Council Property and Outdoor Program Updates
Special Edition Property Update
On February 22, 2014, the Board of Directors approved the master plan presented by Studio Outside, an independent contractor who worked with the Board Property Committee.
The master plan is a long-term plan to transform Camp Rio Blanco and Stevens Ranch into premier camp facilities, while maintaining the excellence at all of our camp locations.
The board approved moving forward immediately with preparations suggested in the plan including topographical surveys, jurisdictional due diligence and architectural design concepts.
With this master plan acceptance comes changes to the information previously shared with our Girl Scouts family.
- In order to maintain successful camping programs, the decision was made to keep Camp Kiwanis open for residential summer camp until Camp Rio Blanco is ready.
- Camp Rio Blanco will not open for residential camp in 2015.
The camp experience for the girls must be excellent. In order for excellence to occur, Camp Rio Blanco will remain a non-residential camp until appropriate updates to the camp are made.
It is the plan of Girl Scouts to update our Girl Scouts family in a timely manner about all changes occurring with our camps as we work through our master plan.
February 2014 Property Update
Camp Boothe Oaks
- Completed painting the Camp History Building (Director's Hut)
- removed some brush to dump
- worked on water heater and fixed door at Band Aid Barn
- repairs some door screens
- painted the railing at the Log Bridge
- began repairing Band Aid Barn -plumbing, shower walls, painting etc.
- Continuing to hire summer resident camp staff
- Spring activities coming up are:
- Published a list of service projects needed for Camp Kiwanis
- New outdoor program in partnership with Wildcat Bluff will begin in June.
Camp Rio Blanco
- Checked the property and tested the water chlorine content; took 1 sample to City of Lubbock Water Treatment Lab
- Discovered broken water line in kitchen, breezeway, and haz-mat room; had it repaired by plumbers; repaired wall damaged from water leak
- Registration for Fairy Myst is closed. The event is full!
- Adult Fun Weekend was so much fun that even Elvis (yes, that Elvis) attended!
- 3rd weekend – 2 units occupied with troop campers
- 4th weekend – 2 units occupied with troop campers
- Yogi spent time clearing brush and repairing broken pipes.
- Note: as of 3/10 a Burn Ban is in effect for Somervell County.
- Summer Camp Guides should be arriving in homes this week.
- We have sold the vacant lots we owned in Sweetwater.
January 2014 Property Update
Camp Boothe Oaks
- Installed new doors at Gypsy Glen
- Pruned trees and cleared brush and trails
- Painted the trading post, signs, fence posts, and the history building
- Relocated mail box to more secure location
- Held Cookie University
Camp Rio Blanco
- Regular checks of propane tanks, wells, septic systems, water samples
- Checked winterizing to prepare for coldest weather
- Felled dead tree in front of Ranger’s House – tree will be used for mulch and outdoor seating
- Formed a new Outdoor Education Task Group to partner with Natalie to create and implement outdoor education activities
- Held one Service Unit event; preparing for 2 more
- Preparing for Adult Fun Weekend, Fairy Myst, Camp Open House, and a camp clean-up day
- Took inventory of equipment and supplies; equipment and supplies will be utilized at other camps or for other program needs.
- Renewed lease of 8 acres (Daisy Point) with the Tarrant County Water District
- Put finishing touches on the 2014 summer camp guide Click here to check out our summer camps!
- Starting to recruit summer staff for Resident Camp at Stevens Ranch and Camp Kiwanis and High Adventure Trips Wanna work at camp? Click here!
- A new camp site usage report was developed to help us obtain more accurate information on how our camp properties are being used. Use of the new report began in January. Thank you for completing this report when you use one of our camps!
Master Planning Process
- Studio Outside facilitated a Program Workshop on December 17th to continue work on the master plans for Stevens Ranch and Camp Rio Blanco.
- Town Hall meetings were held in January in Fort Worth, Amarillo, and Lubbock to review the preliminary master plans. The Town Hall meetings were open to all Girl Scout members, parents of girls, and community supporters. Andrew Duggan and Ellen Calhoun from Studio Outside, Cindy Martin, Chair of the Property Committee, and Susie Bell, Chief Operating Officer presented the preliminary master plans, then took questions and comments from the audience.
- We appreciate everyone who took time to attend a Town Hall meeting and share your thoughts.
- On January 30th Studio Outside facilitated a Master Planning Workshop. Members of the Property Committee, the Outdoor Program Task Group, and property and outdoor program staff attended. Input obtained from the Program Workshop and the Town Hall meetings was incorporated into the plans. The participants gave Studio Outside excellent input on program priorities and facilities.
Fall 2012 Board Property Decision
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