Bay-Lakes Council, BSAAbout UsGrowing Future Leaders

April 23, 2018

Scouting Family,

”Think, dream, believe, and dare.”  This is what we have done and are doing as a Council, to prepare our properties for the future. This is a quote from Walt Disney, a Boy Scout himself. who received the Silver Buffalo Award, Scouting’s highest honor for adults.

As you may or may not be aware, in 2014 the Bay-Lakes Council established a visionary plan called “Imagine 2024” to address the facility and program needs of the Council properties.  This plan established a robust vision of what Scouting will be in our Council over the next 10 years. At the foundation of this plan is a wealth of information from years of planning efforts.  In 2017, “Imagine 2024” was given a new name of “Growing Future Leaders”; which marked movement of the plan into the next phase. A year-long master planning process was most recently completed which led to the creation of a Prioritization Committee to assist in confirming and establishing a direction for this powerful effort.  The committee used the following criteria to determine options, prioritize projects and ultimately make a recommendation that our Board of Directors approved on April 18, 2018, at the Council Board Meeting.

  • EXPERIENCE                                                                                                                                            Provides extraordinary Scouting experiences for all current and future Scouts for years to come.
    Includes long-term sustainability plan for camp facilities and operations.
    Allows for scalability and flexibility to accommodate future growth and trends for years to come.
    Makes the most of capital funds raised and entrusted to our care.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, we are excited to announce the following “enhanced” direction and plan of how we will be using the amazing, flagship properties of the Bay-Lakes Council:

Cub Scout Summer Camp at Camp Rokilio

Enhancements to current Cub Scout camp.

Webelos Summer Camp at Camp Gardner Dam

Currently at Twin Lakes leased property.

Boy Scout Summer Camp at Camp Bear Paw

Brings our Boy Scout Summer Camp programs together from Camp Hiawatha,
Camp Bear Paw, Camp Gardner Dam. All current programing opportunities that are offered now remain available.

High-Adventure Camp at Camp Hiawatha

Continue to offer current and new high-adventure programs at Hiawatha.

Webelos Summer Camp and Cub Scout Summer programs also offered here.

Jax Camp

Continue to offer camping opportunities at Jax Camp.

New buildings will be designed for year-round usage and will be available to all Scouting programs and participants.  In addition to creating flagship camps from a property and experience perspective that will serve all Scouts (every level, both boys and girls), this plan offers many other benefits. It also allows us to establish our new Webelos Summer Camp program location with greater speed and at a lower cost than our initial plan. Our camps will have major enhancements and will provide the programs our Scouts have loved for years: like patrol site cooking, shooting sports, kayaking, fishing, swimming, boating, ecology, new programming involving technology and activities in the future we have yet to imagine. The high adventure and STEM programs offered at Camp Gardner Dam now, will continue to be part of the program offerings at Boy Scout Summer Camp at Camp Bear Paw.

By June 1, 2018, a plan will be announced as to when each of the transitions supporting Growing Future Leaders will occur. All the planned transitions may not occur at the same time:

  • Boy Scout Summer Program at Camp Gardner Dam to Camp Bear Paw
  • Boy Scout Summer Program at Camp Hiawatha to Camp Bear Paw when new high adventure base camp programs are ready
  • Webelos Summer Program at Camp Twin Lakes to Camp Gardner Dam
  • Hiawatha Adventure Base Camp at Camp Hiawatha

An important item to note is that the current 2018 summer camp program operations will NOT change.

After reading this letter, please watch a short video message with some additional information about this important update:

Our first Cornerstone Project of “Growing Future Leaders” – a new Welcome Center at Rokilio – is now underway. Please look forward to more information about this project and a groundbreaking ceremony later this year!

Walt Disney also said, "Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.  While our Growing Future Leaders plan prepares us for the future, it is grounded in the rich heritage of Scouting in Bay-Lakes Council and fueled by the passion, commitment and unity of our Scouting Family.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Bay-Lakes Council, we share our excitement and thank you for your support as together we move forward with this significant step in our “Growing Future Leaders” journey.

Communication will be key as we progress. We are committed to doing a fantastic job of sharing information and keeping you updated! If you have questions, please contact one of us or speak with any member of our board. Our contact information is included below.


Make it a Great Day for Scouting!


March 14, 2018 Growing Future Leaders Update Video - Click HereImage result for cub scout camping

Previous Information on Growing Future Leaders Campaign

  • A diverse group of volunteers were assembled and charged with reviewing our properties and programs with the outcome being a 10-Year Plan. 
  • The recommendation, called Imagine 2024, was voted on and approved at the December 16, 2013 Executive Board Meeting. This was the first phase of our campaign.
  • The original recommendations led to a conversation with marketing professionals which prompted additional objectives that were approved by the Bay-Lakes Council's Executive Board.  
  • These objectives will be critical to the Bay-Lakes Council as we seek to offer high quality programs and facilities with a business model that is financially sustainable.
  • Beginning in 2017, we have entered into the next phase of master planning for this project and it is called "Growing Future Leaders."

Three Town Hall Meetings were held throughout the Council and hundreds of stakeholders had a chance to see for themselves the vision for the future. The 10–Year Strategic Plan titled “Imagine 2024” was unveiled after nearly 2 years of planning and development. The vision is to look towards 2024 and imagine what the Council could look like in terms of membership, programs, leadership, funding, marketing; as well as our properties.

The plan is designed to be the guide to the ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE in the life of a young person. In today’s fast paced and constantly changing society it is critical that we as a Council adapt and change so that we can continue to provide a high quality experience, for our members and remain significant in their life and the lives of their family.

  • To view the video introduction of the plan, click here
  • To view a recorded version of a Town Hall meeting, click here.
  • A copy of the brochure distributed at the Town Hall meetings can be downloaded here or you may pick up copies to share from the Center for Scouting.

Please use these with your unit or other groups to help us spread the message.

As the Council begins to implement various efforts and initiatives of the “Imagine 2024” plan, we will post updates related to the progress of the plan, provide answers to commonly asked questions, post pictures and renderings of new and remodeled buildings, provide links to live webcams, and post relevant documents and videos for downloading and viewing all in an effort to allow you to see the vision come to life and help us share that vision with others!

Imagine 2024 Project Update

The mission of the “Imagine 2024” Plan is to enhance Council properties ensuring that they support and compliment a diverse year-round program offering. This plan will focus on: Fiscal responsibility of valuable Council resources; Utilization of the unique natural qualities of each property, as well as surrounding program opportunities to enhance program offerings; Provide continuous improvement to allow for growth and flexibility of the plan as needs change; and Create sustainable camp models that will  ensure that the camps not only serve current but also future members. We will continue to communicate progress of the plan and provide transparency to you our stakeholder.

So, allow us to provide you with a brief update.

As was previously announced in our last update, Camp Maywood Wilderness was sold as part of the Imagine 2024 Plan in an effort to appropriately size our assets and ensure a sustainable and exciting future for the Bay-Lakes Council properties and program offerings. The camp and the many dedicated volunteers were honored with a “Farewell to Maywood Wilderness” event in July, providing a chance to share stories and memories and bid a heartfelt goodbye to the camp. Our longtime caretaker Howard Veldman has moved to his new residence and remains busy helping to sort through the remaining assets as we redeploy them to the other camp properties.

Pieces of Maywood Wilderness will “live on” at other locations within the Council:

  • The Marv Knight Perimeter Trail will be relocated to the new Webelos camp on the Bear Paw property;
  • The historic Totem Poles are being moved to Gardner Dam to greet campers
  • The Indian head signs which led campers to the lake at Maywood are being incorporated at Rokilio so they can continue to guide youth.
  • Campsite signs will be repurposed for our Wood Badge Courses
  • Many important historical treasurers were added to the Bay-Lakes Council Museum

In our commitment to transparency, we felt it appropriate to share the financial details of this transaction and provide visibility into where this money is being invested. The property had a total appraised value of $740,000. It was divided and sold to two separate buyers for a combined sale price of $889,000. The Executive Board has established a disbursement plan for all property sale proceeds to ensure responsible investment in accordance with the Imagine 2024 Plan:

  • 50% of proceeds are invested into the long-term camping trust fund, which is drawn upon annually based on overall 
  • fund performance.
  • 35% of proceeds will be set aside for more immediate capital projects that have been identified in the Imagine 2024 Plan, such as the refurbishment of the Rokilio dining hall.
  • 10% of proceeds will be used to fund BSA National consulting services which will aid in the larger capital campaign effort for additional property improvements.
  • 5% of the proceeds are spent on property sale expenses, such as appraisals, surveys, fees, etc.

Additionally, any future asset investments require a 15% set-aside for long-term maintenance of that asset. So as an example, if we build a shelter for $100,000, an additional $15,000 will be placed in a long-term investment fund in order to fund repairs and larger maintenance items with that structure in the future.

In addition to the Maywood sale, we finalized the sale of the north 20 acres of JAX Camp. The sale of this portion of the property will provide funding for capital improvements to the remaining camp property in accordance with the original gifting agreement. This portion of the property was appraised at $80,000 and sold for $85,000. This will provide for approximately $72,000 in capital improvements on that property (after 15% is invested for future maintenance).

It’s important to acknowledge that the divesting of camp property has emotional implications, and is certainly more than just a business transaction. As a Council, we know that these difficult decisions are being made for a stronger tomorrow, with greater financial stability and more robust program offerings. Many thanks to all those volunteers who continue to dedicate their time and knowledge to the Imagine 2024 process!   

To comment or ask questions about our vision please contact us at

We would like to thank the following companies for their assistance and insight as we prepare to enter a new decade of change in the Bay-Lakes Council:

  Viva La Video


  Boy Scouts of America – Engineering Service

Imagine 2024 Archive Update 1



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