The Boy Scouts of America Leatherstocking Council announced this week what it calls an “extremely difficult and sad decision” to sell its historic Camp Henderson Scout Reservation amid declining membership and the Council’s significant required contribution to the national Sexual Abuse Compensation Fund.
The Camp, on the shore of Crumhorn Lake off Otsego County Route 35 in the Maryland, has hosted scouts for dozens of years. Ray Eschenbach, Leatherstocking Council Scout Director, told The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta on March 15 the decision was “truly heartwrenching.”
“It is with a heavy heart that this decision had to be made,” Mr. Eschenbach said. “Generations of Scouts have cherished memories of summers on the lake. Hundreds of volunteers, donors, and community organizations have poured their time, money, and Scout spirit into making Camp Henderson a beautiful place.”
“We wish there were another way,” he said. “We know the true legacy of any camp is the countless memories that were made there.”
“We are trying to be as sustainable as possible to keep the program alive all while addressing the needs of abuse survivors,” Mr. Esenbach said.
“As the National, BSA financial restructuring (Chapter 11) plans began to conclude, it became obvious the Council would need to contribute a significant portion of its endowment to the settlement,” Mr. Eschenbach said. “A properties evaluation committee was formed in August to look at all the Council’s properties to measure long-term viability, attendance, needed maintenance, operating costs, and ability to continue resident camping operations.”