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NY BSA Camp Portaferry Sold to Developer

Here is an article from June about camp being sold in New York’s St Lawrence County by the Longhouse Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The 388 acre Camp Portaferry has been closed since 2006 and was being sold to a developer for $487,500 that plans to build residential houses on approximately 7 acre lots.

The article quotes Longhouse Council’s Chief Executive Officer Rick Avery : “No one likes to sell a Scout camp. There are always great memories and strong emotional attachments to such properties.”

The merger of the Seaway Council and Hiawatha Council in 1999 to form The Long House Council left the local scouting group with “an abundance of facilities and Camp Portaferry was the least used,” Avery said.

The developer said the camp was underutilized and operating at a financial loss in the article.  CEO Avery said that before Camp Portaferry was closed in 2006, about 170 scouts attended the camp’s summer camp which was about 40 boys too from their annual goal. Forty boys would be about 0.57% of the Council’s 7000 registered Scouts.

The proceeds from the property sale was to be used to help reduce the new Council’s $1.2M in debt.

Read the entire article at http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/06/boy_scouts_sell_388-acre_st_la.html

There is also an interesting history of Portaferry on the Council’s website. “Originally part of the great McComb’s Purchase, many relics have been found, the most recent being two dugout canoes. In this land, moccasined feet walked, followed by the French settlers. Many moved on. One of the men who stayed was from Ireland. He acquired the land around the lake and named it Portaferry after a town in Northern Ireland located between Lake Strangford and the Irish Sea. Thus, our camp was named Camp Portaferry.

In 1921, the Jefferson-Lewis Council operated Kamp Karmargo at Lake Bonaparte. Due to an expanding scouting program, it was thought that larger and more adequate facilities were needed. On January 18, 1943, the land now known as Camp Portaferry was visited and an option to purchase was made. In May 1943 members of the Executive Board visited the area and about 200 acres was purchased.”

Read the whole history at http://cnyscouts.org/history/camp_portaferry_history.asp

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