Boy Scouts selling Mendocino County camp

The Boy Scouts on the North Coast have reached a deal to sell Camp Masonite-Navarro in Mendocino County, where scouts have learned outdoor skills for 57 years.

The scouts' Redwood Empire Council headquarted in Santa Rosa will continue to use the site for summer camps under the $1.9 million deal, said Herb Williams, the council's president.

"We're selling a property that's been in the red for nine of the past 10 years, but we'll continue to have use of the camp for many years to come," he said.

The sale also lets the scout group erase a budget deficit that reached $157,000 in 2010, Williams said.

The 80-acre camp is being sold to NorthWest Stewards, a Seattle-based real estate investment company. The deal is expected to close later this year.

"Our plan is to run it as a camp," said Don Asher, a partner in NorthWest Stewards. The property will host private retreats and conferences when not used by the Boy Scouts, he said.

The company has other recreational properties and its partners all have ties to the outdoors, Asher said. "I was a scout, and I have a very strong connection to scouting," he said.

The council put the camp on the market for $2 million a year ago after running into budget problems. "All nonprofits are having trouble raising money and we are too," Williams said.

The camp was founded in 1955 on Masonite Corp.'s redwood timberland along the North Fork of the Navarro River. The timber company donated the land to the council in 1973.

It has capacity for 300 scouts. The camp also is used by Girl Scouts, church groups and schools.

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