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Pine Tree Council Camp Gustin could soon be put up for sale

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I tried to post yesterday, but the forum was having issues--I'd get an "SQL Microsoft Database error".


Anyway, according to an article in yesterday's Lewiston, Maine Sun Journal (http://www.sunjournal.com/node/431414/), BSA Camp Gustin could soon be put up for sale by Pine Tree Council.


At one time (about ten years ago), the council had been considering making Gustin the council's Cub World Camp, but changed it's mind in favor of doing that to Camp Bomazeen.


Times change. Bomazeen has been sitting semi-mothballed for the past 6 years. All of our camping properties are heavily used by area units.


Apparently, my council is $180,000 in the red, according to this article. Pretty sad that the volunteers need to learn of this through the media instead of from the council office, huh?


Personally, this is a short-sighted way to make up the difference. I'm already hearing the backlash from some leaders in the district that camp is in. They plan to not give to FOS this year if the council goes through with this proposal. Rather, they will give directly to their own unit and help their scouts go to camp, etc. I'm sure some won't give now even if council doesn't go through. I saw the same thing happen when Bomazeen got mothballed.


Gotta love scouting politics, huh? And I know several of you on this forum have "Been there, experienced that".


There is a follow-up article in today's Sun Journal where the son of the original donor states he's not happy with the council's decision and his inability to contact them: http://www.sunjournal.com/node/432559/


Should the rest of you care, I'll post more when I learn more...provided "Secret DE" doesn't beat me to it. I'll bet he's glad he's not in that district at the moment.


$180K in the red? Why isn't our Scout Executive addressing the volunteers directly in regards to this issue? Might have been better than the negative publicity this is getting. I've found references to this in the online Boston Globe and apparently AP wire has picked-up the story.


I'll get off the soap box for now. Thanks for reading.

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There was a follow-up editorial in the Sunday Lewiston Sun Journal newspaper, which simple adds more bad PR for the council:




There's apparently a Facebook group started by those trying to save the camp. The link is in the comments section of the above editorial. As I'm not on Facebook, I haven't a clue how many may be signed-up so far. I may need to look into this later.

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There are 2 groups on Facebook related to Maine Scout camps...


- a "Camp Gustin" one with 114 members and lots of folks talking about there memories at the camp.


- a "Save Maine Scout Camps" group with 501. According to the group page, there's apparently planning going on for a rally at Camp Gustin on the 15th at 2:00. There's been a call for help for Scouters to attend a planning meeting for the rally tonight from 6:30-8:00 in Lewiston at the IBEW hall.


If you want more info, you can PM me (or signup for Facebook, of course).

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My Name is Ray Frechette,


I am very much involved in the feffort to save Camp Gustin.


While there is significant frustration with Council we are not threatenting council or seeking a confrontational situation withthem.


Rather we are attemtpting to get council interested in working out a win win situation for them, the scouts in our district and the scouts in all opf council


We are trying to convince Council to sell the camp to us.


We would form a 501c3 non profit to raise funds and buy the camp and hold it in a land trust for the priority use of registered scouts and troops in Pine Tree Council.


Further we plan on stripping development rights from the land with deed restrictions and prevent any subdividing of the land so that this potential problem shall never occur again.


One cna either get angry or get busy and we are seeking to get busy and work with council in a proactive manner to bring about an excellent resolution for all involved.


Does anyone here wish to help us?


We are not asking for one red cent right now.


What would be very helpfull is to tkae about 20 minutes from your day and carry out the following tasks.



If you have a facebook account, please visit us at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=323022840617&ref=ts


Please consider joining the page and posting a 1 paragraph word of support. Consider reading some of the inspirational posts.


Second Please write a letter to our chief executive of Pine Tree Council ( arogers@bsamail.org )and urge him to try to work with the Scouters of Abnaki district to find a win win solution.


Please cc to ( bthomas@bsamail.org ), ( esd@roadrunner.com

) nad myself at ( refent01@yahoo.com )


If you are really motivated perhaps you could print out that email and mail it by snail mail to National HQ along with a letter to them asking them to contact PTC and urge them to consider working with us.



Mr. Tony Rogers


Scout Executive


Pine Tree Council, BSA


131 Johnson Rd.


Portland , Me. 04102


e-mail: arogers@bsamail.org




COPY TO: Bryan Thomas


Assistant Scout Executive


Pine Tree Council, BSA


131 Johnson Rd


Portland , Me. 04102




e-mail: bthomas@bsamail.org






COPY TO: National Council


Boy Scouts of America


Post Office Box 152079


Irving , TX 75015-2079




Dont forget to include a copy to me: Ed Desgrosseilliers


Abnaki District Committee Chair


c/o 121 Hatch Rd


Auburn , Maine 04210 -8961




e-mail: esd@roadrunner.com



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If council agrees to sell thsi camp to us it could be the best thing that ever happened to this district.


We plan on having troops take turns setting up outside large retail centers with groups of kids teaching basic scout skills and recruiting as well as Adult members of a formed 501c3 land trust soliciting donations.


This could seriously impact recruitment in ways never dreamed of.


And it would teach the kids incredibly important life lessons of sacrifice and budgeting to get what is truly valuable to them.


If Pine Tree Council refuses to sell it could indeed be significantly impairing to the cout movement in council in too many ways. I shudder to think of the damage that will be done to moral and membership.



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They sold my boyhood scout camp last year $1.4 million to a condo developer. Sad but it happens. My parents and I both donated to save the camp. The council refused and sold it....


A story circulating in the community is that a Brother to one of the council board members bought it.


I hope you have better luck than we did, but life goes on.

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Nearly 300 youth and leaders from two districts attended the rally this afternoon. It is on the evening news on two of Portland's three television stations. It was again in today's Lewiston Sun Journal. The SJ article was picked-up by the Portland Sunday Telegram, Augusta Kennebec Journal, and Waterville Morning Sentinel. In other words, EVERY news outlet but one (WCSH Channel 6) in the council is now covering this proposed sale. There will be a follow-up in tomorrow's Sun Journal.



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The council where I was a DE years after I left hit on hard times and they took out a large loan, that had a balloon payment which came due. They were forced to sell the camp, that had been in the council for over 75 years and the council building. A year later the council was absorbed by a larger council to the south and today there is no sign that the council, over 80 years old, ever exsisted.


I hope you win the battle to save the camp because once it is gone its gone for good.

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