Rock Co. to buy Camp Indian Trails and open it to the public

The Boy Scouts of America announced plans to sell it in March.
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 3:55 PM CST
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - Rock Co. intends to purchase Camp Indian Trails with the goal of preserving the land and opening it up for the public to enjoy. When announcing the impending purchase, county board chair Rich Bostwick declared, “[g]enerations to come will look back at this acquisition as being both wise and foresighted.”

In March, the Boy Scouts of America Glacier’s Edge Council indicated it planned to sell the scout camp, which is located outside of Janesville, to help pay the settlement stemming from BSA’s bankruptcy. According to the county, it expects to pay $3.4 million of the 178-acre property, with some of the funds coming from COVID-19 relief funds.

Spread over three parcels on the eastern banks of the Rock River, near N. River Road, the Boy Scouts built Camp Indian Trails in 1946 to provide outdoor recreational activities for Boy Scout members in southern Wisconsin. Through the years, the camp expanded to include trails, a man-made lake, lodges, cabins, and more.

“Whether you’re a hiker, fisher, or simply a person who enjoys the outdoors, we are excited to announce this potential use of Camp Indian Trails and look forward to the future of this magnificent property,” Rock Co. Parks Manager John Traynor explained.

Glacier’s Edge Council Executive Ron Timmons noted that the organization considers protecting the environment as integral to the organization and the council’s aim was to find a buyer “that appreciates everything this beautiful piece of property has to offer.”

“We are excited Rock County has purchased Camp Indian Trails and that the land will be enjoyed by local residents and youth groups like our own for years to come,” he continued.

The Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February in hopes of surviving a barrage of lawsuits, many of them made possible by recent changes in state laws to allow people to sue over long-ago sexual abuse. When announcing their intention to sell, the council stated it considered the move “the right course of action” to allow it to continue with its scouting programs going forward.

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