Group fights to save Girl Scouts camp in Hudson, Wis.

There are 9 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Aug 10, 2010, titled Group fights to save Girl Scouts camp in Hudson, Wis.. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Can Camp Rolling Ridges be saved? The Girl Scouts day camp in Hudson is slated to be shut down at the end of next month and sold.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

Cindie J Reiter

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Aug 11, 2010
Sadly, this world-wide group has gone the same route as our local government. The elected officials have gotten too far off what the group as a whole (the large section of the bell curve) values, wants and needs. In the case of Rolling Ridges, the data used to make the decision appears to not represent the use, the service, nor the facility itself fairly nor in relativity.

Most likely the Board of Directors will change with the next election, but unfortunately the damage will have been done to the many, many, girls and families of the Girl Scout community.

Not sure if I will be buying cookies for some time to come if this decision is confirmed and the property(s) sold. This seems harsh but my daughter and I have combined a total of 20+ years of being a "scout".... years that were productive, morale building, value learning, and include fond memories and life experiences. Many which came from Rolling Ridges and its fabulous volunteers, those which have the heart of a Girl Scout - or at least what we once knew to be a desired attribute.
Gretchen Simpson

Saint Paul, MN

#2 Aug 11, 2010
I wrote a lengthy post at 5:15pm and do not see it here.

Consider this a "test" post.
Gretchen Simpson

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Aug 11, 2010
The announcement of the sale of 4 Girl Scout camp properties earlier this year was very disappointing. It is an incredible loss of OPPORTUNITY for wonderful confidence and character building experiences for the girls and adults alike. If this land is sold it will be GONE FOREVER. I can only hope that there will be parameters for potential buyers: the state, the county, another outdoor parks and recreation program so that this land can be maintained for ongoing enjoyment.

I have many points to make and many questions I would like answered regarding this situation. The bottom line is that I so strongly and passionately believe that this land must be preserved. I simply do not want to see this land sold and developed. It is not necessary. It is wasteful. Once the land is sold it can NEVER come back. The FINALITY of this possible outcome is absolutely horrifying. Everyone should find it unacceptable.

Let us see proof that maintaining the properties is a true financial burden and that there are no other possible cost savings measures available. A volunteer can run a quality program on a very tight budget, but our G.S. Council has sources of revenue. Strong sources of revenue from cookie sales, donations, sponsors, etc. Finances are tight for everyone. Lead by example and show how to preserve what really matters: outdoor camps for girls to attend great programming.

So much is being addressed about "Nature Deficit Disorder" and childhood obesity. While other organizations are investing in preserving or growing interest in outdoor programming the G.S. just seem to be selling out for a short term financial fix. Now more than ever we need organizations and volunteers who are willing to lead outdoor programming that will be invaluable to the development of girls in so many ways.

Am I making assumptions or drawing conclusions without all the information? Possibly. But if someone would just show the PROOF that the camps are no longer sustainable then I might be able to accept it. On the contrary, such drastic decisions are made without the input of the organization's membership that will have a detrimental impact on those girls who do use the camps and now those who will never get to.

Believing that there must be alternatives to solving budget constraints other than selling invaluable natural resources depriving generations and generations of girls of the plentiful benefits the great outdoor experience has to offer I am extremely hopeful that the members' voices representing our girls' interests will be heard.

Sandi Wintz

Minneapolis, MN

#4 Aug 12, 2010
I believe the River Valley Girl Scout Board is seeing, hearing & speaking only for themselves. The girls are the MOST important asset the council has and they are ignoring the needs of the girls. Maybe there should be a form of the Boston Tea Party and the girls can show their unhappiness by not selling Girl Scout cookies. What will the Board do then - close more camps to save a few bucks? It was not all that long ago that a Capital Campaign was done to improve the camps of St. Croix Valley Girl Scouts. Can we try that again? Was there any alternatives talked about to save OUR camps? Please show your support for our GIRLS by voicing your opinion.
Christina Lucas

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Aug 12, 2010
I'm not a Girl Scout or mom of a Girl Scout but I want to support the efforts of those people who are trying to do something good for the girls. There are not enough chances for some girls to go to a camp so close to the cities and do new things. What a pity that some adults are so shortsighted. I hope the camps can be saved.
Terri Allen

Shakopee, MN

#6 Aug 12, 2010
As a life long member of GSUSA, and the mother of two scouts, I have to say I'm very disappointed in how our Board of Directors & front office has handled the issue of selling the camps. We teach our girls to sand up and speak up for what you feel is right. The girls did attend the meetings and were told that they would have an opportunity to share their thoughts & feelings. But when it was all said and done, the Board told them that their decision final and they wouldn’t change their minds.
What if Juliette Gordon Low just gave up when the powers that be told her no? Where would the Girl Scout movement be??? Would it be celebrating its 100 year anniversary next year??? NOPE. Listen to the girls. Be there for the girls. They are the future leaders, and they have great ideas on how to save these camps.
Arlys Thompson

Lakeville, MN

#7 Aug 12, 2010
The Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys (GSMWRV) has articulated that one of their new goals is to increase membership significantly. One of the key areas they have chosen to concentrate on is “older girl” retention. Now beginning my tenth of year of leading girl scouts (and currently an Advisor of Girl Scout Seniors-age-level), I can say with certainty that “older girls” want more engaging, exciting, and largely outdoor opportunities. Camping and the outdoors have been a big part of the Girl Scout experience for all of the girls I’ve had the privilege to lead as a Troop Advisor over the years.“High Adventure” activities like swimming, hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, tenting, outdoor cooking, wilderness survival, nature/environment studies & much more are at the top of their list when it comes to what they want as a Girl Scout. Simply put, increasing girl retention will require MORE, not fewer, opportunities for girls to pursue outdoor activities.
It is simply a crime that many camps across the U.S. have been pegged for closure in recent years—this trend must be stopped! Girls need and want to be loving the outdoors and all it has to offer, and this requires doing whatever it takes to hang onto wide open spaces like what we have at Camp Rolling Ridges. It is a “no-brainer” that local councils, together with GS-USA as a whole, must continue to offer plenty of convenient and widely-available camp experiences—which are vital to what Girl Scouts has been about since Founder Juliette Gordon Low first established the organization in the early 1900’s. And learning outdoor skills is not only a highly memorable part of Girl Scout membership, but is a key ingredient for girls to build courage and confidence, in addition to character.
I remain unconvinced that Council (GSMWRV) looked at ALL the alternatives before deciding to sell/decommission these properties. It is true that camp and outdoor experiences have not been promoted nearly enough in recent years, and that starting with First Lady Michelle Obama’s current ‘Let’s Move’ initiative, more vigorous outdoor activities are what will be prescribed and heavily promoted in the future, as part of addressing the growing childhood obesity issue. Our girls’ healthy future depends in part on properties such as this one staying accessible within valuable organizations such as Girl Scouts! With this opportunity to re-examine their initial somewhat rash decision, I’m confident that a Council as large as this one now is can find creative ways to offset the cost of maintaining properties as important as these are to our girls.
Anna

South Saint Paul, MN

#8 Aug 12, 2010
I don't understand how they can sell Rolling Ridges when our troop had to book a troop house over a year in advance for the weekend. I loved Rolling Ridges as a girl scout myself and now my daughter also loves it. It would be a real shame to sell it because it is a nice location and not too far from home. Please don't sell it!
Natalie Seim

Saint Paul, MN

#9 Aug 14, 2010
To consider selling Rolling Ridges because a larger percentage of the girls aren't going to camp is not a good reason to close it. Encourage more to go to camp, offer scholarships, provide transportation -- going to camp should be a part of every Girl Scout Experience! My girls went to day camp every year and loved it. Considering what they have now at Rolling Ridges, why would you ever, ever, ever consider closing it. When I heard on the news tonite about one reason for the closing of all these camps is that only a small percentage were actually going to camp, my first thought is: where is their leadership? Where are the encouraging to go to camp, has that focus changed?

This camp is one of the best places to learn about the world around us and each other. It is very close to the metro where so many Girl Scouts actually live, and should be utilized. I think we need to have everyone writing to the Girl Scout Council or whoever is making this decision. I like one comment about not buying GS cookies, but really who can do that???? And we'd only be hurting the troop girls, not the leadership in their decision making.

Thank you for the fun years my girls & I have had at the camp: from the old troop house to the old farm house where the camp counselors stayed, to the trip to Willow River, and then now to the new camp with it's wonderful amenities. Please keep the legacy alive.

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