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Scout group organizes to oppose camp swap

Thu., Sept. 15, 2011

New nonprofit seeks control of lake property

A group of North Idaho Boy Scout families and volunteers have formed a nonprofit group to prevent the sale of Camp Easton, a popular Boy Scout camping area on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

They call the nonprofit Camp Easton Forever Inc., and registered with Idaho’s secretary of state.

Its goals include taking control of the summer camp from the Spokane-based Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts of America and creating a capital fund to pay for camp improvements to Camp Easton, built in 1929.

Coeur d’Alene attorney Jeff Crandall, who is also a Scout master, said moving control of the camp back to an Idaho Scout council would occur only if approved by the national Boy Scouts council.

“That will not be something easy to do,” Crandall said.

The group opposes a possible sale and swap with Discovery Land Co., an Arizona developer, that is offering to buy Camp Easton and convert the land to residential lakefront properties. It would swap that land for 270 acres on the west shore of the lake, along Sunup Bay.

The council’s board of directors has not voted on the proposal, saying it’s still evaluating the options.

The proposed swap has inflamed opposition from many Scout backers, who say the proposed new site is unsuitable for a camp. Backers of the swap say the deal would create a newer, safer and more modern Boy Scout camp.

“It’s disappointing that they have begun that process when no action has been taken and no decision has been made about selling Camp Easton,” said Tim McCandless, CEO of the Inland Northwest Council.

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