Nonprofit Seeks to Return Services to Sea Camps Location

BREWSTER – The most recent meeting by the Barnstable Community Network focused on the closure of the Cape Cod Sea Camps, including the prospective buyer of the property, the Brewster Flats Foundation. 

BCN aims to promote dialogue on local issues among residents, town officials, and other stakeholders. 

During the meeting, BCN Steering Community member Mary O’Neil outlined some of the potential futures for the location. 

“We share the concerns of the community to preserve this property and make it available to the community. But I think it’s important to understand that there are several paths that the owners can take,” said O’Neil. 

“They can choose to go the route of doing a private sale, they can choose to sell to a developer or it can also be a sale to a public entity.”

Regardless of who the owners sell to, O’Neil said that use options are limited without special review. 

She said that Town Planner Ryan Bennet wrote in a statement that present zoning means that any parcel division greater than 30 acres of the Route 6A property undergoing a change of use would be subject to the Cape Cod Commission’s Development of Regional Impact review and approval process.

O’Neil said that the property is currently only permitted to function as a children’s camp, a church or religious organization, a nonprofit recreational facility, a sports club, or as town buildings.

She said that any lodging, living space or other developments would trigger the review process. 

Guest speaker Jim Fay, President of the Brewster Flats Foundation nonprofit that seeks to acquire the land, said that his organization aims to return camp activities to the property as well as expand them to year-round. 

“We need to empower our children in these times more than any other to connect with each other in-person. To take on risks and challenges that are physical and in concert and company. And that forces them to develop their socio-emotional skills,” said Fay. 

“These things don’t happen in Zoom sessions.”

Fay said that the foundation looks to expand accessibility beyond that of the original, not just emulate the old camps exactly. 

“We would like to expand access to a more broad population socio-economically, varying abilities both cognitive, physical and neuro-diverse. We believe that in order to do that, we need to have a sound fiscal operation. We need to be a nonprofit that is financially stable,” said Fay.

He said that the profit would be focused entirely on expanding the access to camp services that the foundation hopes to create, as well as deal with infrastructure issues such as wastewater. 

Fay said that with cooperation and donations from other local stakeholders and trusts, the foundation hopes to put forward a competitive bid for the property.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy