February 16, 2012 in Business

Scouts board OKs swap of Camp Easton land

New committee will negotiate exchange
By The Spokesman-Review

An eight-person Inland Northwest Council Boy Scouts foundation board Wednesday voted to move forward with the sale of Camp Easton in exchange for a new camp on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

That vote follows a vote last week by the council’s executive board to do the same.

Boy Scouts have used Camp Easton, on the east shore of the lake, for more than 80 years. Plans were announced last year to sell that camp to an Arizona-based developer, provided the company can build a modern, well-designed replacement camp at Sunup Bay, on the lake’s west side.

Some Scout supporters, families and volunteers have opposed the sale and swap, saying they regard the deal as unlikely to provide a camp with the features and attractions of Camp Easton. In addition, some landowners near Camp Easton have said they don’t want the developer, Discovery Land Co., to transform the 380 acres on the east side of the lake into a gated community.

Those opposing the sale have filed a suit in Coeur d’Alene to stop the Spokane-based council from proceeding.

Boy Scouts Council Executive Tim McCandless said the next step will be naming a six-member committee to meet with Discovery to negotiate a purchase and sale agreement. Discovery has said it’s ready to buy the Sunup Bay property and build a new camp.

Scout board members have said they would only approve the final sale if all the terms of the deal are satisfactory and they’re assured that the outcome will be a modern camp that meets the needs of Scout groups.

Board members have said they’ve struggled to create an endowment that can help maintain Camp Easton’s facilities. The Discovery deal, they point out, will create such a fund for the new camp.

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