Girl Scouts announce plan to save area camps

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The Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois board has announced a new recommendation that would save four area camps. The compromise comes nearly two months after the council announced plans to sell the properties.

Board and property committee members met Thursday evening for a work session in Bettendorf to review information received from volunteers, town hall meetings, and research. As a result, the council decided to prepare a revised recommendation.

"The recommendation is to put some modern facilities in with the rustic elements into this new facility that meets the needs of today's girls and keeps the great tradition of the outdoors alive and well," said CEO Diane Nelson.

The new plan is to create one centrally-located, modernized, residential camp at the current Camp Conestoga property in New Liberty, Iowa. The expanded camp would include buildings equipped for year-round use and ADA accessible facilities.

Portions of the other three camps -- Camp Tahigwa, Camp Little Cloud, and Camp L-Kee-Ta -- will be adapted for quick activities, like overnights and troop meetings. Land which is not needed for the new program centers will be sold.

The news is a sigh of relief for former campers like Jane I. Duax, who have fought to save the camps.

“It’s a step in the right direction, and I mean, that’s everything. It's one step at a time, one step for girls of Eastern Iowa Western Illinois today," said Duax.

Her worries have turned now, though, to the girls of tomorrow.

“I’m worried about their ability to sell any portion of this land at any time that they so desire, and I just hope that they work with the membership," said Duax.

Girl Scout leaders said they're excited to do just that.

“We're most excited about bringing our girls on board, to have them figure out what kind of facilities they want, what kind of programs," said Nelson.

The new recommendation will go to a vote at the Girl Scout Council's next board meeting on April 11th.