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home : news : state news free June 7, 2020

3/9/2020 10:32:00 AM
Girl Scouts' sale of 4 Illinois camps prompts complaints

GLEN CARBON, Ill. (AP) — The Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois are selling four camps for $3.4 million and closing them by the end of the year, a move that’s prompted complaints and concerns.

Organization officials said the sale, first announced last month, is due to financial concerns. Chief Financial Officer Kelley Young said reserves have been used to cover years of deficit spending, according to The Belleville News-Democrat. Also, camp usage has declined.

But Girls Scouts and leaders said the camps are ideal places to try canoeing, fishing and archery, activities which are hard to do elsewhere. One facility, Camp Butterfly, is near Farmington, Missouri. The others are in Illinois: Camp Wassatoga near Effingham, Camp Chan Ya Ta near Worden and Camp Torqua near Edwardsville.

The Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves more than 9,000 girls in dozens of counties.

Theresa Wuebbels, a troop leader in Belleville, said it’s been a family tradition to attend the camps. She’s started a petition to save the camps, which thousands of people have signed.

“We have a lack of transparency,” she said at a recent meeting about the sale. “We have a lack of trust.”

The camps with a combined roughly 1,200 acres of land, cost about $375,000 to operate annually.

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