As part of our overall strategy to move our headquarters into a unified new service center at a renovated original dining hall at Camp Tuckahoe, we previously shared our plans to sell both the Mechanicsburg and York service centers, with the York office going up for sale first.
We wanted to share the news that we have entered into a sales agreement to sell the York office to a real estate holding company. We can’t yet pinpoint an exact date when we will discontinue operations in York, but we anticipate occupying the building for the next few months. We will certainly keep everyone updated on the progress of the sale and provide as much notice as possible regarding our plans to relocate our entire council staff at the Mechanicsburg Service Center temporarily.
The York Scout Shop will close when the Council moves out of the York Service Center. Again, we will provide as much notice as possible for the York Scout Shop’s closure. The Mechanicsburg Scout Shop will continue its regular operation until we move into the new service center following the renovation of the original dining hall at Tuckahoe.
Preparations for the renovations at our new service center continue to progress, with representatives of the Council’s Executive Board meeting with potential general contractors to establish a budget for the new service center and select the general contractor to perform the work.
We also anticipate making progress soon with our divestment of a 916-acre parcel of “buffer acreage” to the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy to preserve the land being sold, with no possibility of future development encroaching on the parts of Tuckahoe we actively use while unlocking its financial value for Scouting’s use, with passive recreational access for the public to hike, bike, or perhaps hunt. The process of surveying all of Tuckahoe was put on hold for the summer, as the thick understory in the woods made it impossible for the surveyors to continue their work.
As you might guess, all these moving parts make for a complicated challenge, especially when it comes to the timing of when things will happen. From a cash flow perspective, when construction begins depends on when these assets are sold. 2024 will be a busy and eventful year for our Council.
The more time I spend working on the new service center, talking with our architect and potential contractors, the more excited I get. I’m excited about repurposing that original dining hall and the memories it holds for so many generations of Scouts and Scouters. It’s going to be a great base of operations for our Council.
The last few years have been especially challenging for Scouting, not just here in our council but across the Boy Scouts of America. Change is always challenging, as most people like things to stay as they are. Our Board is always focused on strengthening our Council and supporting our local Scouting groups and the youth members they serve. We know that our camps are especially critical in that effort. Our current financial situation is genuine, and for our council to thrive, we need to implement these plans successfully. Our strategies are sound, allowing our council to address our economic reality while repositioning our Council for a bright future.
Yours in Scouting,
Scout Executive & CEO