The results are in, and a decision not far behind.
After the Inland Northwest Council's survey about what folks would like to see for the future of a historic Boy Scouts camp closed this weekend, the results were posted online on Thursday.
The 804 responses, which include 140 pages of written suggestions and comments, will be reviewed by the INC executive board, said Scout Executive Tim McCandless, which will meet next month to decide whether to proceed with a proposed land swap for the Camp Easton property at Gotham Bay.
"That's the goal," McCandless said. "Our board really wanted to know what our constituents felt, and they felt very strongly that they should not make a decision, despite all the information we had, prior to the survey."
McCandless said the survey responses will be given a great deal of weight in choosing whether to accept developer Discovery Land Company's offer to build a whole new camp at Sunup Bay, as well as provide a $2.5 million endowment fund, in exchange for acquiring the current Camp Easton property.
"(The survey) is really a final, major piece we were looking for to assist in the decision making process," he said.
The written results are posted online at www.nwscouts.org under Council Camps, as well as a 52-page report replete with charts and graphs mapping out the response percentages.
"We've provided every comment made, with no editing of any kind," McCandless said. "We wanted to put it out there, and let people read it for themselves."
To the survey's chief question, asking whether folks want the INC board to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with Discovery and give up the current property for a new camp, 61 percent were in favor and 39 percent opposed.
"In terms of approval or disapproval of the proposal, that's probably the key question," McCandless noted.
As to the top factors that should be weighed in the decision, survey responders were most concerned about Discovery Land Company's ability and likelihood to complete all terms of the proposal.
Other high priorities were having year-round facilities and eliminating the camp's current division by a highway.
One survey question asked how likely folks think it would be to raise $9.5 million for Camp Easton in one year. Only 7 percent thought it very likely.
The daunting figure, McCandless said, includes the total $7.2 million cost of possible long-term and improvement projects for the current camp, like a pedestrian tunnel beneath the highway, a dining hall extension, winterized cabins and an education center.
Also added in is the amount that Discovery has offered to pay as an endowment for the swap.
"Really the purpose of that (question) was, a lot of people have asked us, 'OK, you've got this proposal for a brand new camp, what would it take to do everything to Camp Easton up to that same level?'" McCandless said. "The ballpark is $9.5 million, including the endowment."
That doesn't mean the current camp needs or will have all those improvements, he added.
"We can choose what we would want," he said.
The survey also asked folks to rate features of the proposed Sunup site. Although most labeled the gravel-instead-of-sandy beach as "problematic," many favored the length of the 3,500-foot waterfront and that there is no highway dividing the site.
Responders were also asked to list new programs they would like to see, either at the current camp or the new site. Answers varied, including mountain biking, an astronomy area, an equine program, aviation, scuba, a Lego camp and zip line.
The INC wanted ideas to pursue at whatever location the scouts use, McCandless said.
"The survey was very helpful in that whichever way we go, to guide our decisions moving forward," he said.
Survey invitations had been sent to more than 8,000 families, volunteers, donors and alumni, making the response rate about on par with American voter turnout.
Some of the written comments from scout leaders and scouts plead to stay at the nearly 90-year-old camp, lauding tradition and questioning Discovery's trustworthiness. Others praise the idea of a new camp with better infrastructure, and call the land swap a rare opportunity.
McCandless said he is grateful the INC board will have so much to consider.
"I'm just pleased we've gotten all this input," he said. "Now we've had a valid opportunity for everyone to provide their say."