Property Committee Update
With the lease on the Pittsburgh corporate office up for renewal, our first order of business was to determine if remaining at that location was the best option. After a lengthy process, we decided to move our corporate office to 30 Isabella Street on the North Shore – effective June 1. This allowed us to set up satellite offices in the growing areas of Wexford and South Pointe which opened in mid-March. The shop that was in the Pittsburgh location will also be moved to the North Shore location. Knowing that we couldn’t possible open up new shops at every new location, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania invested into an online shop that went live on March 12.
There have been non-council owned camps that we have been including on our maps – Camp Birdsall Edey and Pine Grove Lodge. This fall, the borough of Grove City determined that groups will not be renting Pine Grove Lodge until maintenance work is completed. Camp Birdsall Edey will continue to be used for Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania programs and will be included in the overall property assessment.
Our property committee is also looking at issues such as:
- Safety for girls
- Neighboring and environmental disturbances that could negatively impact the overall camp experience.
One example of this concern is Camp Resting Waters in McKean County. Prior to the merger, Camp Resting Waters had been under agreement with Rustick LLC. Rustick is the owner of the landfill adjacent to Resting Waters that filed a permit for the expansion of the landfill. Once the expansion permit is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the new facility would cover 336 acres. More than half of this acreage would be on adjacent property and the remainder on property currently owned by the council.
We do expect plans for this camp to remain unchanged during this summer camping season since Rustick does not have plans to expand operations this year. The sale of Camp Resting Waters is contingent upon DEP’s approval of the expansion permit. Once the sale occurs, Camp Resting Waters will remain in operation up until such time that the Rustick operations infringe upon the safety and quality of the camping experience.
The council will remain in close communication with Rustick to determine when the landfill operation will negatively impact our camping programs in order to ensure that programs are planned accordingly. Rustick has committed to providing sufficient notice, so the council can announce the final closing of the camp well in advance to our membership.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, an area that required immediate action is Camp Roy Weller in West Virginia. Because of proposed development in the area surrounding the camp, a prospective buyer has asked Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania to consider the sale of this property. The Board of Directors has signed an agreement giving both sides ninety days to consider the proposals and decide if we want to go further. Our concerns with the proposed development of the area include the change in the camping experience for girls and their safety.
Another safety issue that was brought to the attention of our board involves Camp Lend-a-Hand. Due to the poor condition of the facilities at that location, we will no longer be honoring troop reservations – starting April 24.
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania is deeply committed to providing camping opportunities for the girls and leaders in all parts of the council, and is carefully evaluating and considering all of our options.
Even though we are excited about completing the long range plan, some decisions will need to be made before everything is completed. Our goal, however, remains to keep the membership informed of changes and answer questions as we move forward.