Chapter Four – New Transitions

            Prior to the January 21, 1998 annual meeting, Doug was informed that a developer was interested in the property (North Forest Development). The MAL’s, Directors and Officers were all reelected as the Secretary cast one ballot for the entire slate. The option presented originally by the Canal Corp. was unacceptable to the camp. By sharing (keeping only the base camp area), the property would shrink the “camp” into a park only atmosphere.                                                                                                                 

            By February 7, Nine Mile and the NYS Canal Corp. had a three way amended permit including HDC.

            The next meeting with the NYS Canal Corp. was held at Nine Mile. The option of an alternative site near Albion was put on the table. It was not a motivational thought for most involved. The statement “Can’t we all get along?” by Brian Rusk, former NYS Canal Corp. PR assistant was also irritating to most of those present.

            Many more meetings followed.

            Don talked to the Spoths and other Amherst neighbors. They also have a problem with their Bike path and the North Amherst Fire Hall.

            Doug talked to assemblyman Seaman. He was in camp the next day. He had camped there as a Scout leader in ’91 for a Lewiston Trail Camporee. He was working on Wood Badge when called to the Assembly.

            Doug called Senator George Maziarz. He called back the next day and kept in contact on key developments.

            Newspapers picked up the story. Publicity was good.

            Amherst, led by Councilman Bill Kindel and all of the Pendleton officials were seeking acceptable avenues of resolution.

            Don Jaenecke contacted DEC, US Corps of Engineers, the Sierra Club and others.

            Doug talked to the Sierra Club at one of their meetings.

            A meeting on March 25th at the North Amherst Fire Hall drew over 200 people. The Canal Corp. “got the message.”

            Nine Mile applied for funding through the NCEF with an end of March deadline for submission. We pulled data together for it and for the preservation campaign. John Kudla, Don J., Jeff Westcott and Carol Schmelz (NYS Horse Council/ had grant experience) and Doug worked hard on this, to no avail at the time.

            The April 24-26 Invitational weekend saw the beginning of format changes that eventually brought more of the campsite holders into planning and coordination of future weekend

            Amherst approved funding their share of a possible joint longterm lease.

            Pendleton sought Lead Agency status to acquire or lease Nine Mile Island in May 1998.

            In November 1998 discussion of sponsoring an Explorer or Venturing Crew was on the agenda. Jim McClure agreed to be the Advisor.

            By year’s end Senator Maziarz was committed to finding funds which were then included in the 1999 state budget that summer. 

            At the Nine Mile annual meeting on 23 January 1999 Jeff Westcott stepped down as Vice President due to the probability of an impending move. John Kudla agreed to fill the position and the other officers were reelected for 1999. A discussion was held regarding the recent decisions of both the Towns of Pendleton and Amherst to lease to purchase Nine Mile Island. A preliminary joint Town meeting to develop this plan further was held January 27 at the Amherst Museum. It was announced that Bob Reynolds would be moving to the camp as our Security Chief in late April. Bill Stockwell broached the subject of permission for an ongoing Klondyke Claim Jumper. It has been held on Father’s Day weekend in June. It was to become another annual camp calendar event starting in 2000.

            Senator Maziarz and Doug Eadie discussed the options of joint versus sole ownership of the property during an intermission in the joint Town meeting at the Amherst Museum on January 27.

            By early spring in ’99 the Town of Pendleton (R&D did prep work) applied for a NCEF development fund grant, also to no avail.

            At the April 17 meeting, Tom O’Donnell was elected Treasurer to replace Vince Harmon who died in February.

            Late in April, Ranger Bob Reynolds started his move back to WNY. He moved in with two back to back rental truck trips from Florida. He finished the second trip in May after our spring Invitational. He was a big help to Al who knew the maintenance load to be heavy without sidekick, Don J who died in Sept ’98.

            In the next several months, details were negotiated concerning boundaries, Canal Corp needs, trail and dock access to the canal bank and Pendleton/Amherst boundary concerns.

            In July, Ranger Bob talked about wood chips for roads and poison ivy eradication or at least control. These are perpetual concerns.

            At our Oct 9 meeting, Ranger Bob announced that precut firewood was now available. The price was set at $20.00 per half face cord [4’ X 4’ X 18”]. As part of our 40th Anniversary observances, we decided to have camp wide chowder at the Invitational. There were also to be participant patches denoting the anniversary and featuring the camp logo. Crew 99 agreed to provide some staff members for the Invitational weekend.

            At our January 13, 2000 annual meeting all of our officers were reelected. There was discussion of the NCEF grant for development funding which the Town of  Pendleton was again applying for with input from R&D and the Advisory Committee. Bob Reynolds had building concerns about the North wall of the voting booth and the office porch.

            We learned that Rich Rosenthal was interested in selling Happyland to his nephew, Marc Rosenthal. After meeting with Marc and Tricia, they did take over operation of Happyland.

            John Kudla and Doug Eadie first met with the Nine Mile Advisory Board of Pendleton in February. It started to give Pendleton an overall view of camp operations and generated discussion on how procedures would be developed for our future operations. Nine Mile agreed to seek support from campsite holders for this year’s NCEF grant application. It appeared that the NYS land sale to Pendleton may occur in about six to eight weeks. The Advisory board was to make decisions of a non contractual nature. The Pendleton Town Board will handle any necessary contracts.

            In 2,000, $28,400 in NCEF funds was allocated to Pendleton. Originally Pendleton also had some green space funds. With Pendleton ownership, this project originally planned to upgrade the waterline, improve the road and parking, enlarge the present shelter and construct a smaller educational shelter.

            Nine Mile had funding in place to replace the old room or add a new room at the rear of the Founder’s Cabin.

            A draft deed defining the property as forever wild was in Pendleton for review. Nine Mile Inc. is to continue current operations and handle reservations.

            The chowder supper at the Invitational went well thanks to Jeff Westcott and John Kudla. Ceremonial ashes of long pedigree were commingled with those of our Saturday night campfire. Horns promoted his Generation Trex which was successful a few weeks later.

            The first Klondike Claim Jumper went quite well. There have been just a handful of campsite disrespect issues since then. Many of the original Kenton area troops that were not Island campsite holders at the 2000 KCJ have taken campsites since then.

            Our 40th Anniversary Reunion in July 2000 was enjoyable for all who came.