Pathfinders, Inc., is a local non-profit that purchased Deer Lake in September, 2022 from the Connecticut Yankee Council (CYC) of the Boys Scouts of America for $4.75 million. The money was raised after Pathfinders launched an ambitious fundraising campaign to supersede a previous bid of $4.625 million made the previous February for the property.

The deal was completed almost a year to the day after the CYC announced the 253-acre property was for sale and seven months after it accepted a tentative bid from a private developer. But it wouldn’t have been possible without Pathfinders launching an aggressive grassroots campaign that drew nationwide attention, including coverage by the Associated Press, USA Today, Washington Post and National Public Radio, and pulled in onors from 87 Connecticut towns, 34 states and five countries.

“Only months ago, we were despairing,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said at a Sept. 17, 2022 news conference to announce the sale. “The triumph of hope over experience here has worked wonders.”
Pathfinders’ offer consisted of slightly more than $3 million in cash, with the remainder paid in loans. With nearly $2 million in outstanding mortgage left to retire, Pathfinders launched another campaign to dissolve the debt and, against all odds, retired it completely within two years.

“This wasn’t just a come-from-behind victory for Deer Lake,” Connecticut Atty. Gen. William Tong said. “This was a Hail Mary.”

Pathfinders is a 501(3)© non-profit that was formed in 1998 to help run programming at Deer Lake but was expanded in the fall of 2021 to concentrate on saving and preserving the property. Today it consists of a 13-member board of directors, headed by president Ted Langevin, with a mission “to preserve over 250 acres of important Connecticut greenway and to foster outdoor education and recreation for future generations.”

Because of its non-profit status, Pathfinders is used as the fundraising vehicle to preserve and protect Deer Lake. All donations made to Pathfinders are tax-deductible.