Scout survey: Majority OK with swap - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Scout survey: Majority OK with swap

Results will guide council's decision on Camp Easton

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Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:30 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

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."

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11 comments:

  • prparks75 posted at 8:16 am on Tue, Jan 24, 2012.

    prparks75 Posts: 1

    Survey? What Survey? I have been active with Scouts over the last five years as part of the counsel, popcorn sales, and as a den leader and I find it odd that I was never given the opportunity to participate in a survey. Judging from the previous posts that was probably intentional. It appears that this whole thing was designed by a very bias group who are manipulating the statistics to support their views. Those views are clearly very self-serving and I my opinion it's pretty obvious that greed is clouding the judgment of Mr. McCandless.

     
  • Disco posted at 2:46 pm on Mon, Jan 23, 2012.

    Disco Posts: 4

    I knew that this survey was a setup from the beginning... I have 3 registered scouts in my family, and out of all of us, I was the only one who could participate in the survey.

    As for survey invitations, I find it hard to believe that they sent out 8000 and received 800 responses. Dishonesty is bad... Dishonesty in scouting is unacceptable.

     
  • chouli posted at 6:17 pm on Sun, Jan 22, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1264

    gee, sounds like the Exec Council learned how to write a survey from the McEuen dreamteam!

    This is all so outta control. What a shame.

    I agree with "been there", don't trust Discovery even a little bit.

     
  • Marty posted at 8:11 am on Sun, Jan 22, 2012.

    Marty Posts: 8

    This is a farce some of us never new the survey was happening until it was over. It seems they were very selective about who they sent it to. If you were apposed as I was you did not get to vote. They must have already new my answer from the letter I sent to Mccandless. To bad that opinion was not expressed in the build up of the survey. How many of those who participated were really informed? How many had actually visited the new site? How many had their opinions formed by the wording of the survey at the discretion of those who would give away that expensive beach property? Was there any reference made to the Save Camp Easton website in the survey so that those apposed to the sale could be heard? Has anyone even thought to find out how much the current camp Easton is really worth in dollars and sense? Would you sell something your family loved for monetary gain? Obviously the current camp is worth a lot or we would not be getting this offer, or having this argument. THIS WAS A RIGGED SURVEY designed for a specific out come by a very biased and powerful group of our very own “Boy Scout Executives”.

     
  • spudman posted at 6:35 pm on Sat, Jan 21, 2012.

    spudman Posts: 7

    The decision was made way before this "survey" was taken.
    This “Survey” was completely biased and slanted to direct you towards their desired response. For example they asked if you thought 2.5 million dollars would benefit the Boy Scouts. Duh! What would anyone answer. They failed to mention that it would be paid out over 10 yrs. divided by 3 camps and spent on whatever else the council deemed necessary (like administration costs or the new district headquarters that has been on their wish list for years.) This money would come from a to be named L.L.C. set up by Gozzer with no assets. Good luck collecting if they decide to default.
    Another slanted question asks: 1.) Building a NEW camp on Lake Cd’A w/ New program OPPORTUNITIES and SERVING MORE boys in the area BUILDS on Mr Fitze’s legacy and FULLFILLS his desire for a camp for boys. or
    2.) Because of Mr. Fitze’s statement to the ex. board expressing his desire to have the property used in PERPETUITY as a camp for boys, the existing property MUST be used as a camp for boys and NO OTHER OPTIONS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.
    The first option is all positive and the second is all negative. This was typical of the whole “survey”
    Please go to the survey results website and look at the WRITTEN responses, not the ones that you were induced to make by this survey. By my estimation they are about 80% against the swap.

     
  • COG777 posted at 4:10 pm on Sat, Jan 21, 2012.

    COG777 Posts: 338

    I received some information and made an attempt to log on to the survey but it would not allow me. My daughter belongs to the Venture Crew. They asked for information I did not have to put into the form prior to allowing me to take the survey.

    Maybe the boy scouts without the counsel should put out their own survey with the people taking the survey listing which scouting camp they belong to. I think you would have a far more accurate account of what the scouts really want.

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:42 pm on Fri, Jan 20, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    There is only one thing worse than a lying deceitful developer and that is a lawyer that will represent them.

     
  • 5inPfs posted at 1:35 pm on Fri, Jan 20, 2012.

    5inPfs Posts: 651

    NO NO NO!!!!!

    I don't know how this could be a legitimate survey when nobody in OUR scout troops (5 troops or combined cub and boy scout troops) received this "survey" and every single scout family I have talked to has been vehemently AGAINST the swap. That would be about 200 families.

    804 responses out of 8000 surveys sent? Somebody isn't telling the whole truth here.

     
  • been there posted at 10:15 am on Fri, Jan 20, 2012.

    been there Posts: 27

    DO NOT rely on Discovery's word to do anything. After they have control, they will do what they want, "because we can" and tell you to sue them if you don't like it.

     
  • spudman1 posted at 8:18 am on Fri, Jan 20, 2012.

    spudman1 Posts: 438

    Only ten percent of the folks surveyed responded regarding the most critical issue the local Scouts have ever had before them? Questions on this survey were asked in a way that got the answers the Council wanted to justify their agenda.
    There is no deal presently on the table to purchase the land at Windy bay from anyone. So now what?

     
  • chouli posted at 8:00 am on Fri, Jan 20, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1264

    the video was a wonderful piece of propaganda slanted to selling off the camp easton property. with that being said, the scouts could get so much more from discovery for the camp easton property.

    require way more than a 2.5 million endowment fund...seriosly. you are giving up more than 100 acres in property trade with this deal. 2.5 million is chump change to these discovery folks. i'm sure they are laughing about how easy they are getting off the hook on this tremendously valuable property they are salivating all over to aquire! once they carve up the former camp easton, how much do you think they'll sell one lot for on this prime chunk of real estate? more than a million?? most likely.

    if the scouts are so bent on selling off camp easton and upgrading to the new location, make it profitable for the scouts...not discovery. more endowment fund $ and everything you can dream of build up front so they can't later go back on the deal. just a thought...

     
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