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BSA Camp Kilworth bites the dust...

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Thanks to 89camper for additional details of this transaction.


There are many details that I left out actually: Council mismanagement of assets, past arrests of PHC employees for embezzling council funds, recent PHC staff firings, and the recent increase in paid staff despite declining membership. I left them out because I didn't see them as important to the ethical question of selling something BSA doesn't own.


Camp Thunderbird has been used for at least the last decade for Cub Scout Resident Camp activities. Mom & Me, Dad & Lad, Webelos Resident Camp, and Webelos Weekend are all held there. I took my son there several times as a Cub Scout, I've been on staff there personally, and even my son has been on staff there as a Boy Scout. Moving all the Boy Scout activities away from Thunderbird isn't quite the same as acquiring a "Cub Scout Resident Camp".

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I am not surprised to hear that the decisions was made carefully and the money well spent. The Pacific Harbors council has an excellent Scout Executive. He is one of the best professionals I have ever met or served with. Not only is he a good administrator but a dedicated scout and unit leader.


It is never easy to sell a camp, but it is compounded by the few scouters who feel that without the council owning the land that their memories are no longer valid. Sometimes tough decisons have to be made for the benefit of the future of the program.


I hope your scouting is going well 89 camper



Now then concerned....if the council does not own the camp who does?(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Concerned Scouter -


You show you ingnorance on several counts:


1. Thunderbird is not designed nor is it equipted as a Cub Scout Resident Camp. It is simply a Boy Scout Camp that also hosts Cub Scout events. That is a fundamental difference.


2. The PHC to my knowledge has less staff than it has since the merger. As I understand, there are four or five vanancies on the staff.


3. I have no knowledge about personnel issues, perhaps you know of firings, I do not.


4. Where did you hear that the Kilworth family was somehow getting paid off? Perhaps you have more information that everyone one else. I have heard nothing of the sort.


Sir, I do not know who you are, or why you choose to try and drag down Scouting like you are, but I do know that you are misinformed. I also believe that you do not represent the sentiments of the vast majority of PHC Scouters.


I have lost a Scout Camp that was very important to me. I know the pain. If we could keep our relatives alive for ever would we? That certainly would avoid a lot of pain in our lives. But I know from experience that pain is God's way of allowing us to grow by leaps and bounds. Please do not trash our fine council and Scoutings name because of this pain. Jump in, get involved and help us all move forward. Here's and oar, I hope you will take it.


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It seems pretty clear that we're not going to be able to resolve this (if there is anything that needs to be resolved). We've got two opposing views of the transaction, and sets of facts that appear to contradict each other.


It's always unfortunate when a Scout camp is shut down and sold. I tend to look at these a couple of ways. Camps are usually shut down because they aren't being used effectively. Most of the time, that's due to decreased attendance. Times and usage can change, tho. If the owner of the property is financially sound and has patience, they can hold the property and hope that the next generation of Scouts starts to use it again. If the owner of the property is not financially sound, tho, sometimes you have to forego the future and deal with the present. Whether the financial problems are due to mismanagement or bad luck is kind of irrelevent, really, at that point. Bills need to be paid.


I say "owner of the property" because it's unclear that the Council owns the property. If it reverts back to the Kilworth heirs, it could be that they never actually deeded the property to the Council, but instead arranged some sort of usage plan where the Council maintained the property until such time that they chose to stop using it. For one, it sounds like the property is not being maintained. That could be why there's comments about working a deal for the Council to get some of the sale proceeds. But, if the Kilworth family isn't agreeable, then the Council gets nothing and they've basically given away a campground that they could have used. I don't know which it is for lack of information.

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I find this interesting since I grew up in Des Moines, WA which is just a few miles from Federal Way. I've never heard of Camp Kilworth though my troop was in Chief Seattle Council. I'm curious where the camp is. I assume it is South of Redondo Beach. Where is it in relation to Dash Point?




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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, It looks like we are going to get the best of both worlds. Here is how this story is shaking our now:


1. The City of Federal Way has offered $3 million for Camp Kilworth.


2. The Camp will become a public park and open space.


3. The Council purchased useage of the facilities for as long as the land remains a public park as a part of the sales agreement.


4. The Camp will be improved and maintained by the City of Federal Way.


5. The Council gets capital to improve its other properties.


All in all a Win-Win solution.




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  • 3 years later...

I understand that the courts are saying that the council can't sell as planned and that the council is going to the supreme court over this. I personaly think that delezine should have been on the block since we have thunderbird available on the south end.


We should use the Hohobas camp as our summercamp thats fine and honor the agreement that we made with the man who origanlaly donated the land to our council, the fact that he died should not matter. If we don't want it anymore as scouts we should honor our agreements and not try to weasel our way around them to get at cash.


This is a camp central in our cities you don't get these anymore. In our busy world these are very imortant for time.

We need to get a real ranger up there to take care of the place rather than one who acts like he is pompous god almighty whenever someone shows up and who will actually maintain the place, of course that would mean that the council would actually have to budget for the camp rather than council staff saleries.

What are we teaching the youth, some agreements are okay to honor as long as they benifit us but to forget the rest?

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Halfway through this I noticed the date and also the original poster has moved on, but I couldn't help notice one tidbit of information that stuck out. "Nesting Bald Eagles". As a federally protected bird, development around their nests is pretty tough to accomplish.

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