September 20th Meeting
Tonight’s meeting was a fascinating update of the last 15 years of the Pine Tree Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Scout Executive, Eric Tarbox gave us a “rags to riches” story of his tenure. The result is today they have 4 restored and renovated camp properties with a book value of $3,500,000! The new 500 seat dining hall at Camp Hinds is scheduled for completion next spring.
Upon his arrival faced with red ink, Eric had made the difficult choice to close Camp Bomazeen in the Belgrade Lakes region. Disgruntled lake front property owners were upset that their principle egress was through the abandoned camp. When the National Guard’s Afghanistan deployment was cancelled, they were delighted to have this permitted road project for training.
Next, Eric discovered the Pentagon based IRT (Innovative Readiness Training) a military assistance program that was looking for projects that had permits, plans, and materials. Upon inspection of the camp properties, they stated: “This is perfect! Everything is falling apart!”  Subsequently, many troops from all over country have traveled here to participate.
In 2005 they relocated their service center to Western Avenue in South Portland. However, the much larger facility was costing them $133,758 per year. Recently, they sold the building to a group of doctors (Also, former scouts!). This year Eric is happy to announce that they have a balanced budget. In addition, they rank 4th out of 59 councils in the Northeast for growth in membership.