North Alabama Girl Scout Camps Saved

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) — The Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama voted unanimously Wednesday against selling four of its camps.

About 50 current and former Girl Scouts rallied outside the GSNCA’s Birmingham headquarters, to show their support for the camps and submit a petition to save them.

They sang camp songs, some of which had modified lyrics such as:
Leader:  “We don’t think closing camp is right.”
Scouts: “We don’t think closing camp is right.”
Leader:  “We won’t give up without a fight.”
Scouts:  “We won’t give up without a fight.”
Leader:  “Sound off.”
Scouts:  “One, two.”

After about two hours in 90-degree heat, the Board of Directors came outside with news.

“It was just like waiting for a jury to return,” rally organizer Milly Breeden said.

“We were watching their faces and they came out smiling with their hands up in the air and they had prepared a news release and read that to us.  Everyone cheered,” she said.

“They want to go forward and work together with the members and so together we’re all going to make this happen.  I’m really not surprised.  I went in with high hopes that this was going to be the outcome and I’m real excited that we’re all one group now.”

Breeden posted several videos of songs, as well as the Board’s announcement, on the page of the Facebook group, SAVE THE GIRL SCOUT CAMPS OF ALABAMA.

The resolution passed by the Board of Directors announced that no GSNCA camp properties will be sold during the re-evaluation process.  They intend to develop a new “comprehensive strategic plan” which will  include obtaining new input from Girl Scout member families, outside experts, and other partners in the community.

“We will continue to include our membership in this new strategic planning process to help garner the best and most creative solutions in determining how we best meet, grow and sustain our Girl Scout outdoor programs,” board president Rachel Russell said.

“The original intent of the 2012 property plan was to continue offering camping in fewer facilities across the Council’s geography while expanding program opportunities and improving standards.  Since the plan was unveiled, a number of our membership has raised concerns about the closing and sale of camp properties as detailed in the three phase property plan, and the impact it may have on Girl Scouts as a whole,” she said.

“Many firmly believe that if given the opportunity, they can help GSNCA by raising enough community support to aid in the ongoing operational and capital needs of the camps.”

Russell and Breeden said they and others will work together to try to sustain the camps.

The resolution passed by the Board of Directors reads in full:

Whereas on May 9, 2012 the GSNCA board of directors adopted a three phase property plan to consolidate our property holdings with the intent to continue to offer camping in fewer facilities across the Council’s geography while expanding program opportunities and improving standards;

Whereas, a number of the membership of GSNCA raised concerns about the closing and sale of selected camp properties as detailed in the three phase property plan;

Whereas, the current board of directors has undertaken a process to re-evaluate the three phase property plan;

Whereas on May 29,2013, the GSNCA board of directors resolved to change the status of Camp Coleman and Camp Trico from “closed” to “rested” pending further action of the board;

Therefore be it resolved, the board of directors will reconsider the three phase property plan with a focus to incorporate current input from the membership using different collection processes on how best to grow Girl Scout outdoor programs in a manner that meets the current needs of the membership and provides for a continuation of outdoor programming in the future;

Be it further resolved that the board will re-consider the status of Camp Coleman and Camp Trico after the strategic planning process that evaluates current and future uses of these camps that align with the goals and desires of the membership that seek an active outdoor program is completed;

Be it further resolved, that the board of directors will not sell Camp Tombigbee and Camp Anderel that were closed in phase one of the three phase property plan and will re-consider the status of the properties as part of the strategic planning process of GSNCA;

Be it further resolved that no GSNCA camp properties will be sold during the re-evaluation of the three phase property plan, the planning process to evaluate current and future uses of the properties, the development of a strategic plan to best suit the outdoor programming needs of the membership; and the camp properties will not be sold pending the outcome of the strategic planning process and upon further action of the board of directors;

Be it further resolved that the Property Committee, in conjunction with other necessary committees (such as but not limited to the Strategic Planning Committee and Finance Committee), and input from the membership, outside experts, and community partners, shall complete the reevaluation and planning processes and prepare resolutions to be presented to the board of directors at the January 2014 board meeting.


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