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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – When Trussville’s Mayor Gene Melton heard the eighty-seven year old Girl Scout Camp in his city would be closing he wanted to help. The Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama is closing the gates at Camp Coleman for good May 31st. Melton says he offered to buy the camp from the GSNCA for a discounted price to keep it maintained for Girl Scouts to use in the future. The GSNCA turned down the offer.
GSNCA Communications Directory, Hilary Perry says the Council and Board made the decision to close four out of six camps because less than ten percent of their membership is using all of the camps. She argues that Camp Coleman alone lost about eight hundred thousand dollars in 2010 and 2011.
CBS 42 has discovered Girl Scout Councils in at least twenty three states across the country are grappling with this same dilemma. Councils are voting to close camps and volunteer members in some cases are fighting to keep them open. Girl Scouts USA representative, Michelle Tompkins says they do not influence and often are not even aware of camp closings around the country because each Council operates as its own non-profit. Our investigation discovers evidence where a national representative supports and encourages at least one council’s decision to close camps saying they should “Stay the course” and that “It’s time for major transformation”.
This is the third part of a three-part series on Girl Scout Camp closings in North Central Alabama.
CBS42′s investigative team has been working in collaboration with the newspaper and website, Weld, in order to bring you this story. You can log on to weldbham.com for additional information.
Part one of this series can be viewed here: Girl Scout Camp controversy
Part two of this series can be viewed here: Girl Scouts told to pay for information
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