GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –The Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama will meet Wednesday morning to decide the fate of two of their camps.
Before the meeting begins at the GSNCA’s Birmingham headquarters at 10 a.m., dozens of former and current scouts plan to surround the building in support of keeping Guntersville’s Camp Trico and Trussville’s Camp Coleman open and in operation.
Milly Breeden of Marshall County is helping organize the rally, and will be presenting GSNCA’s leaders with a petition to “Save the Girl Scout Camps of Alabama.”
“We are going to Birmingham to form a circle around the office of the Girl Scouts and sing campfire songs to let them know that we do want this camp, and we do care, and how important it is to the people and girls of Alabama,” Breeden said.
In May 2012, GSNCA announced plans to close and sell four of their six camps, including Trico, Coleman, Anderel, and Tombigbee. The latter two closed in August 2012, with Trico and Coleman scheduled for closure May 31, 2013.
However, on May 29, 2013, the Board of Directors put those two campground “in rest” instead of closure, and scheduled the June 12 meeting so they could reevaluate the plans.
Milly Breeden said GSNCA’s attempt to reconsider their options with Camp Trico gave her new hope. She is in close contact with a similar group trying to Save Camp Coleman.
She said the explanation given to her for the closure was financial, as attendance is not what it used to be, but she said there are highs and lows. 2011 registration was down, but the Camp Trico Facebook page said 2012 participation increased by 202 percent.
Breeden said she expected even more kids to go to camp in 2013, including a grandchild.
“My mother attended Camp Trico in the 50s when it first opened. I attended in the 70s, my children attended in the 90s, and now it’s time for my grandchildren to attend,” she said.
Her first time on an airplane was a flight from North Carolina to Alabama to go to Camp Trico, and she could not name a favorite memory as there are so many great ones.
“So many children sit on the couches in the summer and play video games and talk on Facebook. The alternative is going to Girl Scout camp and learning to horse back ride, archery, swimming, canoeing, sail boating, arts and crafts, it just goes on and on. This is what builds character, self esteem, and our future leaders,” Breeden said.
The GSNCA offices are located at 105 Heatherbrooke Park Drive, Birmingham.