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Interested in news and discussions about the efforts to save Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other youth wilderness camps, then visit our Facebook Page where we have more than 1,000 followers. There we have multiple updates from groups and ongoing discussions about this growing issue. Save Camps Facebook Page.

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Survey Released to Gather Views on Sale of Camp Easton

Email surveys have been sent out by The Inland Northwest Council of the Boy Scouts asking scouts, volunteers and supporters their view on the possible sale of Camp Easton. Read full article.

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Girl Scout Cookie Sales Boycott in North East Ohio

Many Girl Scouts in North East Ohio are boycotting Girl Scout Cookie sales over the planned sale of their camps. These camps are being sold in spite of the fact that the majority of their delegates recently votes to stop the sale of the camps. Read the full article.

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We Absolutely Love Our Cookie Sale, Our Camps and Our Crafts

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois CEO Diane Nelson is quoted in a nice article “Girl Scouts turn 100” in The Quad-City Times on November 29th about their fundraiser A Night on Broadway and the GSUSA program in general. “We absolutely love our cookie sale, our camps and our crafts as they’re a very important part of our organization,” Diane Nelson.
I like the article. I think it does a good job talking about the program in which my daughter is a Brownie. However, it is ironic that Nelson is quoted earlier this year in an article titled “Fewer Girl Scouts at Camps, Closure a Possibility” from July 27th. The article says that if camp usage doesn’t improve, the council may limit programming, temporarily close or even sell one or more its four camps.
The article quotes Nelson saying: “We have to make sure (the camps) are continuing to be used,” said Diane Nelson, CEO of the council, which covers Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Decorah and the Quad Cities. “If they’re not, we’ll have to look at other possibilities.”
The article published in July has some interesting information about things the Council is doing to improve camp attendance including blogs, more marketing activities and a new program to allow girls to camp with their troops instead of the former format of registering as individuals and going alone. The July article also says that the success of these changes will be watched and used in the determination of how camp programs are structured in the summer of 2012. Then in 2013, the council will review properties again to decide if any need to be closed and possibly sold.
I hope Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois do love their camps and that they are able to increase attendance. It sounds promising from the steps they are doing to turn the declining attendance trend around. So Girl Scouts and their leaders in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, please remember the best way to keep your camps open: “Use Them or Lose Them!”

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Sale of Girl Scout Camps in Northeast Ohio to Continue

This disappointing news was posted to our Facebook group today:

Even though 60% of the General Assembly voted this past October to stop the sales of four of our camps in Northeast Ohio, today our Board of Directors has announced that the sales will continue regardless and in spite of the membership.

Then I received this email:

To: Friends of Crowell Hilaka; trefoil
Subject: [FriendsOfCrowellHilaka] Property Decision & Donation Request to Save Our Local Girl Scout Camps

Hello All,

I came home from a Girl Scout meeting to find Joan Villareal and the Board’s response. I am so sorry to see the Boards’ lack of respect for the membership who came together with thoughtful solutions and the delegates who worked tirelessly to bring all your suggestions to the leadership. We came to the meeting asking for a re-evaluation with accurate numbers, a fair evaluation using a proper reservation system, and the decision made in a transparent environment. All these points were called out in the amendment, that won by 60% (80% if you only count the delegate votes). The Board continued to use flawed data, inaccurate counts, and still made their decision behind closed doors. I know if I had a daughter in the program, I would be seriously concern having such leadership as role models. Your girls deserve better, they deserve democracy, they deserve to be heard.

I want you to know that for the pass two years I have been at one of the seven camps at least 3 times a month. Every weekend, I see troops sharing cabins or hear about troops closed out. A few weeks ago I saw 4 troops share 3 houses and I personally spoke with a fifth troop that had to stay elsewhere. When they say underutilized it’s because they are using flawed data from a time when THEIR registration system was broken. Dr. Alford Smith admitted to this mistake. When the Board says it will cost $30 million to fix the properties to make them safe, they are not telling the truth. I know you all know the Board has not been completely truthful, here is you and your troop’s opportunity to show the Board that democracy is not dead and Girl Scouts hold themselves to a higher standard.

We are not done fighting this fight. We are collecting for legal funds to file an injunction. This is not a nasty fight, it’s members asking to see the facts and numbers. We want the Board to share with the membership what we deserved to have been able to see all along. We need roughly $20,000. What a coincidence that roughly 20,000 girls camped last year. Please, gather your troop and ask for $1 – $2 from each girl. Together we can save our camps! We can save GSNEO from destroying itself.

Yours in Girl Scouting, Corey Ann.

Finally: I received a great campaign/donation request letter from a politician and seeing it was so well said that I had to borrow some of the wording!

Quick favor to ask you – do you each have $200 you could donate to save our camps? Probably not, right? But that doesn’t mean your donation can’t help save ALL the camps.

You can make a real impact for the price of a few boxes of cookies. Many of your fellow Girl Scouts have donated to our legal fund. But we still have a ways to go – so please join them by contributing $10 or whatever you can afford right now! (Even $1-$2 from each girl in your troop)

By hitting our $20,000 goal, we will send an unmistakable message to the GSNEO Board of Directors that we are willing to invest in our camps, girls, and local communities. It tells the GSNEO Board of Directors we are willing to contribute to our camps.

You don’t have to contribute all of that yourself. Just $10 would be a huge help, so please give now! To donate, please visit http://friendsofcrowellhilaka.org/ (yellow donate button at the bottom of page) or send checks made out to Richfield Historical Society (memo: Camps) and send to 3907 Broadview Road, Richfield, OH 44286.

Please help us meet this goal to cover legal fees to save the camps. And again, thank you for supporting your local camps.


Corey Ann Ringle

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Financial Owes Prompt WA BSA Council to Sell Camp Properties

Here is an interesting article about the state of Washington’s Grand Columbia Council of Boy Scouts of America selling an office building and about 250 acres of camp properties.  The Council had accumulated $1.6 million in debt after making improvements to Camp Fife required by the state including the water system and upgrading the electrical system.

The article says: “Properties the council recently listed with NAI Black Commercial Real Estate Services include: 41.75 at North Creek across from Scout-A-Vista, listed for $227,000; 61.59 acres across from Scout-A-Vista for $335,000; 100 acres at Summit Lake camp near Wauconda for $252,000; 22 acres across from Camp Bonaparte for $105,000; the 11,000-square-feet council office building in Yakima for $1.2 million; and slightly less than an acre in Buena.

The camp at Summit Lake is not used for council camping programs, said Fawcett, and the other camp properties would not affect council camping programs.”

One idea to raise the needed money was to sell about 200 acre camp Scout-A-Vista. This has met with much local and volunteer resistance. Currently volunteers are raising $500,000 to save the part of camp Scout-A-Vista. The article says: “Ownership of the camp property would transfer from the council to the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, he said. They would lease the property back to the council on a 99 year lease for $1 per year. That would ensure everyone knew that “Scout-A-Vista cannot, and will not, be sold,” he said.”

Read the full article at http://www.columbiabasinherald.com/news/article_2daa461c-120d-11e1-a629-001cc4c03286.html.

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MA BSA Camp Building States Largest Solar Array

In spring of 2012, a 25 acre solar array will be built in Treasure Valley Scout Reservation in Rutland Massachusetts. This will be owned and built by Nexamp, a leading solar independent power producer. It will save the camp about $20,000 per year as well as power about 900 homes.

Read the full article at http://www.necn.com/11/18/11/Mass-camp-has-plans-to-build-largest-sol/landing_newengland.html?blockID=596904&feedID=4206.

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CA BSA Camp Masonite-Navarro Still For Sale Despite Improved Finances

In an article published August 3rd the Redwood Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America said that although finances have improved this year and they are no long operating at a deficit, camp Masonite-Navarro remains on the market.

“Faced with severe budget problems, the council in March put Camp Masonite-Navarro on the market at a list price of $2 million. The camp, 70 miles northwest of Santa Rosa, has been used by generations of Boy Scouts and other groups from across the North Coast to learn outdoor skills.

The camp was founded in 1955 on redwood-studded land owned by Masonite Corp. The company donated the property to the Scouts in 1973 and the Masonite name was added to the title.”

Read the full article at: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110803/ARTICLES/110809813/1350?Title=Boy-Scout-camp-remains-up-for-sale.

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Anne Jackson Memorial Girl Scout Camp in Wilton Center, NH Closed

“Camp Anne Jackson will not hold summer camp in 2012 but will still be available for troop camping until further notice,” says the notice on Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains website.

Camp Anne Jackson was established in the early 1960s. Its 79 acres is a mix of forests and fields. There is a winterized lodge that accommodates 16 campers total. Those wanting a more rustic experience can reserve some of the nine Adirondack shelters with campfire circles that each accommodates 10-12 Brownies or 5-10 older girls. Its summer camp programs were attended by about 200 girl scouts each year.

In July the closure of Camp Ann Jackson’s summer camp programs were announced. The summer camp program is to be combined with Camp Kettleford in Bedford.

One article on nashuatelegraph.com reports: “The site is one of five in the region that will be sold, said Patricia Mellor, the chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains. The Swift Water Council, which oversees the Anne Jackson camp, is a part of that group.

The other camps being sold are Sunset Valley in New Hampshire, and Wapanacki, So-Ko-We-Gi and The Vermont House in Vermont.

“It was a difficult decision for the board of directors,” Mellor said of the decision, reached June 29. A letter was sent the following day to all Girl Scout personnel affected.

“We realized there was a duplication of efforts. Except for those in the Wilton area, it isn’t that much farther to Kettleford,” Mellor said.

Mellor said all net proceeds from the sale of the properties will be placed in a fund for maintaining and improving camping facilities.

Read the full article at http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/926330-196/girl-scout-camp-closing.html.

Read other articles at:

http://www.ledgertranscript.com/article/girl-scout-camp-to-close

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2209&dat=19860613&id=QrorAAAAIBAJ&sjid=SPwFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6147,3971006

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NY BSA Camp Portaferry Sold to Developer

Here is an article from June about camp being sold in New York’s St Lawrence County by the Longhouse Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The 388 acre Camp Portaferry has been closed since 2006 and was being sold to a developer for $487,500 that plans to build residential houses on approximately 7 acre lots.

The article quotes Longhouse Council’s Chief Executive Officer Rick Avery : “No one likes to sell a Scout camp. There are always great memories and strong emotional attachments to such properties.”

The merger of the Seaway Council and Hiawatha Council in 1999 to form The Long House Council left the local scouting group with “an abundance of facilities and Camp Portaferry was the least used,” Avery said.

The developer said the camp was underutilized and operating at a financial loss in the article.  CEO Avery said that before Camp Portaferry was closed in 2006, about 170 scouts attended the camp’s summer camp which was about 40 boys too from their annual goal. Forty boys would be about 0.57% of the Council’s 7000 registered Scouts.

The proceeds from the property sale was to be used to help reduce the new Council’s $1.2M in debt.

Read the entire article at http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/06/boy_scouts_sell_388-acre_st_la.html

There is also an interesting history of Portaferry on the Council’s website. “Originally part of the great McComb’s Purchase, many relics have been found, the most recent being two dugout canoes. In this land, moccasined feet walked, followed by the French settlers. Many moved on. One of the men who stayed was from Ireland. He acquired the land around the lake and named it Portaferry after a town in Northern Ireland located between Lake Strangford and the Irish Sea. Thus, our camp was named Camp Portaferry.

In 1921, the Jefferson-Lewis Council operated Kamp Karmargo at Lake Bonaparte. Due to an expanding scouting program, it was thought that larger and more adequate facilities were needed. On January 18, 1943, the land now known as Camp Portaferry was visited and an option to purchase was made. In May 1943 members of the Executive Board visited the area and about 200 acres was purchased.”

Read the whole history at http://cnyscouts.org/history/camp_portaferry_history.asp

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