This post is reprinted, without editing and with the author's permission. The post originally appeared on his Facebook page as a post to his friends, family, and fellow members of the Scouting community. The Colonial Virginia Council would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mr. Wilkinson, and all of our other Scouting family members who have spread the word of our need and our determination to continue to provide the best program and camping experience possible. Thank you for helping Scouting.
Scouting Needs Your Help – Save our Camp Campaign
The Colonial Virginia Council (CVC) needs your help to save our Council Camp – Bayport Scout Reservation.
Everyone that is receiving this message can be the critical person so please do what you can. Bayport Scout Reservation http://www.bayportsr.org needs to raise one million dollars as quickly as possible and ultimately 6 million dollars. I am asking for your help by doing three things, 1) provide a donation, 2) repost this message in your social media circles and 3) copy this message and send it to your email contacts. http://www.cvcboyscouts.org
Why you ask – the reason is simple, the CVC needs our help.
Scouting gave me a purpose as a youth and some of my fondest memories were at scout camp. I would not be the person I am today if it was not for scouting and scout camp. I doubt that anyone who receives this message can say that they neither were, nor, know anybody who was not in some form of scouting. I am but one of over 2,000 volunteers and my youngest is but one of 7,000 youth in the CVC. The Scouting experience has impacts on every youth that participates no matter if they are in the program for years or just one; no matter if they earn the highest rank possible or just enjoy all that the program offers. The aim of Scouting, as I have experienced it – is to encourage the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual development of young people so that they take a constructive place in society as responsible citizens, and as members of their local, national and international communities.
Bayport Scout Reservation is a critical component to this Scouting program – as all Scout camps are to all of Scouting. Camping is at the core of the Scouting experience, allowing Scouting units to take their youth out of their day-to-day environments and into the great outdoors where they experience nature in its fullest, and where they grow and learn more of life’s lessons. When in camp, they earn rank advancements and learn new skills. For many, these outdoor experiences are key stepping stones. In 2006, Bayport Scout Reservation became our new camp. We have developed it into a star destination offering three core programs, the Rappahannock Scout Camp which provides the core Scout camping programs, the Rivah Base which offers a more complex program for the older scouts including COPE, master aquatics programs and waterman programs as well as the base for high Adventure through the Chesapeake Bay High Adventure and Sailing Experience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWz79mbeqRY (CHASE). Sadly, the CHASE program has already received a blow and will be placed on hold for the 2015 camp experience.
The financial situation – simply put:
The purchase cost of the camp, infrastructure, and buildings were approximately $16 million. Through the sale of the old camp and a capital campaign, we raised $10 million. Our plan has been to raise the remaining $6 million through the completion of the capital campaign. Unfortunately, when the financial collapse occurred in 2008, the Council suffered along with many other organizations. Our capital campaign essentially ground to a halt several years ago and we have not been successful in raising the remaining funds.
The CVC is at a critical decision point regarding the ability to retain the Bayport Scout Reservation and council service center. As important as our camp is to delivering an incredible Scouting experience to every one of our Scouts, and many more that visit from other Councils, they simply will be unable to resume payment on the note unless we are able to raise those funds in the next two months. The CVC’s options are simple: raise the money allowing us to retain the camp and council office and ultimately to pay off the debt, or divest themselves of the camp and determine how best to serve the Scouts in our Council without a camp. Our youth (my kid who worked as a camp counselor) would have to find other venues for their summer camp experiences and the many other things that Bayport offers. The CVC would have to consider how to serve our youth without the very large operational funds that are generated through the Bayport Scout Reservation.
Given their commitment to the banks, and our needs for the coming year, the CVC has set two goals: 1) Raise $1 million as quickly as possible - This amount will provide for payments during the coming year as they aggressively continue their capital campaign efforts and will provide short-term operational funding for the Council. 2) Over the next year, attract the necessary financial gifts to retire the debt on the camp, and eliminate the monthly payment that is so burdensome.
We earnestly need donors that will help us to not lose our camp. Ideally, we will need the following:
1. Receive pledges or donations that establish a clear way to pay off the camp debt.
2. Raise $1 million by November that will provide for interest payments for next year, as well as operations support.
3. Attract individual commitments to support our debt payment of $38,000 for each of the coming 12 months.
The goal remains firm, to serve a growing number of youth in our community with an incredible Scouting program and Scouting experience. This goal will be made extremely difficult if we do not have a Scout Camp to provide the crucial outdoor life-experiences our Scouts deserve and must have.
How you can help. I have learned through scouting never to under estimate the “Power of One”.
As mentioned at the beginning, help get the word out. Repost this message on your social media links and send it to the people on your email list. Even if you can’t donate yourself, spreading the word is a large help – you never know who it may reach and how they or their company can help.
Donate, whatever you can $1, $10, $100. Every dollar gets us “one” step closer to saving our camp. To donate, you can send a check to Colonial Virginia Council at 11721 Jefferson Ave, Newport News Va. 23606 (put in the memo line, Capital Campaign – Bayport Donation) or on line at, https://cvcboyscouts.doubleknot.com/event/1538149
On behalf of all the scouts that you are helping – I want THANK YOU. To make sure that this message is current I have included the date I originally posted this message and my contact information – if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Remember the “Power of One”, one person, one action, one troop, one business, one action… it all starts with one. Please help by being part of the “One that Saves Bayport”. We all have seen the widespread attention the “Ice Bucket” challenge received and we all seem to have time to spread jokes around. Let’s see if we can generate the same buzz for our youth programs.
David “Tommy” Wilkinson
Original Message Posted: November 20, 2014
Watch the "Power of One" Video from the Council Banquet