We all agree that it is a sad day to see the fine institution that is the Boy Scouts in the difficult position of choosing to sell Deer Lake. Their decreased membership, their ongoing operations overhead and their legal costs and penalties for the bad behavior of a few leaders decades ago, will be a loss to the young Scouts for the future. I recognize the difficult situation they are in, and acknowledge the good faith efforts made by the Yankee Council and all others involved in this transaction, including Fortitude Capital, Pathfinders, the Trust for Public Land and others. They are working to arrive at an agreement that provides the best outcome. But in the final analysis, the Boy Scouts need at least a sum equal to that offered by Fortitude Capital.  They live in the real world and have employees’ payroll obligations to meet and bills to pay too.
Then, in comes Senator Dick Blumenthal. He stood on the campgrounds rallying for environmentalism and blasted the Boy Scouts’ tentative agreement with Fortitude Capital as “morally and ethically wrong.” Listen, Senator: the Boy Scouts put out a Public Notice of their intent to sell, and we still live in a country where property laws matter. Perhaps while campaigning that this cause matters to you, and I have every belief that it does, you could do something to help the Boy Scouts raise the money they need. Only then could you claim the moral high ground.  Even then… it’s not the moral high-ground, it’s just beating a fair-market offer in a commercial transaction.  Because right now, from where I sit—- Margaret Streicker is the one showing up to get a job done.
I live close to the camp that has provided so much exposure to nature and its life experiences for so many. I have the highest praise for the Yankee Council, for Margaret Streicker’s Fortitude Capital, and for the other entities working to preserve this space and to sustain the Boy Scouts. Let’s pray that a suitable outcome is achieved.
Dennis Crowe