The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 14, 2013

READER: We must preserve Girl Scout camping experience

Letter to the Editor

CLINTON — Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois announced a little over a month ago their intention to close and sell all four of their resident camp properties.

As a summer camp advocate and former Little Cloud staff member, I know the importance that having a summer camp experience provides to girls in the tri-state area.

It gives girls the chance to be independent of their families, try new things, work as a team, and best of all, HAVE FUN!

The council states that “we will always have camp,” yet they do not have a solid plan in place for what will happen after the 2013 camping season. Does it make fiscal sense to sell properties that we already own to buy prime real estate and build a new outdoor center?

Instead, we should invest in the properties we own and make them destinations that all will want to use. Little Cloud has been a part of the greater Dubuque community for over 65 years.

Local girls (and parents) want local camps connected with the traditions that they hold near and dear. The council's research states this, yet we are all too ready to build a new center that is not local for a majority of the council.

I agree that Girl Scouts needs to change with the times, but this doesn't necessarily mean we need a haven with wifi and climate control. We should preserve traditions and the camp experience as well as look towards the future.

Michelle Weber,