Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

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Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby resigned » 2009 Feb 19 08:53

I imagine most folks are reading about the National Headquarters selecting Goshen for the Jamboree Center. That means thousands of people coming to the area at least every four years. We live right near the Boy Scout camp and the roads to accommodate all these people are not adequate. Furthermore how is this going to impact on the environment? Rt 780 and Rt. 39 are both two lane and very small. Apparently this was all done in secret with the Governor's office and some local officials from what I understand.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Feb 19 11:12

I don't think was any deep, dark secret. Did you ever think that this might be a much-needed economic shot in the arm for Rockbridge County?? From what I understand from colleagues at work that live in your area, you all are hemorrhaging badly.

Some people only see the dark side to everything and whine about the glass being half-empty. Others see the bigger picture and applaud some steps in the right direction. And for God's sake.......environmental impact??? We are talking about BOY SCOUTS here. I dare say that's far less of environmental impact than the hordes of folks who trample the Grand Canyon every year.

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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby resigned » 2009 Feb 19 12:55

And good morning to you to Fangz. Gee you sound as if you got up on the wrong side of the bed. According to the News Gazette - "The general public, however, was not aware of the proposal since discussions were held in closed sessions" Sure I am aware that there were quite a few people in the know, but not the general public.

My statement regarding the impact on the environment consists mainly of three two way small roads coming into the area and the amount of traffic you would have with over 240,000 scouts, volunteers, vendors and visitors. Right now local people throw out garbage all along 780 as well as 39. You can't tell me that these people coming in regardless of whether they are boy scouts, vendors, volunteers won't do the same.

I'm all for improving the economy in the area, I mainly mentioned my concerns. Both my boys and my two brothers were boy scouts and we had many a meeting of cub scouts at my house. Let me tell you those cub scouts and boy scouts could leave a mess. Whining I was not. That is your perspective.

But I figure that if they are going to have permanent staffers who may be looking to buy a home then we would have a perfect home for them right here on the mountain with a beautiful view.

And with the wine I will take cheese :hello2:
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby Wise One » 2009 Feb 19 12:57

I owned 450 acres of land in the Estaline Valley, through which the Little Calfpasture flows.

Environmental impact? The Boy Scout Damn across this stream has created an enormous silt catchment which has spilled in the past, causing damage and kills in the Maury. If the dam should breech, it will ruin Goshen Pass and kill the Maury for a decade.

Free flowing streams cannot be beat, provide countless benefits to Nature, its creatures and man. We need to provide recreational and other facilities in full knowledge of all the impacts, positive and negative, that attend them.

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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby resigned » 2009 Feb 19 13:04

Oh come on Wise One, these are BOY SCOUTS. :wink2:
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby 10thFO » 2009 Feb 19 13:36

I would contend that the lessons learned by those Boys Scouts will far outweigh any greater harm they will cause 'intentionally' to the environment. As for all those people on these local roads? What do you think happens when they hold it elsewhere. This is most certainly a boon for the local economy. in case anyone hasn't noticed, the Horse Center really hasn't done a whole lot except for a couple of restaurants and hotels near the 39 interchange with 11. Now Boy Scouts surely wouldn't think they were too good to mingle with us common people that actually live in the county.

Just because all kids can make a mess if you don't make them clean it up. I highly doubt you will see a significant increase in trash, who knows if you contact them, maybe they will volunteer to clean up those roads, of the trash all the other "local" people blessed the waysides with. Sometimes it just takes a proactive approach rather than a reactive.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby resigned » 2009 Feb 19 13:47

Good idea 10th. I would imagine at some point these roads will have to be widened. We have those big tractor trailors wizzing through all the time carrying logs or railroad ties. Now they are a problem. Yes boy scouts can be taught to clean up after themselves.
Last edited by resigned on 2009 Mar 05 16:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Feb 19 16:26

· 1960-66. The Council solicits sponsors from the Washington area to develop the property into a 10-12- camp Scout Reservation. Sponsors for 6 base camps are found. Marjorie Merriweather Post, a Washington area philanthropist, donates money to dam the river and build a central administrative camp. Elliott Gould and Dominic Antonelli donate money to construct one of the camps, to be named after a firm jointly owned by the two, Parking Management Inc., (P.M.I.).

· 1966-67. Seven camps and the dam are built by the Army Corps of Engineers under the direction of Col. Coleman B. Mark. The new 500-acre lake is named Lake Merriweather.



Is this the dam to which you refer? Were you around the area when it was built? If you were, did you protest its construction? If not, why not?

I went looking and found some pictures of the camp. It appears well-maintained and the Boy Scout Council invests considerable monies on an annual basis for upkeep and improvements. I still say that dam is less of an environmental impact than say, the one that created Smith Mountain Lake. Oh but then again, Smith Mountain Lake and Dam was the brain child of Appalachian Power Company and the lake itself primarily benefits the haves as opposed to the have-nots when it comes to recreation. Perhaps Goshen would prefer to have a facility that benefits the haves (like your illustrious Horse Center) as opposed to one that benefits the have-nots (10 year old Boy Scouts).

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Boy Scout Jamboree Camp

Postby mountain » 2009 Feb 22 17:47

Let's hear the arguments for and against.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby resigned » 2009 Feb 22 22:03

Well why don't you provide us with some of your own thoughts about the posting.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby Coondog » 2009 Feb 23 17:00

Maybe you could offer a merit badge for cleaning up the litter.

Quite likely, a bus will unload a bunch of scouts....then take them back another day. This will amount to two trips per bus along the road.....considerably less than the local mail carrier over the same period of time. With an average of 35 scouts per bus making a trip in and a trip out, requiring 6,857 busses, or, resulting in 13,714 vehicular events. That's less than 40 cars over 500 laps. Think of it as NASCAR in slow motion!

As far as the lake goes, 240,000 people swimming will displace a lot of water. Get your flood insurance up to date in case the house doesn't sell!

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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby steward52 » 2009 Feb 23 18:04

In December of 1991, a friend and I reported a fish kill in the Little Calfpasture River at its confluence with the Calfpasture, the beginning of the Maury River. My friend went upstream to tell the landowners that thick mud from their property was killing fish. He was told that it was none of his business and to leave their property. The property belonged (and still does) to the National Capital Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts poor lake management practices resulted in long term pollution of the Maury River that could have been avoided. I reported the problem to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Both agencies responded clearly. The agencies’ concerns were met with intransigence and denial from the Boy Scouts.

The same attitude has persisted for the seventeen years since then. These state agencies as well as the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have been stonewalled and ignored as much as possible ever since then. The DEQ, which does not have police powers, used their main enforcement tactic, a civil consent order, to require the scouts to change their degrading lake management practices. The National Capital Council has been in violation of that consent order. The one mile section of the Little Calfpasture between the Boy Scout dam and the beginning of the Maury has been identified as a stream that does not meet state water quality standards. A public participation process to develop a mitigation strategy (called a TMDL development) is about to begin.

People who assume that the Scout officials are like mom and apple pie are sadly mistaken.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby resigned » 2009 Feb 23 19:40

Good information Steward, can you follow up on the outcome of the mitigation strategy. I don't have a clue what that is all about, but seems to me that there will be public involvement.

As for Boy Scouts goodness sake, I would also like to mention that over the past six summers or so we have our granddaughters here for a couple of weeks and always take them to the Maury River near the hanging bridge to play in the water. There have been several occasions when the "honorable?" boy scouts were almost aggressive and made some lewd comments and gestures to my granddaughters. On a couple of occasions we had to leave the water as these precious little boy scouts forced us out due to their behavior. My granddaughters were frightened and would not go back when the scouts were swimming there.

coondog wrote:Maybe you could offer a merit badge for cleaning up the litter.

Quite likely, a bus will unload a bunch of scouts....then take them back another day. This will amount to two trips per bus along the road.....considerably less than the local mail carrier over the same period of time. With an average of 35 scouts per bus making a trip in and a trip out, requiring 6,857 busses, or, resulting in 13,714 vehicular events. That's less than 40 cars over 500 laps. Think of it as NASCAR in slow motion! As far as the lake goes, 240,000 people swimming will displace a lot of water. Get your flood insurance up to date in case the house doesn't sell! Coondog :sail:

You aren't even sure how the area will be impacted by the transportation into the Scout Camp. As you use the word likely. We live down from the entrance to the Young Life Christian camp and when those big buses come in they take up alot of room on these small roads. As for the litter, I don't believe offering a merit badge will do any good.

On the bright side maybe some of these vehicles will rid us of some of the deer in the area. Coming home the other night I collided with a full grown deer - let me tell you that deer caused well over $3 thousands to the front of my car. With all that plastic on vehicles now days, it doesn't take much to cause considerable damage. What a shocker roo.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Feb 24 10:05

From the Norfolk Area Office of the Army Corps of Engineers:

Lake Merriweather, a 425-acre impoundment created by a 38-foot-high dam known as the Goshen Dam, is located in the western part of Virginia, 30 miles northwest of Lexington. The Goshen Dam is an earthen structure with a reinforced concrete overflow spillway 158 feet wide equipped with a series of 10 14-foot-wide by 9.5-foot-high crest control gates. The National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America owns the lake and dam, and its purpose is to provide recreation and flood control. The dam’s existing spillway capacity does not meet National Dam Safety Regulations, and the spillway’s crest gates susceptibility to damage during flood events raise serious concerns about possible dam overtopping or failing during a large flood event. A technical study recommending fixing (setting) the existing spillway crest at elevation 1,369 and roller-compacted concrete armor of the dam embankment was approved on December 11, 2006. The Norfolk District has the capability to initiate construction in fiscal year 2008.


The question here is: Why didn't the Norfolk District intiate the construction that is quite obviously needed in fiscal 2008?

From the Office of Management and Budget:

Agency: Corps of Engineers-Civil Works
Bureau: Corps of Engineers-Civil Works
Account: Construction (96-3122)
Certifying Official: Chief, Programs Integration Division, USACE
Contact Information: http://WWW.USACE.ARMY.MIL

LAKE MERRIWEATHER, LITTLE CALFPASTURE RIVER (GOSHEN DAM), VA

1 recipient will receive $645,000. This is a continuing earmark. Year Enacted: 2005
Description: Construction General Project Add


Beneficiary/Recipient Amount ($K) Program Type Address
Lexington $645 Locality Lexington, VA

Citation
Source: Appropriations Report Language - Conference
Reference: CR108-792
Location: Pg. 894
Method: C.R. 108-792
Citation Excerpt:



Last Modified: 10-Jul-2007



The question here again is: Why hasn't the necessary corrective construction begun? Here the taxpayers are footing a continuing $645K earmark for construction in this area.
The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Our vision for the National capital Area Council is to accomplish the mission of the Boy Scouts of America in such an exemplary manner as to be recognized by our public as the premier youth organization in the communities we serve.


I think the boys were doing what boys do and that the behavior exhibited should most definitely be addressed directly to the Scoutmasters responsible for the troops. Even though they were behaving as normal boys, said behavior falls woefully short of the BSA Mission and vision.

I also think that after reading and researching, that the failure of the Council to comply with environmental orders falls woefully short of the same Mission. How can they claim "exemplary manner" to the communities they serve when they willfully ignore compliance orders? The Council's actions here are irresponsible rather than ethical......and that is a particularly poor example to be setting for the youth of America.


Hmmmm.......perhaps if Mr. Lambert found himself deluged with letters from concerned citizens of the Commonwealth, things might begin to change. Stranger things have happened.

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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby resigned » 2009 Feb 24 10:30

fangz1956 wrote:I think the boys were doing what boys do and that the behavior exhibited should most definitely be addressed directly to the Scoutmasters responsible for the troops. Even though they were behaving as normal boys, said behavior falls woefully short of the BSA Mission and vision.


"Boys were doing what boys do" I really have a problem with this phrase as I believe its a trite phrase for justifying their behavior. Does that mean society has lower expectations for boys behavior who later grow up to be men. We can rationalize it away with oh boys will be boys. We expect boys to be rude, etc. And then when they grow up do we have lower expectations for men as well. Oh boys will be boys.

I raised two sons and had two brothers. All involved in Scouting. They weren't perfect but never did they impose the kind of behavior I witnessed at the Maury River with the scouts. I as was my Mother were involved in scouting and when I wasn't present if my boys had exhibited such behavior I would have heard about it. I have heard this statement "boys will be boys" too often to explain away bad behavior among boys that should not be tolerated. Boisterous I can understand but you had to have been there to have seen how they followed my grandaughters in the river. We tried several times to find a different section in the river to only have several come to where we were exhibiting their "boys will be boys" behavior.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Feb 24 18:01

There was no triteness in the statement regarding the behavior of the scouts.......it is a fact that pre-pubscent and adolescent boys behave this way around girls. If you had read my comment in its enitirity, you have have seen the firther comment of said behavior falling woefully short of the BSA Mission and vision. I also said that said behavior should have been addressed directly to the Scoutmasters at the time of the incident. Stating a fact is not the same as condoning the behavior. Why didn't you seek out the Scoutmaster and complain directly to him at the time???????

:rolleyes:

One footnote (and my new thing to learn today): I never realized until today that this organization is a charity. I suppose this means that they are tax-exempt but can receive taxpayer dollars with no questions of substance asked. Are charities above the law in some fashion or other? I'm just a shade baffled by this part of it all. Clarity anyone?

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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby mountain » 2009 Feb 25 00:00

Employment appears to be the main (sole?) argument in favor but Rockbridge does not need any more unskilled, low-paying jobs, such as the ones that would be created by an expanded camp. Moreover, the environmental pulse created by a quarter - million teenage boys is significant and may be unmanagable. The fact that it is the Boy Scouts introduces unique optics to the equation, but at its essence, we have invited a large-scale business to permanently operate just upstream from Goshen Pass, and that will forever alter the ambiance of one of the most beautiful spots any on this board have ever seen. It will pay no taxes and primarly benefit those living elsewhere. As reported, this is not close to an even trade, although details are sketchy.

The intellectual capital present here combined with great transportation (I-81/64, two airports within an hour's drive) and decent communications make this a perfect region for high-value service jobs with low environmental impact. If the county were to focus on attracting businesses of this sort our tax base would improve to the point where we wouldn't have to swap our wonderful natural resources for subsistence-level seasonal jobs.
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby steward52 » 2009 Feb 25 09:31

The question here again is: Why hasn't the necessary corrective construction begun? Here the taxpayers are footing a continuing $645K earmark for construction in this area.

The 645,000 dollars was money that congress provided to allow the National Capital Area Council to pay for engineering studies in preparation for dam repairs or reconstruction. I assume that was done. I have been told that they went back to congress for the cost of construction but have been turned down. Don't know that for sure. All of this for a private facility that the public does not have access to.

Someone else asked about the current tax status of the camp. They do not pay property taxes to Rockbridge on their approximately 4000 acres. I do not know if they are a 501 (c) (3) non profit but assume that they are. That has little to do with whether they pay local taxes.

The public participation process to develop a stream mitigation strategy (TMDL - total maximum daily load - DEQ jargon) will start in the very near future, after 17 years of dithering.The DEQ person in charge of this process is Robert Brent in the DEQ Valley Regional office - 540 574 7848 - rnbrent@deq.virginia.gov
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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby fangz1956 » 2009 Feb 25 10:57

steward52 wrote:I have been told that they went back to congress for the cost of construction but have been turned down. Don't know that for sure. All of this for a private facility that the public does not have access to.

I am curious as to how Congress would have denied this request. After more than a fair amount of reading and research this morning, I discovered that the BSA is funded in part by the Pentagon and Department of Defense. Were the BSA suddenly written out of that budget? I hardly think so since there was a legal case mounted to stop this relationship. The court case failed when a judge ruled that funding by the Department of Defense could continue. Seems that our old buddy Bill Frist of Tennessee has his fingers in this pie and is planning to see that legislation is written that will make future challenges to the Pentagon/BSA relationship essentially unchallengeable.

Further reading took me to some articles of interest from Caroline County......where the Jamboree has been held at Fort A.P. Hill for quite a number of years. Some of the information appears conflicting as to size of local revenue realized from the event. Some bloggers in the area deem Gary Wilson a bold faced liar. He claims they reaped close to a million dollars per Jamboree event with hotels in the area booked solid four years in advance. In another article, he claims this not to be significant loss to Caroline County. Wonder which one it really is??

As far as the creation of jobs goes, I don't know how that will actually impact Rockbridge County outside of the hospitality industry. According to reading and how the events have transpired at Fort A.P. Hill, it is the military who sets up, tears down, provides logistics, communications and crowd control. Even with the increased numbers of visitors to the area, that concept pretty well squelches any creation of new jobs outside of those of bedmaker and burger flipper. Their food for the event ceratinly won't be purchased locally and their other supplies will likely be provided by the military (they provide the first aid items needed for the event). I guess what happens in Rockbridge monetarily will show everyone whether Gary Wilson is a liar or not.

Tourism as an economic base: I have issues with this concept. I think tourism is an important part of the economies of areas such as the Shenandoah Valley. However, when localities (and Roanoke has done exactly the same thing) make tourism the crux of their economies they are being short-sighted and idiotic. When Roanoke went on this kick years ago, I just shook my head and wondered "what in the hell are they thinking?" That's the problem......they weren't thinking about anything beyond surface appearances for the valley. The Star City of the South has lost her luster thanks to this kind of bone-headed thinking by elected officials and their hired guns known as City Managers. Granted, we have a nice, new, shiny monstrosity perched downtown known as the Taubman Museum of Art......and Mill Mountain Theatre just folded and filed for bankruptcy. Center in the Square is ruling the roost on the City Market and efforts are being made to squeeze out the local farmers..................the historic life-blood of the City Market.

Minimum wage service jobs do not generally provide healthcare for the employees and they certainly don't provide any kind of living wage. Many small business owners are flying by the seat of their with zero health insurance coverage. It's really sad to watch the demise of this area who pinned its economic hopes entirely on tourism. I was driving my daughter to school this morning. We travel right through the heart of Salem down Main Street. Two small businesses have gone under.....their doors locked and windows covered with brown paper. Tourism didn't help the independent insurance agent or the the Army/Navy Surplus store that also sold boots and winter work gear at reasonable prices. Sad, very sad to see the little guys fold.

The only area within shouting distance that has chosen not to go this route of "tourism is the ticket" is Blacksburg and Montgomery County......home of Virginia Tech. They have been working dilignetly to attract high tech businesses to the area. Progress has been slow but they have constantly moved forward with this intiative. WOW!!! What a concept.....a college town playing to its strengths rather than to its weaknesses. (Even as I have little love and lot of loathing for Virginia Tech, their influence in the area is bringing significant and positive changes in growth and developement to Montgomery County and, by extension, the Roanoke Valley).

Sorry for being so long-winded here. But this is what happens when somebody makes a comment that lights a fire and makes me read. I have been known to change my mind before (female perogative) and this issue is no exception to that.

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Re: Scout Jamboree Center in Goshen

Postby steward52 » 2009 Feb 25 22:01

What do you ALL think about this?
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