Boy Scouts Sell Camp Strake in Conroe To Master-Planned Community Master Planners

Camp Strake, owned by the Houston arm of the Boy Scouts of America since the 1940s, is now under contract to Johnson Development, responsible for communities like Sienna Plantation in Missouri City and Imperial Sugar Land, to name just a couple. Nevertheless, Johnson Development declined to reveal any plans for the 2,083-acre lake-dotted property along the San Jacinto River and not quite 10 miles north of the new ExxonMobil headquarters. For what it’s worth, Jones Lang LaSalle did market the property to buyers as a master-planned community called Grand Lake Park, a plan for which you can see after the jump.


That shows plenty of commercial frontage along I-45 and Hwy. 336 in Conroe, with trails snaking out from residential area around the 80-acre lake.

Images: Jones Lang LaSalle

28 Comment

  • When I was Boy Scout, our troop summered at Camp Chin-Be-Gota. Worst boyhood memories ever.

  • Good! I hate nature. Look at all those disgusting trees stealing my oxygen! I want cement covering EVERY blade of grass in this nation! Don’t we tax payers have a voice anymore!!

  • Welcome to X acres of bus-less, loopy cul-de-sacs of “Foxtrot Grove” and “Walnut Hollow” avenues.

  • For the love, please don’t bulid cul-de-sacs. Just once, can we have a TND somewhere outside of the loop.

  • I-45 north of the beltway can’t handle the traffic it has now. Imagine when this development and the Exxon-Mobil campus are finished. I wouldn’t wish that commute on anybody.

    I can only hope the developer preserves some of the lakes and other natural features instead of covering everything with cement, but this is Houston, after all.

  • If SHAC is correct in saying that the proceeds from the sale will allow them to purchase a new site and fund it into perpetuity, this is a good move for the Scouts. There has been so much development in that area in the last decade that it seriously detracts from the outdoor experience. Certainly the hum of interstate traffic instead of crickets chirping and a glow from commercial development instead of stars in the sky is not what was envisions years ago when Camp Strake was built. Strake created memories for thousands of youth in our area, but sadly its time has passed.

  • What did Rodney Dangerfield say in Caddyshack? “Golf course, cemeteries and Boy Scout camps are the biggest wastes of prime real estate!”

  • Since this is between Conroe and the Woodlands, does it count as infill?

  • As Katy and Sugarland merge into one suburban blob, so will The Woodlands and Conroe.

  • Camp Strake wasn’t even much of a wilderness back in the late 60s and early 70s – it was more like a hot, mosquito ridden swamp just off the main road, that had only the Pine Curtain to recommend it.

  • So this is a full 40 miles from downtown Houston? I guess they are counting on enough demand from Woodlands office workers to fill up the single-family homes. It does raise some concerns about the viability of I-45 given the limited alternatives in the area.

  • Love all of these comments, if this property were in town all of the same people would be screaming for density and first floor retail…Hypocrites

  • #4

    The Bridgeland community in Cypress (way outside the loop) has a TND neighborhood called Lakeland Heights. It only has one culdesac. The retail portion is supposed to break ground at the end of this year.

  • texmex01- you do not understand the concept of hypocrisy. This is a masterplanned community in the middle of nowhere.

  • I was once on a campout there and some guy in my troop, in the process of digging a hole for something, found an early 1940’s Walking Liberty half dollar, the most beautiful coin the U.S. mint ever produced. Suddenly we were all seized with hysteria. Old silver coins! In the ground! Right beneath us! And it just so happened that one of the scout masters had a metal detector. So at the behest of a dozen crazed boys in their early teens, he led us off on an afternoon mission seeking treasure. Each boy took turns claiming whatever was unearthed in the next metal strike. The beeping sounded, the digging commenced, up came an old rusty nail. Ten minutes later beeping again, excitement, digging, rusty nail. On and on, crisscrossing Camp Strake, through the woods, down the dirt roads, along the lake: rusty nail, rusty nail, rusty nail. Our numbers dwindled; soon it was just me and one other guy, dreaming of coins, digging up nails. And then it was evening and we gave up. All those little holes. A bucket full of rusty nails.

  • It’s a shame, but what can you do when developers see what they want?

    Maybe the scouts should use the money to buy an island in the Caribbean?

  • Would have made a great near-urban park for a rapidly expanding metro. But developers hate nature. And the state and city seem to share that view.

  • As an Eagle Scout you’d think I’d be sad to see the scouts sell off things but I assure I’m not–the Scouts are stuck in 1970–now they’re banning over weight kids from Jamborees because the hike might be too rigorous(ridiculous!– the hikes could actually help them lose weight!)–and don’t get me started on the gay ruling –yes, we’ll allow gay scouts but as they get older we just can’t have them involved in scouts, they could corrupt the youth–they’re beyond stupid–I appreciate the Methodist Church taking the troops banned by the baptist church because of the ruling in favor of gay scouts–at least they stepped out of 1965

  • I actually agree with Shannon on this one (and as an Eagle I also appreciate his use of the present tense). As I mentioned earlier, my memories of Strake as a scout camp aren’t all that fond – and being able to essentially trade it for what ought to be something better ain’t a bad deal (unlike selling Camp Hudson and replacing it with…uh…nothing if I recall correctly).

    It would have been nice (and thoughtful of the future) if Montgomery County or Conroe would have stepped up to acquire Strake for a park, except that would cost money and heaven forfend that they actually do anything that might involve going beyond the barest sub minimum of public services.

  • Yes, a public park would have been grand, however this is Houston where new public parks are retention ponds that are not desirable to developers —maybe they could could make the lake a pond and build a drainage ditch around it and va la a new Houston style park

  • More than half the property is going to be used as a park, and the Jones State Forest is nearby. I don’t think there’s a shortage of park area.

  • As a Girl Scout & former Boy Scout Explorer (yes, you could be a girl Boy Scout, so cannot understand them banning gays for years) – anyway – hate to see the wilderness being moved even further away. But I can see the necessity. It’s really difficult camping at GS Camp Arnold with the I-45 traffic roaring by.

    There were Native American sites at the former GS Camp Madeley in that area. I participated in an AIA-sanctioned dig there in the 70’s. We found a hearth, stone points, and a turtle shell turned into a cooking bowl, among other things. Some treasures can’t be found with a metal detector! Sorry about your day with nails, Mike.

  • Having spent many summers there on my trail to Eagle, I won’t miss it either. Of the summer camps I stayed at over my years in scouting, I much preferred El Rancho Cima.

  • #21:
    The folks at A&M are surely aware of the sale of the Boy Scout property. Do you suppose that monetizing their asset in urbanizing Montgomery County has not crossed their minds?

  • Nothing crosses an Aggies mind, there is simply nothing to cross–case in point Johnny Foosball

  • I’ve spend many nights at Strake… waking up every hour to the train which sounded like it was going through the middle of my tent…

    Strake’s glory days are long over. Urban sprawl has surrounded the camp, the buildings are rotted out and there have been stories about the local drunks showing up uninvited and homeless people living in the woods.

    To makeover the camp would cost BSA millions (which they do not have) and would still mean the sound of the highway and the railroad… not to mention the leaking sewer pipes on the Cub World side (which I understood was to become Conroe’s new water treatment plant under imminent domain???).

    I will miss Strake, it was very convenient in getting new kids and parents away from their flat screens and X boxes and around a camp fire.

  • All cul-da-sacs should be private roads.

  • I love how “masterfully” they continue to chop down what’s left of our forests to make room for future residents while ignoring the hundreds, if not thousands of empty lots they could build on inside the loop and/or beltway.

    It’s “masterful” I tell ya.