Girl Scouts to Invest in Girl Members and Programming Through Sale of Camps
(Pittsburgh, PA) On March 20, 2010, the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania accepted a recommendation of a program and property task group to divest of six camp properties. The council began a long-range plan and study in 2009 to review the usage and program potential of its 15 council-owned camp properties.
At the April 17, 2010 Annual Meeting, the board announced its decision to 186 registered delegates and visitors who had convened in nine locations. While the Girl Scout program has had a rich tradition with outdoor programming, surveys to members and property assessments identified GSWPA-owned camp properties that are best suited to meeting the needs and interests of its current and potential, future membership. Those include summer resident camps of Camp Elliott (Volant, PA), Camp Conshatawba (near Ebensburg, PA), Camp Hawthorne Ridge (Fairview Township, PA), Camp Redwing (Renfrew, PA), Camp Singing Hills (between Oil City and Franklin, PA), and Camp Skymeadow (near Avonmore, PA). Additionally, the council owns Camp Curry Creek in Jefferson County, Camp Resting Waters in McKean County and Camp Roy Weller in Bruceton Mills, WV. Existing sales agreements for Camp Resting Waters and Camp Roy Weller precluded these properties from the study.
Research indicated that girls expressed greater interest in programming opportunities than rustic camp experiences, and for that reason the council decided to invest into camps best suited for program development. Another consideration was overall safety, and therefore well-maintained camps scored higher on the assessment. Serving nearly 35,000 girls in 27 counties, GSWPA recognized that it would never be able to maintain a camp easily accessible to all of its membership, and therefore determined that time and resources could be better allocated to identify partnerships where outdoor programming could be more easily accessible.
With the sale of Camp Lend-a-Hand (Crawford County), Camp Timberlake (Marianna, PA), Camp Trefoil Trails (Mercer County), Camp Wright-O-Way (Beaver Falls, PA), Camp Yough (Elizabeth, PA), and the decision not to renew its lease with Camp Birdsall Edey in Warren County, the council will reduce its overhead and occupancy costs so that it can turn its focus on creating new programming infrastructure for girls.
Currently, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania provides leadership experiences to girls in nature and the environment, as well as through programs that focus on financial literacy, self-esteem, healthy living, STEM, and travel.
Girl Scouting is well known for its role in using resources wisely, and the sale of property opens the door for Girl Scouting to respond to current trends and needs of girls throughout its jurisdiction.
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