Foss: Effort to buy Camp Boyhaven deserves support

Boy scouts should give town of Milton more time
Camp Boyhaven
Camp Boyhaven

I never attended Camp Boyhaven, the longtime Boy Scout camp that was put up for sale in 2017. 

But I was still sad to hear of its closure. 

I attended and worked at summer camps growing up, and whenever a camp shuts down due to low attendance and limited resources, I feel sad. 

What made the closure of Camp Boyhaven seem a little less sad was the town of Milton’s plan to purchase it and preserve it, thus ensuring that generations of children and families would get to enjoy it. 

This plan appeared to be in jeopardy last week, when the anonymous donor who pledged $500,000 to the town toward to the purchase of Camp Boyhaven rescinded his offer. The town had planned to match this donation using $500,000 in bonds. 

When I heard this news, I became sad all over again. 

Fortunately, there’s reason to be hopeful

Saratoga PLAN, an organization dedicated to preserving the rural character and natural habitats of Saratoga County, has gotten involved with fundraising efforts to help Milton purchase Camp Boyhaven. 

The organization’s involvement doesn’t guarantee a happy outcome for the property, but it definitely increases the odds. 

Certainly, the effort to preserve Camp Boyhaven and protect it from development is one that deserves support. If this property is turned into a strip mall or housing development, it will be lost to the public forever. 

There’s nothing wrong with development, but opportunities to save old summer camps and open them to the community do not exactly come along every day.

When they arise, they’re worth pursuing. 

With a property like Camp Boyhaven, it’s important to take the longview, to ask yourself what your children and grandchildren will most appreciate decades from now. 

A park? 

Or a shopping plaza?  

After the anonymous donor withdrew his gift, the Twin Rivers Boy Scout Council canceled their contract with the town of Milton. 

This is an understandable reaction to an unexpected development, but the Boy Scouts should consider giving the town more time to come up with the money needed to purchase the property, which is located along the Kayaderosseras Creek.  

Saratoga PLAN’s involvement makes it more likely that the money will be raised, given enough time. 

The group has already said that the names of people who pledge a donation or zero-interest loan will be confidential, which should encourage people to give freely. 

$500,000 is a lot of money. 

But it will be money well spent. 

Visit www.saratogaplan,org/blog/help-save-boyhaven to learn more about the effort to save the camp. 

Reach Gazette columnist Sara Foss at [email protected] Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s.

Categories: Schenectady County

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