LONG LAKE – A New Jersey Boy Scout Council is selling the Sabattis Adventure Camp in Long Lake, but leaders of the Sabattis Group, an organization that supports the camp, say Scouts will be able to continue camping there.
The 1,000-acre camp on Bear Pond is a place where New Jersey Boy Scouts have been able to swim, hike and paddle for more than six decades. The camp is owned and operated by the Patriots’ Path Council, which supports approximately 11,000 Boy Scouts in five counties in New Jersey.
The Boy Scouts of America declared bankruptcy last year, an effort to continue to exist as they pay their settlements to tens of thousands of victims of sexual abuse across the United States In October, BSA reached a settlement of bankruptcy to pay $ 1.9 billion to over 82,000 people who were sexually abused while scouting.
The more than 250 BSA councils are pouring $ 600 million into the settlement, and nonprofit councils, like the Patriots’ Path Council, are selling assets to pay their share.
According to court documents, the Patriots’ Path Council is expected to contribute $ 3.7 million to the bankruptcy settlement, consisting of $ 1.8 million in cash and $ 1.9 million in property.
“Selling Sabattis was one of the few ways for the council to raise funds”, wrote the leaders of the Sabattis group.
Neither the Scout Council nor the Sabattis Group have disclosed the sale price of the Sabattis Adventure Camp. The property was valued at $ 1,717,400 by Hamilton County this year.
Representatives of the Sabattis group updated the Boy Scout community in a Facebook post saying the camp had been sold to another resident of Sabattis Road. “Seeking to expand their family camp. “
They said the contracts have been signed, the sale is expected to close in early 2022 and the new owners allow the Scouts to use the land for five years.
Under the terms of the sale agreement, PPC can use most of the camp over the next five years, the Sabattis Group said. This can be extended if the Boy Scouts and the buyer agree later. The Sabattis Group said the new owners would use some of the buildings for their own purposes, but “The main facilities we need to run the camp will remain under our control and available for our use. “
“Selling is a terrible thing, but the buyer is the best buyer possible; someone who loves the Adirondacks, loves the region and believes in scouting ”, they wrote.
The leaders of the Sabattis group said the new buyers of the property visited the camp last year.
“(They) were moved to tears by the Scout-led activity they witnessed”, The leaders of the Sabattis group wrote. “They are determined to keep scouting in Sabattis.”
They said the Sabattis group had $ 30,000 in the bank to spend on programming in the years to come.
In 2017, the PPC executive committee considered closing the camp, but after nearly 2,000 people signed a petition and donated more than $ 200,000 to the Sabattis group, the camp was saved. The Sabattis group used the money to construct new buildings, replace the camp’s electrical system, and hire a new camp director.
Now, Sabattis Group claims its camp is PPC’s best owned, with its largest team of active volunteers. They said Sabattis is the only camp where PPC scouts can camp like BSA founder Robert Baden-Powell intended – cook their own food and explore the wilderness.
“I am sure that in the future, as we lie in our tents listening to the noise of the freeway, we will remember the loons calling on the cleanest, largest and largest lake. clear from PPC “, they wrote.
The property was once the estate of eight-time Olympic medalist Charles Daniels.
“Most of the grounds occupied by the camp are the remains of a nine-hole golf course Daniels built for his wife,” according to scoutwiki.org. “He built the golf course to convince his wife to come with him. “
Today, the land includes a tree climbing course, mountain bike trails, canoe ramps and an archery range.
The settlement of the bankruptcy of the BSA has not yet been finalized.
The 82,000 victims of sexual abuse are now voting to approve this bankruptcy plan before the December 15 deadline. The plan has some support, but some advocates say the victim payment plan is not enough.
A committee of survivors estimated the actual damage at $ 100 billion.
According to the LA Times, the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice estimates that most claimants will receive between $ 3,500 and $ 2.7 million. But, lawyers argued that once survivors pay them for their representation, they will have little of their compensation left.
The leaders of the Sabattis group acknowledged that the Boy Scouts and former camp participants probably felt a lot of emotions when they heard about the camp sale, but asked them not to attack PPC staff.
“If you want to get really angry, get mad at the leaders who abused the trust of our Scouts decades ago; this is really the root cause of the whole situation ”, they wrote.
Sabattis Adventure Camp is different from the Sabattis Scout Reservation located on Lows Lake. The Sabattis Scout reservation is managed by the BSA Longhouse Council in Syracuse.