A Bucks County couple has purchased a 50-acre parcel at Camp Archbald, further reducing the amount of Girl Scout owned properties at the Brooklyn Twp. facility.
The purchase last week by Louis and Karen Despirito of Richboro, Bucks County, follows on the heels of a purchase earlier this year of a 70-acre track of land by another private family from outside of Philadelphia.
The 50 acre parcel lies slightly north and east of Ely Lake, which fronts Camp Archbald, and east of Waterford Road. The sale price is listed at $152,000. The sellers, The Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, have retained oil and gas rights for the property.
Late last year the GSHPA announced plans to liquidate about half, or 144 acres, of the total 228 acres, along with plans to shutter six other camps. Concern over the future of the camp then intensified earlier this year after GSHPA’s surprise announcement in January, met with vocal complaints from local scout leaders, that it would no longer offer resident, or overnight, camping.
Resident camp was restored in July. Last week’s sale brings the total number of acres sold to about 120, leaving available about 24 acres of the 144 first proposed for sale. Camp Archbald is the nation’s second oldest Girl Scout camp and has been operating since the 1920s.
The Supporters of Camp Archbald, or SoCA, a group of former Girl Scouts, current scout leaders and other interested persons banded together to support and conserve Camp Archbald, has very closely watched developments at the camp.
“SoCA is pleased to hear that an adjoining camp neighbor purchased the 50-acre parcel. He intends to use the land and animals for hunting and not development,” the organization said in an e-mailed statement.
GSHPA spokeswoman Amy Mountain had no comment on the Despirito purchase.
“No comment at this time,” Mountain said in an e-mail.
A voice mail left last week at a listed number for the Despirito’s Richboro address was left unanswered.
In June descendants of the Ely family after whom the lake is named purchased a 70-acre parcel, partially relieving concerns over the camp’s future. That family said it plans to preserve the property for recreational use.