Four Girl Scout Camps To Remain Open - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Four Girl Scout Camps To Remain Open

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The vote was 18 to 5 to keep four area Girl Scout camps open.

But some former scouts and parents say that's not enough. They are concerned Thursday night's vote doesn't keep the camps intact, or keep them from closing down the road.

Senior Girl Scout Amanda says, "We'll have resident camp now, so that makes me happy."

This summer will be her sixth at resident camp. She tells us she's looking forward to even more of them at what is now Camp Conestoga.
     
"I would be the girl standing in the back, not wanting to do anything. And I get to camp and they pushed me forward, even though I didn't want to do it."

But when she does it? "It's like something new and exciting I would not have ever tried on my own."
     
Something no girls could try if camps closed.

Boyer says, "If we sell them, we can never get them back."

An original proposal called for closing and selling four camps, in Burlington, Decorah and Dubuque, as well as Conestoga in New Liberty.

One new modern camp would then be built. But public outcry had board members approving a new proposal.
     
Residence camp in New Liberty, day camps at the other three sites.

Mary Lagerblade is the Board Chair of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois.

"We're not selling any camps," she says. "We are going to make it possible for our girls to have a better camping experience in a variety of ways."

At the same time, the plan calls for selling any unused land. And opponents say they're concerned about that,  and the slippery slope it could lead to.
     
Jane I. Duax says history tells the tale.

"They've done this same thing, they've mega-merged into huge county councils and have divested the property that was donated to these girls by their grandparents."

Administrators say there are 1,000 acres at these camps, and just a small percentage of Girl Scouts go every year.

They have to consider the bottom line.

VP of Development and Marketing Shelly Wells Cain says, "We have to create efficiencies. We have to move forward. Change is good to meet today's needs, but we're always going to have this great camp experience."

Board members say they hope more girls will take advantage.

They are surveying Scouts and volunteers about what they'd like to see at camp.

Redevelopment could start in the Fall and be done by 2015. 

 

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