Scouts Canada Can't Sell Peacehaven Scout Camp... They Don't Own It!

Ayr News, March 30, 2005

Peacehaven Scout Camp east of Drumbo, which was designated to be sold by Scouts Canada nearly a year ago, will remain open. The main reason is Scouts Canada doesn't own the property and therefore cannot sell it.

Nearly two years ago Scout Canada announced their intention to dispose of a number of camp grounds and Peacehaven was on of those being considered. This brought a rash of protests from many in the Scouting fraternity, both past and present, in an effort to have Peacehaven deleted from the "for sale" list. Unfortunately these concerns did not sway Scout Canada and last year word went out that Peacehaven would indeed be put up for sale.

In the meantime, investigation by local Scouters revealed that the deed for the property was being held in trust by TD Canada Trust for the South Waterloo Scouting Association (now South Waterloo District).

Earlier this year Lyle Heimbecker of Cambridge, area commissioner for South Waterloo District (which includes Ayr, Cambridge, Sheffield and Blenheim Township), was checking the camp when he observed for sale signs. Heimbecker immediately called the listing agent who pulled the signs once he was informed that Scouts Canada did not own the property.

Subsequently a lawyer for South Waterloo District contacted TD Canada Trust and confirmed that the property was still owned by the local organization. This information was passed along to Scout Canada and they agreed to pull the sale listing.

Last Monday the two sides met and the consensus at the end of the meeting was Peacehaven will not be sold at this time. Further Scouts Canada will help South Waterloo finalize a five year plan for the camp. This includes making sure all regulations such as building and fire codes are met. During the Past year the camp has been brought up to meet all standards, with the exception of proposed new water regulations. These will be dealt with once the province finalizes their new water rules.

One matter still under discussion is the Scouts Canada request that the deed be transferred to Scouts Canada, in trust, for liability reasons. Scout Waterloo is studying the request as they want an ironclad guarantee they will have a full say in any future plan for the property.

Heimbecker said that financially the property, with community support, has always carried itself. During the past year, 75% of the weekends have been booked and the year ahead looks like it will be just as busy. One of the major events will be the 3rd annual All Sections Camp scheduled for June 10 to 12. This camp attracts some 400 ranging from Beavers to Rovers (ages 5-26). The majority of attendees come from South Waterloo District, with others from Niagara and South-Western regions.