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Camp Richard (Nantucket Island, Mass) being sold to developers

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Update

September 26, 2015

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/09/26/wilderness-refuge-nantucket-focus-dispute-between-rival-boy-scout-groups/PDQIHUccm0vl4GSJy97CBI/story.html

 

"In the coming weeks, a judge on Cape Cod will decide whether to allow a lawsuit to proceed that would allow the Scouts organization on Cape Cod to sell nearly a third of the 100-acre tract known as Camp Richard.

...

The council’s publicly available financial statements show the group has had significant expenses and losses in recent years, though it has a healthy endowment.

 

The effort to sell the land comes as Boy Scout membership has plummeted in recent years, making it the latest example of local councils around the country selling tens of millions of dollars worth of property received as gifts.

 

Officials from the Boy Scouts of America, which has lost nearly a third of its members since 2000, declined to comment on the potential sale on Nantucket or why so many councils have sold their land.

...

MacKinnon, the land developer, who said he would pay at least $5 million (up from his earlier 3.5 million offer...yeah for affordable housing?) for the (30 acre) property , argues that the sale would benefit the Boy Scouts on Nantucket. He said that his plans would leave two-thirds of the land untouched and allow the campground to continue operating. He also pointed out that the Scouts use only a small portion of the land, where they have five campgrounds, a sprawling lodge, and bathing facilities.

...

The Nantucket Civic League provided the property to Boy Scouts on the island in several installments starting in the 1950s. The deed required the land be used for Scout activities; if that changed, the group would be obliged to return it to the Civic League.

 

In court documents, the Cape Cod council argued that it is the rightful owner because the organization’s bylaws prohibit a subsidiary district, such as Nantucket’s, from owning land. The Cape Cod group also argued that the deed restrictions have expired.

 

Lawyers for the Nantucket Boy Scouts and the Civic League, which supports the district committee, argue that the deed restrictions haven’t expired because state law doesn’t impose time limits when land is used for charitable purposes. They also say the land was expressly given to the Scouts on Nantucket — not the Cape Cod council, which didn’t become their parent group until decades later. "

 

Hope the judge does right for scouts and Nantucket.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Hurray!  Scouts and Nantucket 1, Cape Cod and Islands Council and developer 0

 

(Oct. 13, 2015) A Superior Court judge has ruled that deed restrictions intended to ensure Nantucket's Camp Richard remain a "campsite for the scouts of Nantucket" are valid, and the property must be transferred back to its original owner, the Nantucket Civic League, if it is used for any other purpose.

 

The ruling, handed down last week by Judge Gary Nickerson, effectively ends a bid by the Cape Cod & Islands Council of the Boys Scouts of America to sell a portion of the 100-acre property off Lovers Lane to a private developer, Atlantic Development of Hingham, Mass., which has proposed a sizable 40B affordable-housing project on an adjacent property.

 

According to the ruling, ownership of the property remains with the off-island council, not the on-island Camp Richard Campers Association, but under the terms of 1955, 1971 and 1972 deed restrictions, it can only be used as a camp for island scouts.

 

http://www.ack.net/CampRichardruling101515.html

Edited by RememberSchiff

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That is indeed good news. I hope that the Council leadership will now do everyone the favor of resigning en masse.

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I am very happy to hear that the Judge in this case did the right thing. Now we just have to hope that the CC&I Council does the right thing as well. I was at Camp Richard for the first time just a few months after the Blizzard of 78 as a Scout, and then again in June of 2014 as an ASM with my son's Troop. It is a beautiful place to spend a few nights, and I hope that we return there soon.

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"Follow the money..."

http://www.n-magazine.com/scouts-honor/

 

"...Other calls and pleas for help to well-connected, senior members of the Boy Scouts of America organization about Camp Richard went unheeded. But that’s probably because this type of thing is happening all over the country. As Nantucket’s Boy Scout leaders researched their predicament, they quickly learned that Camp Richard was just the latest example of the Boy Scouts of America selling off land previously donated to the organization for big bucks.

 

A 2009 investigation by Hearst Newspapers found that regional Boy Scout councils all over the U.S. had “reaped tens of millions of dollars from selling decades-old campgrounds and other properties — including some previously given to them with the intention they be used for outdoor recreation…â€

 

Mike Reilly is the Cape Cod Council’s “Scout Executive†who receives $119,644 in annual compensation according to the group’s most recent non-profit tax filing with the IRS. Reilly himself answered the phone when I called the Council’s Yarmouthport headquarters last month. He politely referred all questions to Robert Chamberlain, an attorney and one of the Council’s directors. Chamberlain, whose law firm is representing the Council in the Camp Richard case, never returned the voicemail I left for him. But their side of the story has emerged in court filings and affidavits..."

 

I wonder what the legal costs were for Cape Cod Council in this matter.  :mad: 

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I support you all in pushing to keep the camp but OTOH, you all should double your efforts to bring in more funding or increase the use of the camp.

 

Any chance you could encourage other Scout groups to camp there?

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Well that's a problem - who do you pay for a reservation!!!

 

Cape Cod & Islands Council, which does NOT own the camp but will gladly take your money. Many units and mine included are reluctant to pay money to this rogue council.

https://www.scoutscapecod.org/camp/camp-richard.html

 

OR

The Camp Richard's Camper's Association on Nantucket, whose website appears offline

www.camprichard.org/

 

OR
Nantucket Civic League, the owners

 

Note entertaining article on page 3 about court proceedings...

http://www.nantucketcivicleague.org/assets/ncl-notes-summer-2015.pdf

 

First, the Judge asked who paid the staff at the Camp.

 

Flum-moxed, Cape Cod (Council) Inc.’s lawyer had no answer.

 

The Nantucket District’s lawyer stood up and said there were few staff costs

because Nantucket volunteers do staff work, but any payments were made by the Nantucket District through the Camp Richards Campers Association
 

Next, the judge asked who paid for insurance for the Camp operation. Cape Cod Inc.’s lawyer said the Camp was covered by Cape Cod’s Inc.’s blanket policy. The lawyer for the Nantucket District again rose to correct him, and Cape Cod Inc.’s lawyer added sheepishly that the Nantucket District had bought and paid for its own insurance until it was told the Camp was covered by the blanket policy, whereupon the Nantucket District instead made a “donation†to Cape Cod Inc. in an amount equal to the previous insurance payment. So much for “covered†and “bought and paid for.

 

Finally, the Judge inquired as to what exactly Cape Cod Inc. had done over the years to rein in the “out of control†“rogue†Nantucket District. Cape Cod Inc.’s lawyer answered that the policy was “to not confront†the Nantucket District. At this statement, the eyes of Judge Nickerson could be seen to roll very slightly toward the top of his head.

 

The Nantucket District lawyer then pointed out that Cape Cod’s Inc.’s policy “to not confront†the Nantucket District was apparently so strong that no one from Cape Cod Inc. ever bothered to formally notify the Nantucket District that it had met its demise, been dissolved by Cape Cod Inc. and had long ago simply ceased to exist….

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I'm pretty sure our boys would gladly camp there when we get the opportunity to pay the RIGHTFUL owners.  

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Just curious, but I suspect there are not many units on the island. I further suspect that the ferry to get there is rather pricey, no? So any event held there would be quite $$$ for a scout. I can see summer camp, but a weekend camp out there would be big $$$ compared to other places on the mainland.

 

Add to all that the pressure to sell to a developer for profit and you can see how they'd be upside down on that property.

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My son's Troop makes a trip out there every 2 or 3 years. The fare for the ferry isn't bad if you are only taking bikes. We were last there in June of 2014. We sent the gear as cargo, and had a couple of minivan taxis cart it to the camp for us while we rode our bikes. I wasn't in on any of the planning- other than my wife and I being the grubmasters for the adults, so I don't know who we paid for the use of the camp. I don't believe that they run a regular summer camp program, but don't quote me on that.

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Regardless of who "owns" the camp,  it takes a large stretch for most Scout  councils to think about and promote the use of Scout camps and reservations  to non Scout outfits.  School District "Outdoor Education" programs,  college ecology studies,  movie sets(!),  private ceremonies and conferences,  etc.

We have a privately endowed park nearby, Sugarloaf Mountain, (Stronghold Foundation) that is open to the public for picnics and hikes. On weekends, when it gets busy, they charge a nominal admission.  There is always a Guard, and a Patrol that keeps an eye on things and they are not shy about calling the police for troubles.   Scouts use it for rock climbing training and Philmont training. They have an active volunteer group that runs nature study classes and ecology activities.

 

Nantucket?  Where would one go for a more natural beach area?   Could they charge an admission and keep an eye on things?   If it was not the flash and bling of the super touristy areas, I bet they could run it like a State Park and make it go when it was not a Scout Camp.   Wood Badge?  OA Ordeals?  Beach camping?   Reservations would be months, nay, years in advance....

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Update:

Dec 29, 2017:

Two years ago, a Superior Court judge effectively ended attempts by a Hingham developer to buy Camp Richard, the Nantucket property used by generations of Boy Scouts for nature hikes, overnight excursions and campfires.

Judge Gary Nickerson ruled that the 100 acres of open space between Lovers Lane and Fairgrounds Road should forever remain a “campsite for the scouts of Nantucket,” and must be transferred back to its original owner, the Nantucket Civic League, if it is used for any other purpose. The Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which controlled the property, had previously agreed to sell up to 30 acres to Atlantic Development for $5 million or more.

Citing 1955, 1971 and 1972 deed restrictions, the property can only be used for scouting purposes, Nickerson said. But he also ruled – without any evidentiary hearings – that ownership of the property was to remain in a trust controlled by the off-island council, which didn’t sit very well with the island-based Camp Richard Campers Association, which has been running the camp for decades, the Nantucket Civic League and the Nantucket Land Council, which joined in the fight to save the camp.

They (Camp Richard Campers Association, the Nantucket Civic League and the Nantucket Land Council) eventually appealed Nickerson’s ruling, which was heard earlier this month by a three-judge panel in Boston.

http://www.ack.net/news/20171229/camp-richard-appeal-heard

Jan 25, 2018:

The island organization (Camp Richard Campers Association) that has run the Camp Richard Boy Scout camp for decades believes it should be the legal owner of the 100-acre property between Lovers Lane and Fairgrounds Road.

It will now have another chance to make that point, after the state appeals court last week overturned a ruling granting ownership to an off-island scouting group, the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The debate stems from an agreement two years ago by the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America to sell a portion of the property to Hingham-based Atlantic Development for $5 million, and local efforts – backed by the Nantucket Civic League (former owner of the property) and the Nantucket Land Council – to bar the sale.

http://www.ack.net/news/20180125/nantucket-scouts-win-one-in-camp-richard-case

Edited by RememberSchiff
  • Upvote 3

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Update May 24, 2018:

Final arguments in the multiyear dispute over ownership of the Camp Richard Scout camp wrapped up in Barnstable Superior court Tuesday, with a decision on who owns the island property expected to be handed down by the end of June, when the presiding judge is set to retire.

The debate stems from the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s agreement four years ago to sell a portion of the property to Hingham-based Atlantic Development for $5 million, and efforts by local scouting groups – backed by the Nantucket Civic League (former owner of the property) and the Nantucket Land Council – to bar thesale.

Last year, Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson ruled that Camp Richard should forever remain a “campsite for the scouts of Nantucket,” and must be transferred back to the Civic League if used for any other purpose. He also determined – without any evidentiary hearings – that ownership of the property was to remain in a trust controlled by the off-island council, in part because it was affiliated with the national Boy Scouts of America and the Camp Richard Campers Association, the local organization, was not.

http://www.ack.net/news/20180524/ownership-decision-of-camp-richard-due-end-of-june

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Posted (edited)

Update: July 17, 2018

 The five-year legal battle over control of the 100-acre Camp Richard Scout property on Nantucket has ended, with Judge Gary Nickerson ruling this week that an island scouting group is the owner of the property. :D

“This is an amazing win for the people who put so many years of hard work into the camp and to all Nantucketers for years to come,” said Nantucket Land Council executive director Cormac Collier, whose organization assisted the Camp Richard Campers Association in fighting to retain ownership of the camp.

The legal battle stemmed from the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s agreement five years ago to sell a portion of the property to Hingham-based Atlantic Development for $5 million :mad:, and efforts by island scouting groups – backed by the Nantucket Civic League (former owner of the property) and the Nantucket Land Council – to bar the sale :).

Last year, Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson ruled that Camp Richard should forever remain a “campsite for the scouts of Nantucket,” and must be transferred back to the Civic League if used for any other purpose. He also determined – without any evidentiary hearings – that ownership of the property was to remain in a trust controlled by the off-island council, in part because it was affiliated with the national Boy Scouts of America and the Camp Richard Campers Association, the local organization, was not.

In January, a three-judge appeals-court panel remanded the ownership question back to Superior Court after ruling that Nickerson’s decision was made “without affording the parties an opportunity to present evidence bearing on the question of the appropriate trustee. That was error.”

Scout Salute to those good scouts who fought and saved Camp Richard for future scouts!

More at link below:

http://www.ack.net/news/20180717/judge-rules-camp-richard-belongs-to-nantucket-scout-group

Edited by RememberSchiff

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