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In 2013 I published two blog articles on Kos discussing the many changes in the Girl Scout organization and the sale of Girl Scout camps across the country. I am happy to report that a very in depth story by Alessandra Rafferty addressing many of the concerns I wrote about in the Kos stories was published today in the Daily Beast (with a link to my origninal Kos article. :) )

Here's a snippit from the Daily Beast story, and I would encourage those interested, in reading the entire article:

"The Girl Scouts, for whom cookies and camping have long been synonymous, have decided one of them has to go, and it isn’t going to be the addictive cash-cow Thin Mint. In the past five years or so, Girl Scout councils across the country, backed by the parent organization Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), have put up for sale more than 200 camps in 30 states—more than a third of Girl Scouts properties with acreage are threatened. "
The good news is that there continues to be a great deal of movement within the Girl Scout community in returning the focus of the organization back to connecting girls with the nature and the outdoors and also in saving our existing camps for future girls.

If you are a current/past Girl Scout or supporter there is an independent survey put together by concerned members. From their FB Page:

Who are we? Simply put we are a group of Girl Scouts who love this organization. Our group includes active volunteers and alumnae members, committed to doing what we can to see the organization continue to grow and succeed. The idea for the page and survey was born out of a growing sense of concern we were noticing within the member/volunteer base. We wanted to create a place where members, volunteers, and other supporters could unite to share and discuss any area within the Girl Scout Program. Our goal is not to tear down, but rather to help build-up this great organization. With members and supporters united, we can work together to ensure the continued growth and success of the Girl Scout Movement!
Please consider weighing in on the survey concerning the current direction of the Girl Scout Organization here.

Also The Outdoor Journey Group is very active in advocating changes to the current program that would emphasize more outdoor engagement. From their site:

Why we are working for more official Outdoor Program in Girl Scouting: when the Journeys were written, a lot of Outdoor Program was left out. We want to put it back in. Camping and Outdoor Program is a HUGE part of Girl Scouting, and is so healthy and good for the girls. Juliette Low, our Founder, had Outdoor Program as a cornerstone of the Girl Scout movement.
For information on Girl Scout camps closures around the country, why camp is good for girls, litigation, and much more please visit the SOS camps website (for which I am one of the moderators).

Thank you once again Daily Kos for a platform to get this information into the larger community. Links to the original stories are:
Girl Scouts of America and the Zombie Virus and Stealing from Girls. Stealing from Communities. I hope to have a part three up soon delving into GSUSA's corporate connections.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Camp is an iconic experience (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Camp is so important for building independence and creating problem solving skills. Camp gave me the confidence that I could do anything I wanted to try and that it taught me to solve problems and just a base level of common sense that grounds me even today.

    Technology builds on old technology. Camp is a great way to realize what about modern life is not magic but the work of real people who do things that keep modern life going. We don't need to raise a generation who cannot cope if the power goes out.

    Girl Scouts (and 4H and boy scouts) use a campsite in Navarro, CA... that is also used by a much more expensive camp called "Digital Detox", for STEM and technology workers. Almost all of my STEM friends who are parents spend a lot of thought getting the kids outside and away from screens and electronics... they want their kids outside, getting themselves dirty, doing hands-on building and 'engineering'.

    So when people who don't know and didn't do STEM are telling me that the path into STEM is in opposition to the goal of having camps, I think they're full of it.

    One problem that they may be seeing that perhaps has a different solution is that immigrant and minority communities are often reluctant to send their kids to camp. It's an alien idea and kind of creepy to them to have the kids away, and didn't they spend their whole lives working to not have to sleep outside? But the experience is still important.

    Girl scout camps could totally leverage their position by renting themselves out for adult events or other groups when camp is not in session. They can run school-led Outdoor Education sessions in spring or fall as well, where a whole grade of a school comes for outdoor science. I think more facilities should consider that rather than a sale.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 02:51:25 PM PST

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