The Girl Scout Council will decide the fate of four eastern Iowa camps at their board meeting Thursday.
More than two months ago the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois board announced plans to sell all four properties due to poor attendance and the cost of maintaining the camps.
After some protest the board agreed to reconsider the sale and came up with an alternative plan. “The recommendation is to put some modern facilities in with the rustic elements into this new facility that meets the needs of today’s girls and keeps the great tradition of the outdoors alive and well,” said CEO Diane Nelson.
That plan will turn Camp Conestoga in New Liberty into a modernized, residential camp equipped for year-round use. Parts of the other three camps will be adapted for things like overnight stays and troop meetings, but unused portions of the land will be sold off.
Even with the plan to save portions of the camps, some groups are still concerned. A press release from the group SOS Camps reads, “They worry that the proposal lacks a strong commitment to traditional, rustic camping as a central component of Girl Scouting, does not include exploring alternatives to selling the ‘unutilized camp properties, and does not allow the membership a vote on any potential sale of those properties.”
The group plans to work with the board in the hopes of improving its camping program through a camping committee. The committee would advise on camp planning, marketing, and fundraising among other things.