Why the government should buy Boy Scout camps

Many of these camps are almost pristine, ecologically valuable parcels, with waterfront and forested land. While local governments and nonprofits are trying to save some of the camps, others are being sold and converted to other uses.



September 14, 2022 - 3:11 PM

New Mexico’s Philmont Scout Ranch includes Baldy Mountain, the highest peak in the Cimarron Range. The Boy Scout ranch covers more than 140,000 acres. Commons.wikimedia.org

The Inflation Reduction Act signed into law last month includes billions of dollars for conservation and forestry. Let me suggest a way to spend some of it: Buy Boy Scout camps. Get them while supplies last.

The Boy Scouts of America organization is, as the cops say, jammed up. The BSA is in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, where this past week it gained approval for a $2.46 billion plan to settle more than 82,000 claims of child sexual abuse spanning decades.

The BSA’s approximately 250 local councils will be on the hook for more than $500 million in cash or land, which is why many of them have sold, or announced they are selling, their camps.

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