Camp Pouch to be sold?

The Greater New York Councils are serviced by three Scout Camps–Camp Alpine, which is right across the Hudson river in New Jersey, Ten Mile River Scout Camps–which is where our film was shot and the home of Camp Keowa–and Camp Pouch which is located on Staten Island. Staten Island has a great Scouting history and, on a per-capita basis, is probably the NYC borough with the strongest traditional Scouting program.  The TMR Museum, by the way, does an excellent job of documenting NYC Scouting history.

The New York City Boy Scouts have been hit dramatically by the economic crisis over the last few years. One option on the table to deal with the Council’s financial problems is to extract some money from Camp Pouch–by selling the camp outright our selling rights related to development of the property. I think everyone–including Staten Islanders, volunteers and the NYC Scouting professionals–would be very sorry to see Camp Pouch close. A dynamic group of community activists have rallied to save the camp and set up a website here and a Facebook page here.  As of this morning the Facebook page had 6,246 members which I find remarkable.

In my view the best long-term solution to the problems faced by the NYC Councils is to recruit more Scouts and volunteers–to fill up the camps with kids from the city who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to experience what Scout Camp has to offer.  I also recently heard an innovative idea to boost camp attendance from a long time Staten Island Scouter.  It is possible to get from Camp Pouch to Manhattan by public transport (the trip includes the Staten Island Ferry, of course).  Why not market the camp as a destination for Troops around the country to come and camp for a few days in a beautiful spot–and visit the greatest city in the world?

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