A vital part of the boy scouting community for the past 100 years will soon be no more. Camp Russell on White Lake is being closed and put up for sale but Scout alum John Stephens is hoping to keep it open. He's started a petition to save Camp Russell.

In a letter to Scout Executive Steven McEwan, Stephens says 'We feel as though the executive board of the Revolutionary Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America are making a grave mistake by voting in favor of closing Camp Russell & attempting to sell the land. Camp Russell has been a vital part of the Scouting community in Central New York for close to 100 years. Not only are you hurting the Boy Scouts of the future, you are disgracing the Boy Scouts of the past. It's time you re-evaluate your decision and this time, get the opinions of the Scouts. Past and present.'

And Stephens isn't alone. Over 1500 people have already signed the Save Camp Russell petition and expressed their concerns over closing the place many boys became men over the years.

Robert Squire - CICERO, NY
'To me, this place is more than the awesome weeks I spent as a camper. This place is more than the two years I spent on staff. This place is more than Charlie Squire, my grandfather, administering to me the Eagle Scout Pledge. This place is more than the flag ceremonies and camp fires. This place is more than the bug juice, totem poles and pine sap that stained my hands and clothes. This place is more than the cool water of White Lake after a hot day on the parade field programs. This place, to me, is more than just a Boy Scout camp.'

David Peterson II - REMSEN, NY
'As an Eagle Scout myself I believe that it is our duty to help protect and preserve this historic cornerstone of scouting in the Adirondack Park. Some of my fondest scouting memories stem from Camp Russell and its enriching influences that it has on scouts.'

Daniel Trzepacz - LITTLE FALLS, NY

'I grew up with Russell. I spent so many summers there always wanting to go back. I just got my Eagle scout this past summer and it saddens me to see my other home be like this.'

Lawrence Ames - ROME, NY
'As a former Boy Scout and citizen of these United States, there is no greater duty than to preserve the heritage that comprises the soul of our great nation. Scouting is a basic component of that heritage. Camp Russell is the embodiment of that heritage and should be preserved.'

Sign Petition

You can sign the Save Camp Russell petition at Change.org.

A Save Camp Russell meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday January 20th, 7pm at Herkimer College. All are welcome to attend to voice their opinion.

Stay up to date at the Save the Camp Russell Facebook page.

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