Thank you for your interest in our camp properties. Our goal is to provide an enhanced camp experience with the reduced cost of fewer facilities so GSNCA can be the best at providing a valuable leadership experience for girls that is fun and relevant in a safe environment.

We will ensure that as many girls in our area as possible have access and opportunity to build friendships and learn leadership skills in the great outdoors. Girl Scouting provides unmatched camping experiences that will grow stronger by adapting and changing to meet the needs girls tell us they have today.

The decision to rest or sell a camp is not made lightly, is not a decision we want to make, and was done with vast input. We understand the emotional toll 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 what’s best for meeting the needs of today’s girls.

Many of our camps need some major improvements or updates, and divesting ourselves of underutilized property will enable us to invest in property(ies) that can be what girls want.

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions that we’ve received. If you are interested in seeing the latest issue of Property Updates, please visit our property webpage dedicated to communicating to our members and the community. Thank you for your dedication to Girl Scouting.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Girl Scouting Reflections

I have been a Girl Scout for 45 years.  Some of the happiest times of my life have been spent at Girl Scout camp, starting at the age of 8.  I have been a camper, a leader and a Day Camp Director in camps in Alabama, Louisiana, California and the Marshall Islands.  From this varied perspective I believe that it is not the physical location that makes a good camp.  It is the Girl Scouts' spirit of love of nature, sisterhood, leadership,service, and learning that makes a great camp.  

GSNCA is not abandoning this spirit.  We are trying to offer this spirit to more girls in more ways than are currently available. We are choking on the debt of maintaining properties that serve less than 5% of membership at summer camp.  The Property Committee has studied our camps and properties in great detail and depth.  A hard decision has been made but a reasoned decision that will lead us into the future with assets to more fully serve all girls in all locations.  There will be a great deal of discussion and study as the Council determines effective ways to do this.  All of us need to work together to design and implement a new vision of camps and camping in our Council.

Sally Barnet

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Camp Coleman is dear to many others than just Girl Scouts. How will we serve all of the schools, churches and community groups that use the camp?

We value each of our partnerships with the community. While it is wonderful that school groups, church groups and other community groups use the facility, our first and foremost responsibility is to our girl members. Outside group rental opportunities will continue at our Camp Cottaquilla and KPC based on availability.

Camp is too expensive for many girls and troops to attend. If prices were lower, more people would attend.

We understand the frustration with the costs of using our camps. That was part of this assessment and how the volunteer and staff committees and the board came to the results. Costs to use the facilities have risen because the cost of operating each camp is expensive. It is a well-known fact that camps have always been supplemented. Over the years when times were tough, many of the councils were unable to afford the necessary maintenance and updating of their facilities. That is one reason the Girl Scouts of the USA realigned. Our camps have operated at a loss since before the merger. It took a couple of years post merger to get all the costs into a unified system that would allow us to accurately depict the true costs by property.

Why is Girl Scouts abandoning its most beloved traditions?

GSNCA wants to ensure girls in our area will continue to have opportunities to participate in Girl Scouting, and we cannot do that while operating properties at a loss. We are trying to protect those traditions by using our resources wisely. Through our Strategic Learning process we determined that our focus was on our girl members.
Camp opportunities are not going away. There will be plenty of outdoor opportunities based on the current level of interest.

Where do my product sales proceeds (cookie and fall products) and program registration fees go if they aren’t used to support camp?

They do support camp.  The amount that the Council retains from cookie sales, fall product sales and program registration fees goes into the Council operational budget. Camp expenses come from the Council operational budget.  Our resources are spread too thin to effectively manage the continuously-rising expenses for six camps. Consolidating properties will allow us to focus our energy and resources on fewer properties to provide girls enhanced opportunities including outdoor education.
Funds raised also provide Council programs not held at camp, staff support and help operate the service centers.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why doesn’t the Council take steps to save the camp?

  • We’ve tried multiple ways of marketing to members, as well as non-members, to increase revenue. We’ve used our publications, social media, print media, radio and television interviews, radio PSAs, direct mail, print advertisements, social media advertisements, flyers, post cards, road signs, banners, email campaigns, and eNewsletters. We’ve even held free open houses at each camp for several years with minimal attendance. In some cases our camp programs have increased in attendance. However, the increased cost of maintaining our camps continues to be an issue and why our expenses are more than our revenues.
  • Based on current membership in our Council, the property assessment committee determined GSNCA is not able to continue operating the numbers of facilities that we currently occupy at the standard of service our members are currently receiving, expect and deserve.

Why doesn’t the Council ask businesses to support camp maintenance efforts?

They do. Many local businesses support camps through the Annual Fund by donating services and/or products. We still have to subsidize camps.