Friday, November 5, 2021

Hard Lesson: Silence is Not the Better Part of Valor:
Greater Niagara Frontier Scout Council Plans on Selling Camp Schoellkopf

"Our Cowlesville Boy Scout Camp in Wyoming County," said one former First Class Scout from the late 1950's, who wishes to remain anonymous, "is among the latest to be put up for sale." This is a  proposal for a bankruptcy and sex abuse settlement. The pending settlement, currently being voted on this Fall by the claimants, is a result of numerous sex abuse claims against the organization — claims that total $1.9 billion nationwide.

Greater Niagara Frontier Council last week in a letter to members said it would be selling Camp Schoellkopf in Cowlesville and Camp Stonehaven in Niagara County. Camp Schoellkopf, on Burrough Road, is more than 650 acres and has been in existence since 1938. (Click here for the recognized 1977 map of Schoellkopf grounds.)

Boy Scouts of America has been offering numerous sites for sale this year as it continues to reorganize after filing for bankruptcy. More than 82,000 people filed claims against Boy Scouts of America, accusing troop leaders of sexual assault dating back decades.

A proposed settlement calls for victims to share in a nearly $1.9 billion settlement. Councils are required to contribute to the settlement, leading to the sale of property. Greater Niagara Frontier Council will be contributing $1,537,485, according to a Buffalo News report. Iroquois Trail Council, which serves Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties, along with part of Niagara, will be contributing $342,546 to the settlement.

About 30 sex abuse claims were filed against Iroquois Trail Council and more than 200 against Greater Niagara Frontier. Iroquois Trail Council President Bob Confer said the Council would not be announcing any plans until mid-December. Claimants are currently voting on the settlement and will have until Dec. 14 to vote.

“Only then will we truly understand what’s next for BSA and the Council,” Confer said. “How the vote goes determines what our next steps will be. Now, the settlement and everything needed for it are essentially theoretical.”
Story by Scott Desmit - sdesmit@batavianews.com with local 
editing-in of additions to the first two paragraphs by SLDN staff.

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