Camp Henderson Update 2022
Camp Henderson Property Update
As a result of the national bankruptcy case, the Leatherstocking Council will be selling the Camp
Henderson Scout Reservation to help offset what it must pay as part of the proposed multi-billion dollar national settlement with abuse survivors. This page outlines some of the reasoning
and rationale for this extremely difficult and sad decision.
When it became obvious that the Council would have to contribute a significant amount of its
endowment to the settlement, Council leadership initiated a study of the continued viability of
its properties. The properties evaluation committee was asked to evaluate the properties
sustainability, contribution to the Scouting program and then make a recommendation as to
their continued operation.
The result of the evaluation was to recommend to the Board that Camp Henderson be sold. The motion was made and passed by the Board on February 24 th.Rationale for selling Camp Henderson vs. Camp Kingsley This was an incredibly difficult decision based on many factors.
Below are the major contributors to the decision.
1. Camp Henderson was denied permission to operate summer resident camp: In the Fall,
the Council filed an “Intent to Operate” request for both summer camps. This is required to operate a summer camp. Camp Henderson was denied and this means that the use of Henderson will be very limited. National's reasons for the denial had to do with attendance, camping weeks offered, financial viability, and needed maintenance. Once a denial is issued, it is extremely difficult to become re-instated.
2. Camp Henderson requires approximately 10 times the needed maintenance improvements to maintain national standards than Camp Kingsley does.
3. Currently, Camp Henderson has ongoing and unresolved dining hall issues that make it inoperable.
4. The Council does not have enough money, especially given the Chapter 11 contribution, to compete with other Scouts, BSA camps like Massawepie or Sabbattis. Camp Kingsley needs far less funding to become THE destination cub scout camp.
5. Kingsley is used more year-round, has consistent rentals, and costs the Council less to operate.
6. A large percentage of Leatherstocking Council units already go out of Council for summer resident camp at Tuscarora, Sabattis or Massawepie
7. Camp Henderson has a higher market value, and with the proceeds going into the program endowment, the annual draw will contribute significantly more to the Scouting program than the sale of Camp Kingsley.
Frequently asked Questions
Q: Why not sell ALL of our camps?
A: In addition to Henderson, the Council already approved the sale of Cedarlands Scout Reservation. The Council still requires at least one Scouting facility to carry out localized Scouting events. Kingsley can be used for Webelos Woods and OA events etc.… Also, due to COVID regulations, it is hard to find alternate available places. However, given the metrics and reasons for the denial to operate at Henderson, the Council will now be carefully monitoring all our properties on an annual basis to determine long-term viability.
Q: Camping isn’t about making money. Can’t the Council subsidize camping out of our large endowment?
A: The decision to sell Camp Henderson is not just based on making a profit. Financial viability is indeed a key factor, but the other factors such as poor camp attendance, camp condition, and the denial to operate played a much larger part.
Q: Why not make a substantial investment in Henderson to turn it around?
A: Before investing in Henderson to help it to compete and attract more Scouts, we would first have to pay off the outstanding dining hall debt and address the large investment required for the extensive needed maintenance. That’s before we even begin to improve Henderson. Just not enough money. Camp Kingsley has no debt and only needs one-tenth of the funding for needed maintenance.
Q: Can we have Cubs and Scouts, BSA go to the same camp?
A: For a camp to get national camp accreditation you must run 4 weeks of Scouts, BSA camp, and 3 weeks of Cub Scout camp, 1 week of mandatory staff training, and half a week to tear down. We just don’t have the time or the staff to do it at one camp. Also, after spending 4 years at Cub camp, Scouts want to go someplace else for Scouts, BSA Summer Camp since they are often bored with that camp by that time.
Q: Are we out of the Scouts, BSA camping program?
A: No. We still plan on running Scouts, BSA events like 3-day mini-camps at Camp Kingsley so Scouts can work on required outdoor and Eagle-required merit badges.