Girl Scouts of the Heart of Pennsylvania to retire 3 camps

HARRISBURG, Pa.– The fate of seven camps owned and operated by the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania was decided during closed meeting of the Board of Directors on Thursday night.  The council announced three camps will be retired, including Camp Echo Trail in Felton, Camp Golden Pond in Petersburg and Camp Louise in Shickshinny.

“As difficult as these decisions are, they enable us to continue to create progressively challenging outdoor experiences and memories for girls while reallocating finite council resources to deliver more of the programs and activities that girls are asking for,” said Kathy McCorkle, Board Chair.

For the past year, the organization conducted an evaluation of its outdoor programs and properties throughout 30 counties. The council cited that maintaining all seven camps would have required 57 percent of GSHPA’s annual operating budget.

“Properties were evaluated individually based upon annual operating costs, utilization rates by Girl Scout troops, and the need for infrastructure improvements,” according a statement by the council.

Last night, the GSHPA Board of Directors decided to retain, review or retire seven  camps. The list below was provided to FOX43 News by GSHPA regarding the future of those seven camps:

RETAIN:

  • Camp Small Valley located in Halifax, PA.
    (Properties that will be retained are defined as properties for which the plan is the continued use for residential camp and other programming. Maintenance and ownership will continue to be the responsibility of the council.)

 REVIEW:

  • Approximately 144 acres of Camp Archbald, located in Kingsley, PA will be retained and reviewed.  An additional portion of Camp Archbald, also measuring approximately 144 acres, will be retired.
  • Approximately 50 acres of Camp Furnace Hills located to the east of Girl Scout Road will be retained and reviewed. This represents an amendment to a previous Board decision, made in August 2017, to retain only 10 acres of the property.
  • The entirety of Camp Happy Valley, located in Fairfield, PA, will be retained under review.
    (Properties that will be reviewed are defined as those in which the intention is the continued use for troop camping, day camping and other membership-related activities but with an additional review over the course of three years against defined utilization and financial guidelines established by the board.)

RETIRED:

  • Camp Echo Trail, located in Felton, PA
  • Camp Golden Pond, located in Petersburg, PA
  • Camp Louise, located in Shickshinny, PA, with a commitment to work with the Friends of Camp Louise to further their interest of the purchase of all or part of the camp property based on a mutually agreed upon timeline.

The council says the process of retiring the three camps will take many months. “Proceeds from divestment of any camp properties will be kept in a separate fund and will require Board approval to be utilized,” according a statement by the council.