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Our troop is chartered to an organization that can not possibly provide us with long-term meeting and storage space. Up to last week, we had our own Scout House (a state owned facility, since declared structurally unsafe by state inspectors). So, we're on the road again...so to say.


One of the ideas we're toying with is the possibility of real long-term solutions in the form of building a new Scout House.


My question is: Does anyone out there have experience with the 'process' of getting something like this venture of the ground. We know what we want. We have architects and engineers lined up to assist with the design and costs. What we have no experience with is the process of seeking land, sponsorship, and funding. Our chartered partner has no money for this venture, thus it would have to be private donations. With all the hew and cry about public funding and Scouts these days, we fear to tread into the arena of public land and/or money. If you've been down this road, we would really appreciate the benefit of your experience and knowledge.


I know this is probably out of the ordinary, but I figure I won't know unless I ask. Thanks for any input you can provide.


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What a job, but it can be done. You need to start out by deciding how much work do you want to do. You can take one of several routes. The first thing you are going to need is land. Then a building and furnishings. Are you going to build your own building from stratch or remodel an older one? Can you get it donated? Probably so if you know or ask the right people. You need to inquire of older scouters and past troop memebers in the area about which one of them might be financially able to donate land for the cause. They can get a great tax break. Try talking to some or all of the estate attorneys and accountants in town. Are any of them ex scouts? See if they can give a lead as to a potential donor. Is your troop a tax exempt entity under state law? There are a lot of caveats, so proceed cautiously. Do not forget grants. There may be financial grants to help you accomplish your purpose.

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Who will "own" this when it's done? We have been told that all scout property belongs to the charter organization, and if they decide, they can close down the troop and distribute the assets. We had an instance where the wrong person was in charge of the organization and wanted to liquidate the scout property (tents, bus, etc.) luckily the charter organization board didn't OK it, but according to our DE all scout property is owned by the Charter and can be districuted as they see fit. We were lucky.

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You need the services of an attorney or someone from the local area who is familiar with land transactions,

zoning, etc. The post of ddrefke was on the money. An estate planner or attorney might network you into

someone with a piece of land they are willing to donate. Seems like the most likely donor would be an

ex-Scouter, but you may not find one with surplus land. You may find one or more older Scouters with

appreciated assets such as stocks. They could donate the stocks to your organization and get a tax benefit

for having made a charitable contribution. You could then liquidate the stocks, and use the money to

buy a piece of ground that fits your requirements. It seems more likely that you will find individuals

with appreciated assets like stocks who might be willing to donate as part of estate planning than finding

an individual with a piece of land that fits your needs, and conforms to local building ordinances

and zoning laws that might affect your use.

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