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Camp Singing Hills Girl Scout Camp scheduled to close

camp singing hills sign reduced 300x225 Camp Singing Hills Girl Scout Camp scheduled to closeCamp Singing Hills in Middlebury, Indiana is scheduled to close. The article “Camp Singing Hills scheduled to be closed” has more information.

Will Menges from Friends of Camp Singing Hills sent us the media release below.

Local Girl Scouts Take Action to Save Local Girl Scout Camp

Contact: Friendsofcsh@gmail.com

As a response to the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana’s publication of the Board of Directors’ decision to close and sell Camp Singing Hills, several concerned registered adult Girl Scouts and concerned community members have formed a workgroup called Friends of Camp Singing Hills to explore options for retaining this camp.

Camp Singing Hills was founded on October 28, 1966 by a group of forward-thinking volunteers who believed that Girl Scouting could open doors and provide opportunities for young women to develop their own special skills and talents. Over the years, many others saw the value in protecting the gift of the camp to the girls in this area. Several of these pioneering women are memorialized at Camp Singing Hills.

It is the workgroup’s belief that the general membership did not have a voice in the decision making process. When information was being collected by the task group, primarily through an online survey mechanism, many Scouts and families found themselves able to answer only one online survey, being locked out because of IP address, despite the survey being offered for parents, registered adults and girls. 

This concern was brought to the council’s attention and paper copies were offered. However, the girls’ survey still proved to be very difficult and not age appropriate for many of the younger girl members.

Additionally, those who were elected or selected to serve on the task force did not make efforts to talk to the local membership, either at a town hall style meeting, at troop meetings or a Service Unit meeting. There was no clear solicitation of registered member opinion or suggestion for this process.

All along, there has been a lack of transparency in the release of information regarding this property decision process. A monthly GSNIM electronic newsletter would provide some information from the Board Chair, but the release of the decision via email by GSNIM, through limited channels to reach the membership, preceded the announcement in the electronic newsletter by two weeks. This style of communication means that some members, especially Life Members, may not yet know the board decision.

Journey- this is an evidence-based program developed and promoted by Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). It is designed for girls of all ages to learn to Discover, Connect and Take Action in their communities while learning to be girls of courage, confidence and character. 

Developing girl leadership skills is the ultimate goal. The Board’s decision to close and sell Camp Singing Hills presents the girls in this council, especially in the Elkhart County area, the opportunity to deal with a LIVE Journey opportunity, not one found in a book. 

To be able to Discover the issues that lead the recommendation and options to modify those issues, to Connect with resources in their communities and to Take Action on the options they discovered would provide an unparalleled experience.

As the news is delivered to each girl member and troop, we are certain more information will come forward on how the girls are reacting to the news and what actions they are taking. As for the Friends of Camp Singing Hills workgroup, they are in the process of collecting information to offer a counter proposal to the Board of Directors to reconsider the decision to close and sell the camp.  

At this time, there is a petition drive for all registered GSNIM Girl Scouts, age 14 and older, to request a meeting with the board to discuss the sale and disposition of Camp Singing Hills. The workgroup can be contacted, at this time, via FaceBook at Friendsof Csh or via email friendsofcsh@gmail.com.
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