KILLINGWORTH, Conn. (WTNH) – As an 8-week summer camp wraps up at Deer Lake in Killingworth, the camp is trying to work out a deal with the Boy Scouts to buy the camp.
The Pathfinders Summer Day Camp just wrapped up and Monday was the day the directors in the camp were taking down the equipment and tents to wrap up for the summer.
“We’re taking down some of the arts and crafts tents and the changing tents as well,” said Wilderness School Director Elizabeth McCann.
Friday was the last day of the 8-week summer day camp at Deer Lake. The only folks left are the directors.
“I’ve been coming since about first grade,” said McCann.
Many of them grew up at the Killingworth camp and say they’ve never left.
“I’ve been coming here since I was going into kindergarten,” said Waterfront Director Olivia Oehrle.
“This has been like my summer for years,” said Boating School Director Graham Keating.
Pathfinders which has run the summer day camp on the 250-acre property owned by the Boy Scouts of America for decades is now hoping to buy the property and preserve the open space.
Others also tried to help ‘Save Deer Lake.’
One lawsuit was filed saying it couldn’t be developed because of a bird sanctuary established on the property and the state Attorney General’s office also took a closer look at the sale and today says“We continue to work with the Yankee Council to ensure the proper handling of any potential transfer of charitably restricted land.”
Pathfinders had started a major fundraising effort after it was learned a developer was the highest bidder last spring. Now Pathfinders is looking to top that with a $4.75-million bid.
“I am definitely hopeful,” said Arts & Crafts Director Kiersten Mader. “I’m so glad that the kids might have the opportunity to keep coming back.”
News8 contacted the Boy Scouts’ Connecticut Yankee Council and Pathfinders.
The President of Pathfinders says “We are working on the final details of the contract actively since the bird sanctuary suit was dropped. As soon as that is worked out, we will set a closing date.”
The last things to be taken down or taken in are the floating docks. They have a huge piece of machinery which takes care of that. The hope is they will be able to bring the docks back out next summer and do this all over again.
“It would be such a tragedy for kids not to be able to run through the woods anymore,” said McCann.
While negotiations continue, the Pathfinders’ major fundraising effort is put on hold but that would have to start up again if a deal is reached so it can be fully funded.