Girl Scout Board Makes Initial Property Decisions

By WBNG News

Girl Scout Board Makes Initial Property Decisions

June 29, 2012 Updated Jun 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM EDT

CICERO, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) -- The Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Inc. just completed the Phase II review of its properties to ensure girls have access to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience for years to come.  

According to a news release:

GSNYPENN serves nearly 18,000 girls in 26 counties of New York and Pennsylvania.  The council owns or leases six office spaces and owns nine camp properties.

This property review is part of a multi-step process aimed at identifying which properties to sell and which ones to keep.  The first goal is to select camps to develop into first-rate camps that will give girls camping experiences to cherish all their lives.  The second goal is to choose office properties with locations that meet the needs of the girls, parents and volunteers while minimizing overhead costs.

Earlier this month the council’s board of directors approved the recommendations of the Phase II Task Group comprised of volunteers and staff.  Those recommendations approved are:

-- Retaining and identifying a development plan for Camps Comstock (north of Ithaca) and Trefoil (Harrisville).

--Selling Camp Sugar Creek (Troy, PA)

--Selling Camp Near Wilderness (Syracuse)

--Selling Bayberry Program Center and Phelps Service Center in Seneca County (exempting the Junius Pond area for sale or donation to an entity that will preserve the pond)

--Relocating the Phelps and New Hartford Service Centers to same respective areas

After Phase I of the study that began in August 2010, a 21-member group of volunteers and staff made initial recommendations to the board of directors.  The Phase II Task Group was established by the board to review the findings and recommendations of Phase I and gather any new information that would go into final decisions about the properties.  The work done by both task groups included town hall meetings with members throughout the jurisdiction, and a variety of surveys in 2011 and 2012.  Initial research and findings are available on www.gsnypenn.org/propertystudy.

“These decisions have been difficult, but we’ve worked hard to make this a  thoughtful and deliberate process focused on making the best decisions for current and future generations of Girl Scouts,” said Sara Ayala, chair of the council’s board of directors.  “Challenging economic times require us to look closely at the costs of maintaining and improving council properties so that they are places that meet the current interests of girls.  While we recognize that the loss of these camp properties is especially difficult for the girls and adults who have heartfelt memories associated with these camps, we hope that when everyone reflects on their most fond memories at camp,  such as cooking or singing around a campfire, and the cherished friendships made, they will understand that we can and will still provide the opportunities for those valued experiences at the camps we will retain and develop.”

The task group moves into Phase III of the property study to make recommendations on the remaining four camp properties: Amahami (Deposit), Hoover (Tully), Misty Hollow (Corning) and Yaiewano (Auburn).  At the same time, the council will be building a strategic plan for capital investments into the camps they ultimately keep.  The task group will share a draft of their remaining recommendations with the council’s membership in the fall through a conference call and in-person dialogues.