CAMPS SAVED: Girls Scouts Pass Revised Plan

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Eastern Iowa’s four Girl Scout camps won’t be put up for sale after all.

The board of directors voted Thursday to pass a revised camp recommendation that would save the properties from immediate sale.

More than two months ago the board announced plans to sell the camps due to poor attendance and the cost of maintenance.  Many of those currently and formerly involved in girl scouting urged the board to devise a new plant.

Thursday’s recommendation will turn Camp Conestoga in New Liberty into a modernized, residential camp equipped for year-round use. Then parts of the other three camps will be adapted for things like overnight stays and troop meetings, but unused portions of the land will eventually be sold off.

Redevelopment will start in the fall, with completion expected by 2015.

Senior scout member Amanda Boyer, was pleased with the results of the vote. She told our sister station WQAD, “We’ll have a resident camp now, so that makes me happy, because before we didn’t know if we were still gonna have a resident camp. It’s gonna be a resident camp, we just don’t know what it’s going to be like. It’ll be a new experience for all of us, but we still have a camp, so that’s exciting.”

Members of the Save Our Scout Camps movement say they are still concerned with the results. A press release from the group SOS Camps reads, “We 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.