Press-Republican

Local News

November 15, 2010

Eagle Island Camp for sale

UPPER SARANAC LAKE — The historic Eagle Island Camp on Upper Saranac Lake is for sale.

Members of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey put wheels in motion to divest their organization of the property, a 31-acre island dotted with rustic Adirondack Great Camp structures that date to 1903.

Many of the buildings are the original design of renowned architect William L. Coulter and were listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1987.

The property was made a National Historic Landmark in 2004.

CAMP DESIGN

The Historic Register nomination report called Eagle Island Camp "exceptionally significant" historically "as a quintessential and highly intact example of an American Adirondack camp.

"Built in 1903 for prominent American financier and statesman Levi P. Morton, Eagle Island retains an extremely high level of integrity, setting, plan, design, style, materials and method of construction and is considered the finest example of the work of (Coulter.)"

CLOSED TWO YEARS

The Girl Scouts have owned and run a summer camp at Eagle Island since 1938.

For the past two summers, the camp program remained closed, its docks pulled up, the famous transport boat The Ark dry-docked and idle in the boat house.

EXPENSES CITED

Officials at Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, based in Westfield, N.J., explained that they opted out of renovations and repairs needed to meet current safety codes recommended in an engineering study done last year.

"When coupled with the camp's declining attendance over the last eight years and the approximate six-hour drive to reach the camp, it was determined the costs were too prohibitive to continue to maintain and run the camp," they said in a statement announcing the decision.

Heart of New Jersey scout leaders held a series of town hall meetings in recent months and surveyed members to gather input on the future of Camp Eagle Island.

The process concluded that "although many options were explored, (Heart of New Jersey) were unable to create a business case that would fully support the council's winning proposition and its key priorities."

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