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another camp goes on the auction block

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"On September 6, 2012, the Executive Committee of the Sam Houston Area Council granted approval for a new Land Procurement Committee, chaired by Steve Strake and Stan Stanley, to look for a new Camp Strake location to house a new state-of-the-art Camp Strake for the 21st century Scout in a less urban setting within a 2-hour drive from downtown Houston. If and when we find an appropriate site, we are committed to the sale of the current site of Camp Strake, subject to an acceptable sale price, with the proceeds used to develop a new state-of-the-art Camp Strake and endow it for future maintenance and innovations. A new Land Disposition Committee was authorized to engage a marketing firm to explore the possibility of selling the current site of Camp Strake comprised of approximately 2,175 acres in Montgomery County, Texas.


The possible sale and development of a new Camp Strake could span up to three to five years. Prior to the sale of Camp Strake, a transition plan will address the need to continue to camp at the current site of Camp Strake while the new Camp Strake is being developed. Before entering any agreement to sell the current site or buy a new location, the Executive Committee or Board of Directors must approve the agreements based on criteria recommended by the Camping Visioning Committee.


Please see attached a memorandum from Chairman of the Board, Frank Tsuru, and President/Scout Executive, Tom Varnell, and a "Frequently Asked Questions" document that provides you detailed information regarding this decision. "



what a shame. the council spends no money on this camp, (something like over 5 million not spent on maintenance) it is run down like you would not believe, and then says because there has been a decrease in campers since 1998 -- (no duh, when the place is in disrepair, who wants to go), they want to sell it.


Granted, it is smack dap in the middle of a growing area and is likely very valuable, but, it could have been a diamond, instead, it is thrown out with the coal. Throwing away a little bit of history


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Dennis....I think the key is in a less Urban setting. Knowing nothing about the location....how urban is it?????



My old council sold my boyhood camp a few years ago....Camp Avery Hand in Lexington Ohio, I took my son up one weekend when we were home visiting my parents to look around and show him my camp I was heart broken....


That same SE went to Cleveland and sold Tinnerman Canoe base last year, not sure if it sold yet, but he closed it.


What worries me is they said a 21st century camp, What the heck does that mean????


I feel your pain, but did you utilize the camp they are selling????? I know you said it was a dump.

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It's sad to see "your" camp run down and on the chopping block. Make sure that 100% of proceeds from the sale of the property are encumbered to the development of the new camp. Don't let the money be used to pay the SE a bonus or any other such nonsense. Also, check out if perhaps the existing Cub World can be relocated to the portion of the overall site that has the most history.


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I've seen something similiar to what is being proposed.

Colonial Virginia Council had a camp in Williamsburg.

They wanted to sell it and use the proceeds to make a new camp in a more rural setting.

No doubt that the land was worth a lot of $$$

But with the proceeds, the bought and built Bayport SR, which seems to be topnotch.

I saw this from a distance.

Any scouters from CVC care to pipe in on their impressions of the deal?


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An urban setting is not desirable for a functioning summer camp, but does have other advantages. Probably the most valuable piece of real estate our council owns is Camp Herms in El Cerrito overlooking San Francisco Bay. Camp Herms was developed for a summer camp in the 1930's. I understand that it was used as a summer camp into the 1960's. In the meantime el Cerrito grew up around the camp. It is a great location for Webelos activities including summer day camp. It is a great facility for training, complete with a lodge and a recently modernized and expanded kitchen. I hope it never enters anybody's mind to sell it.

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We did use the camp, probably two times a year, but, as a camping facility, i.e. camp with the Webelos, Wedelos woods, and some times just because it is very close to us and easy to get to, and shooting sports are allowed.


But, with regards the urban setting, for those of you not in or around or familiar with Houston, Strake was originally logging and oil land, owned by the Strake family. As I understand the donation back when, it did have a covenant that it could not be sold. However, the Strake family sits on the board and has given the ok.


There are 2000 plus acres, some of which are classified as flood plain, but, a little earth movement and retention ponds/lakes would probably take care of that.


Strake is just north of the Woodlands. The Woodlands is a master planned, (what is probably considered) upper middle class community, that is currently having increasing home sales, and never really dropped into a negative sales range during the past several years. Plus, Exxon's new world campus, where about 10-12000 people will be working is about 15 minutes south of the Strake land. It is a gold mine. Put a golf course in the flood plain areas, build a gate around the entire community, and sell the lots for 100k plus, somebody makes a bunch of cash.


I get the summer camp problem being in the middle of things, but, once you were on the land, there was no indication of an urban setting because of the size of the land.


Summer camp has not been there for a couple decades I believe.


I had heard it is one of the busiest camps in the council.


Like others, I too wonder what a 21st century camp is. It will not be a summer camp as the council just spend its wad on another camp for its summer camp options.


But, back to the original thought--A camp that is wooded, in the middle of an urban setting, that is big enough to block out the noise, etc., certainly has a benefit.


And, the wastewater plant, should encompass about 35 acres. About 1.5% or so of the total land.

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Going to play Devil's advocate here, so please bear with me.


My old council sold their original camp in the 1970s due to urban development. Specifically homes and condos were being developed right up to the Scout camp property line, and despite folks knowing the camp was in existence prior to their land purchase they were complaining about noise and traffic. Eventually camp found 1600+ acres and created a new camp, selling it. Today no trace of the old camp is in existence, and the city overtook it.


Sadly I can see it happening to one of my local council camps. The lots around the camp are being sold, and the community is turning into a "commuter community" to Raleigh. there is already one gated mansion across the road from the entrance to the camp, and another in the process of being built.

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It's really sad to hear about another camp closing for any reason. That's why my council's camp isn't directly owned by the council, it's really just being run by it. A charitable trust in a nearby city owns it, and we keep acquiring nearby land so that we can maintain a wilderness setting.

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Camp Strake ... ah, brings back good memories when I was a Tenderfoot, circa 1977. Grand Lake was great! I can still remember the "orange" water that came out of those pipe! Talking about iron-fortified water. It was pitch black back then, when several young Tenderfoot (yours truly included) stood there in the middle of nowhere holding the bag while the older scouts chase "snipes" into them! aka ... the infamous "snipe hunt" that are now hazing! This is the same place where I attended my first Jamboree where my tentmate and I won second place in the "Cooking flapjack and whistle Dixie while eating flapjack contest!" I remember that it took a long time to get from Sharpstown area to Camp Strake! It was a long trip for us, going into the "wilderness!" (Deep sigh!)


But then you are correct, Dennis, it is run down. The problem is not strictly the run down condition. It is also what surrounding the camp. Urban sprawl has overtaken the camp's serenity. On the weekend, noises from the racetrack pierce the quiet wood. It sometimes lasts well into the night. Imagine They have cut down a lot of pines that were there once allowing the freeway noises to become more pronounced. They no longer can recruit summer camp staffs. Just imagine summer camp in Houston in July and August. This is why Camp Strake is no longer attractive to the local troops.


We live in Houston year round. When our troop does summer camp, our boys want to get away from the heat, the humidity, and the mosquitoes. They want to travel. 40 miles is only a stone throw away for them!

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