Throughout 2022, we’ve shared information with our Scouting family about our efforts in concert with the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy to preserve “buffer acreage” at Camp Tuckahoe – parts of the property that we don’t actively use for camping and programming but serve as natural wilderness areas and as a buffer against development encroaching on those areas of Tuckahoe we actively use.
Today, we want to provide everyone with updated information on the progress of this effort. In September, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced a $1.17 million grant to the Central PA Conservancy toward their potential purchase of 916 acres at Tuckahoe (the camp is approximately 1,300 acres). The appraised market value of this acreage is $2.29 million.
The Central PA Conservancy has recently received two additional public funding commitments – from York County ($152,000) and Cumberland County ($955,500), bringing the total funding raised thus far to $2,277,500, with the Conservancy expressing a high degree of confidence that the remaining amount needed to fund the project fully will be achieved in the near future.
While these three grants are a significant step toward the potential sale of this acreage, our Executive Board has not yet made a final decision, but the time for the decision to be made is drawing near.
So, what does this mean for future operations at Tuckahoe?
As we’ve said throughout this process, we will be able to operate Tuckahoe precisely as we do now. We plan to continue operating Camp Tuckahoe for a long time. Should this proposed sale occur, we will protect the natural wilderness area surrounding Tuckahoe that provides a buffer against the encroachment of civilization while, at the same time, redirecting the financial value of this “buffer acreage” to support our core programs to serve youth. Tuckahoe will continue to look as it does today for our current and future campers.
So, what happens once the project is fully funded?
Assuming the Council’s Executive Board decides to proceed with the sale, that’s not quite the end of the process. The Conservancy will still need to arrange for the divestment area to be surveyed, deeds verified, road access confirmed with local officials, and resolve any other potential issues that might arise during this due diligence phase of the project. But with the two most recent grants from Cumberland and York Counties now committed, things have moved along significantly.
Since our Council has already completed its $2.7 million contribution toward the victims’ settlement trust in resolving the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy, the proceeds from any potential sale would help us replenish our financial reserves that were depleted in making that payment, including an endowment for our camps.
We know that our camps are near and dear in the hearts of the New Birth of Freedom Council Scouting family, and that’s why we want to make sure we are sharing clear and accurate information regarding where things stand and provide clarity on our Executive’s Board’s thinking on this project and any other initiatives we’ll be considering.
Yours in Scouting,
Scout Executive & CEO