While this is not officially confirmed, it was obtained from a very reliable source, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio (GSNEO) board of director’s maybe planning to announce the sale of 5 of their 7 currently owned camps. If this decision goes through, GSNEO will have sold/relinquished 11 of their 13 camps since 2009.
The 7 currently owned camps are: Camp Crowell-Hilaka (in Richfield, Ohio), Great Trail (Malvern), Ledgewood (Peninsula), Lejnar (Leroy Township), Pleasant Valley (Green Springs), Sugarbush (Kinsman), and Timberlane (Wakeman). Of these 7 camps, GSNEO plans on selling 5 of them, including Crowell-Hilaka, Great Trail, Lejnar, Pleasant Valley, and Sugarbush. The only camps they are planning to keep are Camp Ledgewood and Camp Timberlane.
The Friends of Camp Crowell-Hilaka have written to the GSNEO board of directors, but they will neither confirm or deny this announcement until the general assembly on April 16th. A recent communication from FoCH states this about the possible news of the sale of 5 more camps:
“They “see this as “exciting and transformational”. My guess is if they make a few million from selling more camps , then they can do something fancy with the remaining properties: Ledgewood, Timberlane & the council office building. But regardless of what fanciness they may want to add, with only two camps, the availability of sites will be slashed.
Is this why our girls are selling cookies? Is this what we volunteered for? If you want to see Girl Scouting survive in North East Ohio – please register to attend the April 16 meeting at the council office building in Macedonia. There is very limited space. We do have to register on line at www.GSNEO.org to attend.
Since this is a girl-led organization, girls should come to voice their opinions. What better opportunity for leadership than in the organization that they themselves own and finance? This promises to be a very educational learning experience for ALL of us. If you really want to ace the course, do a little advance prep so you know where the infomation is coming from. Read over the Vision 2012 findings on the council website.
Since it may be hard for them to sit through the whole thing, I am volunteering to arrange games, crafts, & activities for them with their parents outside until it is time for “The Announcement”. Girls interested in this should still register online to attend the meeting. If there are more girls than can fit into the meeting, I will stay outside with them. Hopefully afterwards, some can come out to tell us about the exciting & transformational plan. All girls will be given an opportunity to write letters to the board. “
Let’s hope that they can turn this tide of the decision to sell so many camps. Does it really make sense to sell camps at a time when real estate values are at an all-time low?
Here is my letter to the GSNEO board requesting confirmation of the reports we have been receiving, and their response:
Dear GSNEO board
It seems that in the age of facebook & twitter, there is no such thing as a secret.
I cannot begin to tell you how many messages – from out of state, no less – we have gotten on FoCH sites from friends and relatives of GSNEO & GSUSA staff sympathizing with us on the loss of our camps. Evidently GSNEO & GSUSA were told “confidentially” that our council is selling off everything except Ledgewood & Timberlane. This is so unexpected it seems that everyone who hears it has to unburden themself to at least 3 or 4 other people. We have tried to confirm locally & all we get is “that’s not the whole picture.” Fine, but I’m sure hearing a consistent partial picture from multiple sources.
I know that this is not how you planned to present the information. But given that the news has apparently made the rounds to everyone in America EXCEPT the members of this council – maybe it would be a good idea to issue a statement on the property decision in advance of the April 16th meeting.
I urge you to do so. As long as we are all getting wind of the decision via socal media, why not give everyone the straight up story? Those members who are interested can follow up at the April 16 meeting. Then you can give everyone the same information all at once instead of having to repeat it 5 different times for the benefit of members in affected areas.
Maybe it’s better that it turned out this way – it gives us all time to think about how to move forward from here. We can use the general assembly as a true gathering from all areas of the council to discuss and reflect.
Thank you for your e-mail 3/15.
On March 2nd, by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors in attendance, a decision was made concerning the use of our camp properties. The Board has worked closely with the Vision 2012 volunteers for 18 months and considered extensive information in making this decision. The decision allows GSNEO to move forward to strengthen our program areas including many diverse outdoor experiences that we’ll continue to provide for our girls. The full announcement and unveiling of plans will be made to GSNEO members first at the General Assembly Meeting April 16th. The full presentation is complex and includes narrative that is better shared in person rather than via written correspondence or e-mail. We look forward to sharing the exciting details of our transformational vision with everyone who is dedicated to the Girl Scout Movement and hope that you will join us on April 16th.
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