Bidding process for Connecticut Boy Scout camp nears completion

Nonprofit says Deer Lake must be saved, real estate bidder says it’s not a battle of good versus evil, state hasn’t ruled out intervening

KILLINGWORTH, Conn. — The future of a large piece of land currently used for conservation and education purposes is uncertain. Deer Lake in Killingworth has been put up for sale by the Boy Scouts.

A Connecticut nonprofit says time is running out to save it from redevelopment, but another bidder says it shouldn’t be portrayed as a battle of good versus evil.

“Our primary goal is to keep the earth green,” said Ted Langevin, president of Pathfinders Inc.who operates a day camp on the Deer Lake property.

Deer Lake is located in Killingworth and spans 255 acres of some of the most pristine properties.

“Deer Lake is a very special property,” echoed Margaret Streicker, who emerged as the current top bidder.

RELATED: Lamont: State Can Aid Conservation Bid for Boy Scout Camp

The Deer Lake property is subject to an open bidding process. On one side, Streicker. She is a real estate developer, CEO of Capital of Courage and is also a former congressional candidate.

“At the end of the day, there are zoning laws. Nobody raises 255 acres to build a Walmart. It just doesn’t happen,” Streicker said.

RELATED: Scouts Reject Offer to Stop Selling Killingworth Camp to Developers

On the other side is Pathfinders Inc.

“Any type of development here worries me because it’s a greenway,” Langevin explained.

So Pathfinders tries to outdo Mrs. Streicker with a grassroots fundraising campaign.

“If the nonprofit world shows up, and I encourage them to do so, I step back,” clarified Streicker, who said she would not engage in a bidding war.

So far, Pathfinders has raised about $4.5 million from about 700 donors in 22 states and three countries, but they need another half a million dollars by May 1.

“It’s been such an outpouring from the community,” Langevin said.

The issue also caught the attention of Governor Ned Lamont.

“We would like to make an effort to see if, by working with the community, we can save this for posterity and maintain a camp there. We are run out of time. I think the attorney general is currently discussing with scouts the nature of the deal,” Lamont explained.

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A recent lawsuit against the Boy Scouts is also part of the equation. He claims the entire property is a designated bird sanctuary that needs to be maintained. Madison attorney Keith Ainsworth’s client filed the legal challenge.

“When you’re talking about selling the property to a developer who’s doing some pretty big housing projects, that’s probably inconsistent,” Ainsworth said.

If Streicker wins the bid, she told FOX61 she would like to sit down with the state to talk about public/private partnerships, would be slow and deliberate with her redevelopment, and offered Pathfinders to continue operating the camp.

“It’s not a scorched earth situation between good and evil. It’s about multiple stakeholders coming together,” she explained.

Streicker is also a director of the Boy Scouts. She claims she recused herself from all discussions about the sale of the property.

Pathfinders told FOX61 that while they don’t get state money to increase their offer, they may be able to get creative with how they structure the deal to include possible subsidies. and ready at the end.

Pathfinders Inc. also says that if they are ultimately unsuccessful, they will return all money donated.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

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