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GSWPA Camp Properties Plan


Our vision

Who we are: 

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) provides nearly 23,000 girls from 27 counties and many different backgrounds and beliefs with the resources to become tomorrow’s leaders. And all of this is made possible thanks to the help of 11,500 adult members, 100 full time staff, 20 board members and countless supporters, all believing in the power of girls. 

Our goal:

We want to deliver the amazing benefits of outdoor experiences in Girl Scouts to more girls in western Pennsylvania.

The challenge:

The Council Camp Advisory Team (Council CAT), which includes volunteers representing each GSWPA camp, along with the Property Committee of the Board, and council staff, have been reviewing camp data including usage, revenue and expenses.

Currently, only about 13% of council membership attend camp, and overall, camps bring in revenue of approximately $600,000 but have expenses of nearly $2 million. 

This data shows that our membership does not support having nine camps.

Our solution:

We are committed to providing the best possible outdoors experience that Girl Scouts want and expect while using council resources wisely. To accomplish this, we are retaining four camps that are accessible to the different areas within our council and can best provide meaningful, safe and fun adventures for girls: Conshatawba in Cambria County, Hawthorne Ridge in Erie County, Redwing in Butler County, and Skymeadow in Armstrong County. 

Camps Elliott, Curry Creek, Resting Waters, Roy Weller and Singing Hills will be sold. These camps will be closed March 31, 2017. If you have a reservation for after March 31 at one of these camps, you will be contacted personally by phone.

Resident camp programs will be offered at three camps—Hawthorne Ridge, Skymeadow and Conshatawba. Online registration opens by Feb. 1.

No resident camp programs will be offered at Redwing. Instead, the camp will be available throughout the year for troops and service units to use for day camp, troop camping, service unit camp or weekend events. 

This change will allow us to build a plan for enhancing camp programs and amenities, including:

Ensuring amazing activities. We strive to offer girls meaningful and memorable things to do at each camp location, and we’re looking to the surrounding communities to help deliver more. We’ll work with program partners nearby each camp to provide even more choices for our girls. From horse stables to community events, these partnerships will maximize the best each region has to offer while providing more opportunities for girls to try new things.

Improving our facilities. The next few years will bring many improvements that will make your camping experience safe and more comfortable. Over the next year, starting with the informational meetings listed below, we will work with our membership to prioritize and build these plans.

Enhancing our horse programs. By building a new barn at Camp Skymeadow and taking full advantage of its miles of beautiful woodland trails, girls of all riding levels will enjoy programs that progress in skill and adventure. 

What are the next steps?

Girl Scout volunteers, parents and girl members are invited to attend an informational meeting with our council leadership team to learn how we can work in partnership to provide meaningful and fun programs for more Girl Scouts throughout western Pennsylvania.

Save the date for an upcoming meeting in your community.

You can find answers to some of your questions on our Camp Plan FAQs or you can submit questions or feedback through the suggestion box.

 

Recap of Camp Decision Leadership Meetings 

A total of 152 members (121 adults and 31 girls) attended the leadership meetings throughout our council in February to discuss the camp closure decision, and how we can work in partnership to provide meaningful and fun programs, including outdoors and camp programs, to more Girl Scouts across western Pennsylvania. Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and ideas.  

Didn't make it to a meeting? View the Power Point presentation to see what was discussed.  


Camp Closing Ceremonies

Current and former Girl Scouts, volunteers, friends and family are invited to pay tribute to the camps closing at ceremonies scheduled throughout April. Each closing ceremony will include time-honored camp traditions, including songs, s'mores and a flag ceremony. See ceremony dates and more information