Camp Stigwandish to be auctioned off in parts

Boy Scout Camp Stigwandish is up for sale in Madison Township.

MADISON TOWNSHIP — Camp Stigwandish will be auctioned off in several parcels at an absolute auction on May 30.

The auction will be held at Camp Stigwandish at noon, according to information from the Boy Scouts’ Lake County Council.

The property is currently split up into multiple parcels, according to Lake County records. The final sale will involve fewer parcels, said Richard Kiko, CEO and broker at Kiko Auctioneers. Kiko and the county are working to decide how the property will be broken down.

The auction will have no reserve, meaning that the highest qualified bidder will receive the property, Kiko said.

“We’re going to attract the most bidders that way,” Kiko said. “[The Boy Scouts] have elected to do the purest auction method.”

The Lake Erie Council contacted Kiko to help evaluate the property for sale.

“We hope to get as much as we can get. That’s why we’re auctioning it off. Nobody knows what it’s worth,” Kiko said.

The camp has been operating at a loss, Lake Erie Council CEO Marc Ryan said in a letter announcing the sale.

Of the three camps owned by the Council, Stigwandish had the lowest occupancy rate for the first half of 2019, with 17 percent. Beaumont Scout Reservation, also part of the Lake Erie Council, had 32-percent occupancy for the same period.

Before deciding to sell the camp, the council reached out to the Metroparks to see if the group was interested in purchasing Stigwandish. The group was not able to purchase the entire camp, and passed on the sale, Ryan said.

The funds from the auction will go to “program improvements,” including improvements to other camps, Ryan said.

Kiko Auctioneers has been administering farm and recreation land auctions for 75 years, Kiko said.

“It’s just a beautiful piece of ground that the buyer now has an opportunity to own,” Kiko said. “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Come take a look at it, and if it’s something that you like, you have a chance to own it. Bid to your limit, and if you bid high enough and you get it, congratulations. That’s the best part of an auction, literally. No one’s excluded. No qualified bidders are excluded.”

To be registered as a qualified bidder, interested parties should contact Kiko’s office.

“I don’t want to put thoughts in anybody’s head, but this property has a tremendous amount of history for a tremendous amount of people. So that’s a reason the auction is the best way, because everyone can see what’s happening. It’s transparent,” Kiko said.

Followers of the Star Beacon Facebook page shared memories of Camp Stigwandish on Friday's story on the camp closing.

Steve Camp — Spent many a summer there. (Rode) out a tornado in 1969 in the mess hall. Very sad.

Debbie Jacobs — How sad my dad took his scouts there for years.

John Morgan — Was on staff in 1972 and 1973, kitchen in '72 and rifle range in '73. Some of the best times in my life. Very sad.

Janet Butler — It’s too bad everything is getting ruined for our children. They will be missing out on so much in their childhoods.

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