Controversial Plan Could Save Girl Scout Camps - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Controversial Plan Could Save Girl Scout Camps

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 It has been an emotional, controversial issue:  the idea of closing local Girl Scout camps.
But now there is a recommendation that would save them.      

The new proposal calls for making the current Camp Conestoga in New Liberty the only  camp for week long programs, with a focus on new technology.

The other three camps would be for outdoor programs, nature hikes or quick overnighters. Any unneeded land would later be sold. And that is big concern for some.
 Diane Nelson tells us, "As a Girl Scout myself, I know camp is very important to people, you know nostalgia, memories. That's hard to give up sometimes."

It's why she understands some of the outcry that came when board members announced they were considering closing four local camps and opening one in a central location.

But as CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, Nelson says she also had to look at the bottom line.

"When we started to look at numbers, we realized it was about a six hundred thousand dollar loss every year."

Why part of the plan calls for divesting unneeded land.

That is part of the reason Jane Duax is opposed.

"That land was donated to the girls. Those people  did that with future generations in mind. They thought Girl Scouts would be great stewards of the land."

It's land she explored as a scout herself.

"I loved it and that primitive feeling that I could build a shelter, be part of a group, lashing together this lean-to, and I never looked back."

That's something she wants daughter Miracle to experience. And everyone involved tells us they are doing this for the girls, investing in them.
Why the board looked at data for hours last night and listened to volunteers.
"They're an unbelievable group of volunteers and they believe very strongly in this organization," Nelson says.

And they said they would volunteer to make this work.

"We  just want the girls to have fun. And while they're having fun, they're also learning about the great outdoors and many other aspects of Girl Scouting."

But where they will do that remains to be seen. This recommendation still has to be voted on by the board.

If approved, camp redevelopment could start in the Fall and be done by 2015.  

For more information about the plan, or to sign up for a Girl Scout camp, log on to


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