While Girl Scouts is changing, area scout leaders are taking a look at their assets and how to use them.
One local asset is being closed down.
The Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania board of directors has spent a year reviewing its properties and deciding what to do with them. Several properties are being closed. Among them is Camp Golden Pond in Petersburg, Huntingdon County.
GSHPA is spread over 30 counties in the middle of the state. It represents about 14,000 scouts. Director of Communications Amy Mountain said that number, reached last week, is a five-year high for membership.
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The council owns seven camps that serve those girls.
In 2014, Camp Golden Pond was only occupied about 15 percent of the time, but it cost $90,000 annually to maintain.
Camp Echo Trail in Felton and Camp Louise in Shickshinny are also slated for retirement. Camp Louise had just 7 percent occupation in 2015, while it’s operating costs were $460,000.
“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 board chair Kathy McCorkle, in a release.
Mountain said Girl Scouts are being drawn to more programs that can be provided by third-party vendors without year-round maintenance by the council. She pointed to programs like horseback riding and science and technology activities where girls are expressing interest.
According to the council, about $234,000 is budgeted for 2018 to financially help more girls benefit from scouting activities.