This summer, after much study and thought analysis,the GS-TOP Property Committee submitted their recommendations to the Board of Directors for the ongoing use and development of our council’s properties.
Throughout this process, we have kept our work centered on A) how to best serve girls of today and tomorrow while making our Council stronger and financially viable long into the future; B) compassion for those who are impacted by these decisions; C) a thoughtful process for making the decision; and D) a plan for moving forward.
The Board of Directors, which is made up of volunteer representatives from across the council, has reviewed this plan over the past few months and in September of 2012 voted, and passed, the following recommendations:
A change in strategic direction for outdoor properties. Resources should be focused to develop two premier properties: Stevens Ranch and Camp Rio Blanco creating “high quality outdoor programs and facilities for girls”.
- Though specific program plans are still in development, Camp Rio Blanco will have a STEM focus to maximize the capital investment already in place from the building of Lorax Lodge.
- Increase capacity for Stevens Ranch with modern facilities and to modernize current facilities and using green building alternatives as much as possible and economically reasonable.
Gain insights and input for site, program and fund planning from members along the way.
The board has voted to sell approximately 90 unused acres north of Highway 67 at Stevens Ranch, approximately 90 unused acres on the southern end of Pitcher Pump Ranch at Camp Kiwanis, and the Morrison Lodge property.
Proceeds from the sales will be earmarked for improvement of our camp properties
- Proceeds from the sales will be earmarked for improvement of our camp properties
The board has voted to reassign the use of property to better align with program priorities:
- Immediate ceasing of overnight activity at Camp Timberlake including fall and spring troop/group camping and resident camp. Convene a task group to explore the viability of camp day use.
- Effective immediately, Camp Kiwanis is open for troop/group camping. Summer Resident Camp will continue at Camp Kiwanis through summer 2014.
- Troop/group usage will continue at Camp Rio Blanco and resident camp will begin at Camp Rio Blanco in summer 2015.
- Year round troop/group usage will continue at Camp Boothe Oaks
These decisions are not made lightly. We understand the emotional connection of the camping experience and the impact this may have on some members, and we will do everything we can to help address those needs. Nonetheless, at the heart of this decision is the desire to do what’s best for meeting the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s girls.
These are bold decisions for girls. We are striving to ensure that every girl in our council have access and opportunity to build friendships and learn leadership skills in the great outdoors. Girl Scouting has historically provided unmatched camping experiences and, with this plan, we will continue to do so.
A Special Message for Girls
Each of you hold special memories of Girl Scouting in your heart. Funny stories shared with friends in troop meetings, doing service for others or just having fun with one another. Camp is a special place for many girls; it’s a place to discover and create new friendships.
Each year, we ask girls what they like about camp and what they would change. We gathered up all of your answers and we listened. We’re making some changes to update our camps. What does this all mean for you? Well, for some, it will mean no more summer camp at Camp Timberlake. Camp Timberlake is a beloved place that fills a special place in our hearts. Even though we won’t be using the camp, we’re counting on all of you to hold near the amazing summer we had. We will have a chance to pay tribute in a special way and to honor the traditions of the Timberlake so watch for more information.
Also, Camp Kiwanis will be open during fall and spring so you can go camping there with your troop -- Yeah! Girls will have a couple more summers to build those great memories and then, like our Timberlake girls, we will count on you to help us wrap up the resident summers of Camp Kiwanis in a special way.
Stevens Ranch and Camp Rio Blanco will be built up to bring more summer fun, friendships and learning and will provide a place for you to teach those girls some of the things that you remember and love about the other camps.
We’ll keep you updated and will ask for your help in planning big ceremonies. We’re going to need your help to make them truly special. After we celebrate and honor the past, we’ll be ready to start something new and fresh at Camp Rio Blanco, at Stevens Ranch, even in your own backyard, because remember, camp isn’t just a place… it’s a feeling, it’s an attitude and in Girl Scouts we all live it and love it.
Questions can be sent to email@example.com or you may call Public Relations at 800-582-7272 ext. 1409