The local Girl Scouts community gets a chance to weigh in on the future of the organization. This, a month after the Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois Girl Scout Council announced plans to close a local camp and three others.
Especially on a day that also marks the girl scout organization's 101st birthday many say the idea of these big changes is a hard pill to swallow. Close to a hundred people packed into town hall tonight in Bettendorf including girl scouts of all ages. Some of them pleaded to the council to not close the four camps, including Camp Conestoga in Scott County. There was emotional testimony shared about how important the camps are for gaining skills and experience in the outdoors.
This was one of several town hall meetings being held across the region by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Scouts, parents, volunteers and others can meet the council's CEO and share their thoughts.
"No body has said that there will not be camp. There will always be camp. It may not be the same camp we remember when we were little. Things change, but the memories don't," said one girl.
"You're going to rob me and my fellow Girl Scouts those opportunities in the name of progress? Are you kidding me?" added another girl who spoke.
The reason behind the plan to close several camps is declining attendance. Council members site research that shows girls are becoming less interested in the kind of rustic outdoor experience these camps can offer. The money from the sale of the would be reinvested into a new, modern outdoor learning center.
Members of the Girl Scouts community who couldn't make this town hall are still invited to weigh in via email to TownHalls@GirlScoutsToday.org
A vote on a decision is set for March 28th.