camp? Instead, they only make the northern camp a Cub Camp (while keeping the other southern Cub Camp open) which I doubt will see an increase in youth and profit without the Boy Scouts using it next year. The issue with driving longer distances is that we had numerous troops that rotated leadership during camp week due to work schedules. This is going to be more difficult with longer drive times.
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#23 Tokala

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:06 PM

Our SE is making noise about shutting down the summer camp business. We can't make our FOS goals. I want to see how he replaces the $20K we make in 2-1/2 weeks running camp.
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#24 Oak Tree

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:11 PM

The best thing about this is that nothing like this is happening around here. I suspect that the large majority of councils are not doing this. If you looked at the last census bureau map, it appeared that a state's population grew in proportion to the distance from Michigan. Seriously, Michigan was the only state to lose population, and all of the states with 15%+ population growth form a concentric arc from Idaho to NC. You had to be at least four states away from Michigan to grow that fast. Anyway, just wanted to report, things aren't like that here, as far as I know.
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#25 Basementdweller

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:32 AM

Nice attitude Oak..... If this SE and the cronies associated with him make it work.....He could end up bein your SE.. The SE that sold my boyhood camp, Camp Avery Hand in Lexington Ohio, Became SE in the Cleveland area council where he closed Tinnermand Canoe base and sold it off too..... Don't think your protected.....
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#26 packsaddle

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 08:29 AM

I heard from my buddy in MI. He left scouting. Wow! I didn't see THAT coming. It isn't related to this topic but rather some local disagreement. This happened a while back so the sale of the camps is off his radar screen.
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#27 Oak Tree

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:32 AM

If this SE and the cronies associated with him make it work.....He could end up bein your SE.. Yes, I realize that. We're lucky to have the SE that we have. It doesn't sound like this new system is working all that well, though. Don't think your protected..... I realize that there are many factors that influence whether or not we are successful, and many factors that influence whether a council sells a camp. I don't think we are "protected", but I do think there is a low likelihood that the camps around here that we use are going to be sold off. The reasons I view it as unlikely are: - the camps are pretty full during the summer - there are substantial capital investments going into the camps - the camps are in relatively rural settings so the land prices are not high That said, if a camp did get sold off, we'd just go look for another camp.
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#28 RememberSchiff

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:01 AM

Lake Orions Camp Agawam, a Boy Scout camp since 1918, is one of three Michigan Scout camps that will not operate in 2013. It will likely be sold. A letter posted over the signatures of Scout executives Jack Chandler and Richard Fisher states that, An extensive nine-month review was conducted for each camps program strengths that evaluated facility conditions, location to population centers, attendance and financial sustainability. As a result, a recommendation was presented to the MCC (Michigan Crossroads Council) Executive Committee and approved on September 10, 2012. http://oaklandtownsh...ing-camp-agawam Supposedly there is a notice regarding the closing on the Great Lakes Council website http://glcscouting.org/ or is it now another Michigan council? Anyway, I could not find it. What a mess.
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#29 Tokala

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:55 AM

"review was conducted for each camps program strengths that evaluated facility conditions, location to population centers, attendance and financial sustainability." This is a new addition to the National Camp Accreditation Program. I received the new standards and they came with an email trail that suggests the camp visitation will evaluate program, facilities, attendance and finance. It is suggesting that the Area/Region level people can effectively shut down a summer camp program. The next step is a suggestion to sell the property. There seems to be a thinly disguised effort by "those above" to reduce properties and increase cash in the bank. Not sure why they are heading this way since we know that they aren't going to make more land.
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#30 Second Class

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:29 AM

"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." Perhaps the "new strategy" would be to hire SE's that can get the job done. For hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary, they dog gone well OUGHT to be able to run a program. If not, can them and find someone who will.
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#31 BadenP

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

second class The only problem with your scenario is that you think there are SE's who really give a cr*p about the council, the camps, or the volunteers. The SE is there only to put their time in order to qualify to be promoted to a position at National, all of them are gunning to be the next CSE. Granted there are a very few who truly care about their council and its welfare but they are the exception rather than the rule. As someone said in another thread those scouting professionals who do really care generally don't last long in their climb to the top.
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#32 TheGong

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:42 PM

I don't know where people get the notion that camps are being sold, since from the begining of the Area 2 project the board said that they would not sell any camp. These camps are not closed, they are resting and some of them have been taken off that resting list. The four boy scout summer camps will each have 7 weeks of camp, each week is full. D-Bar-A has 3 sub camps that all run 7 weeks and are the only camps not currently at capacity. We really do need more DEs the district to the norht of me has 9 counties and only 1 part time DE. My district has 5 counties and 1 full time DE and one part time DE that is shared with two other districts. My field service council covers 27 counties in some of the poorest sections in Michigan. The Area 2 project is a blessing in disguise. Right now things are convuluted and inchoerent but the fact that we do not have to sell one of our camps (which we has LHAC were going to do within 10 years) is a Godsend.
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#33 acco40

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:02 PM

Before the "Michigan Madness" - the Detroit Area Council and Clinton Valley Council merged (Great Lakes Council emerged). This was an economic reality- it didn't create more jobs, it consolidated positions in an attempt to save money. A year or two later, State Wide council was formed (actually I believe it is not the entire state and it includes a sliver of Ohio too). As of January 1, 2013, Lost Lake Scout Reservation, Camp Agawam and Paul Bunyan Scout Camp. An extensive nine month review was conducted for each camps program strengths that evaluated facility conditions, location to population centers, attendance and financial sustainability. As a result, a recommendation to operate the following MCC 2013 camping programs was presented to the MCC Executive Committee and approved on September 10, 2012. Yeah, it was a money issue. Folks would rather have fewer "nicer" camps than more "rustic" camps. For now, the camps will be mothballed so to speak - not sold. At least that is what they are telling us now.
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#34 MichScouter

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

I have been to Camp Agawam a few times The camp is surounded by a large homes. The camp entrance shares a road with these homes. Also when you are at the waterfront you can see a lot of large homes on the lake. My guess is when real estate values go up they will sell it. I actually like the camp. It is close to the Detroit Metro area. It would be nice to have a BSA camp close by to use. However they don't have many cabins to use for winter camping with cubs. I do feel the merge is more about money then anything else.
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#35 RememberSchiff

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 07:47 AM

Michigan Crossroads Council (MCC) and Camp Teetonkah - Keep the endowment, close the camp.

 

MCC will decide by the end of the year to give the property to the Jackson County Parks Department or the Friends of Camp Teetonkah, a nonprofit created by scouting volunteers and local organizations. Council will either have to give the camp away or sell it for $1 because of an agreement when the Boy Scouts first tried shutting it down in 1997.

 

"A nearly $1 million endowment was raised to keep the camp alive then, and a resolution was agreed on so the Boy Scouts couldn't sell the camp if they decided to close it again.

 

The council's outdoor adventures director Frank Reigelman said the council will honor the resolution, even though it could potentially be overruled by a new resolution.

Officials with Friends of Camp Teetonkah said the group won't fight to take the endowment, but that they have raised the funds for it.

 

Reigelman said the funds never belonged to the group, which is why the council will keep the money that has accrued interest to now total $1.5 million."

 

I hope Friends of Camp Teetonkah gets their camp.

 

http://www.freep.com...ckson/89221410/


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#36 T2Eagle

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 09:50 PM

Friends of Teetonkah may get the camp, but what are the odds that they'll be able to raise another million to actually keep it open? That might depend on the price of oil since there is an operating oil well on the property.  In 2012 they were expecting $10,000 a month of course the price of oil was $100/barrel.  It's worth noting that in Michigan (and other places) it is routine to sell, or give away, surface ownership, while retaining mineral, oil, and gas rights.

 

http://www.mlive.com...tonkah_hit.html


Edited by T2Eagle, 26 August 2016 - 10:02 PM.

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#37 RememberSchiff

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 05:22 AM

Good point. I don't know if the well(s) are still active. Another revenue source, a timber harvest, was done just before the oil well drilling. Some camps here are installing solar farms. Camp-shares like farm-shares may be another possibility.

 

As I understand, there has been new facilities added in the last ten years - showers, dining hall, shooting ranges. Jackson County is strongly interested in acquiring the camp as a county park.

 

So Council might keep the previously raised camp endowment money and the oil rights. :mad:


Edited by RememberSchiff, 27 August 2016 - 05:45 AM.

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#38 rfd536

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 05:45 AM

At this time council plans on keeping the endowment money and the oil rights regardless of who gets the camp. 

Friends of Camp Teetonkah is working hard to get the camp and save it as a youth camp.  They have the support of the community and several local non-profits.  If you would like to learn more about Friends of Camp
Teetonkah go to www.friendsofcampteetonkah.org.


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#39 meyerc13

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 02:48 PM

Does this council have other camps?  Maybe I'm cynical, but if so I wouldn't be surprised if the camp goes to the County.  If the Council leaves it open to Scouting groups, it might take away business from other Scout camps.  I hope I'm wrong, but I've heard a few Councils say they would try to pass their camp properties on to another Scouting group, only to see the exact opposite happen again and again.  It's a disturbing thing to see Councils focus more on the money than on the kids - and this goes for both Boy and Girl Scout Councils.


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Yours in Scouting,

 

Chris Meyer

 

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner 2015-Present

Lion Guide 2016-Present

Cubmaster 2013-2016

Father of a Boy Scout 2016-Present

 





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