Camp in the Time of COVID-19
Camp programs are a foundation of Girl Scouting. Girl Scouts are more likely than their non-Girl Scout peers to participate in outdoors activities like hiking or camping. As a whole, Girl Scouts also report much higher environmental stewardship than girls at large. We treasure and take pride in our unique camp offerings here in western Washington and we commit to sustaining camp opportunities through financial, environmental, and community stewardship.
COVID-19 continues to impact our council’s revenue streams, including camp programs and site use. We had to make difficult decisions about camp program, staffing, and operations to maximize the potential for serving Girl Scout youth, limit risk for members, families, volunteers, and employees, and balance our budget for the coming year.
For the 2021 season, we’ll operate Camps River Ranch, Lyle McLeod, and off-site Volunteer-Led summer camps, if public health regulations allow. River Ranch and Lyle McLeod have the highest site usage and revenue potential of all our camp properties. River Ranch’s large capacity and program variety (including horses) make it a strong choice for accommodating safety guidelines and camper interests. Lyle McLeod’s Volunteer-Led Community Camps serve nearly 900 Girl Scout youth each summer with minimal cost to the council. Together, these camps offer the safest, most accessible combination of in-person camp opportunities with projected net savings of $420,000.
While camp programs remain condensed, we’ll improve Girl Scout camp culture with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. These important changes include discontinuing appropriative naming conventions and commercial camp themes, diversifying staff and volunteer recruitment, improving staff anti-oppression training, and further developing our Affinity Camp programs: Camp for All, LGBTQ+ Camp, and BIPOC Family Camp.
We’re holding Camp Town Halls and starting an assessment process of all of our properties, both offices and camps, to ensure our camp programs continue for generations of Girl Scouts to come. No camp properties are currently listed for sale. We can’t promise there won’t be hard decisions to make as part of this effort, but we can promise to include member input in the property assessment process. We encourage you to stay involved.
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