Updates from May 2016
In March 2015, the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida's Board of
Directors approved the appointment of a Long Range Program and
Properties Task Force, comprised of community experts and
geographically representative volunteers with relevant professional
skills, who are passionate about the outdoor experience for girls and
the Girl Scout Movement.
The members of the committee thoughtfully and diligently reviewed
input from hundreds of girls and adult volunteers, analyzed volumes of
statistical data, conducted site visits to all five properties and
consulted with market research and camp planning experts during the
intensive 15-month period. The Task Force then formed a working
Advisory Committee to continue work with camp master planners and
formulate recommendations to the board.
The Advisory Committee of the Long Range Program and Properties Task
Force recommended to the board on May 24, 2016 that the council move
forward with a focus on developing/enhancing programs and facilities
at four camps - Camp Wildwood, Camp Wai Lani, Camp Dorothy Thomas and
Camp Indian Echo - and to divest of Camp Scoutcrest, located in
Odessa, FL. There will be no immediate impact to, or changes for,
summer camp programming, daytime weekend programming or troop camping
for the immediate future at Camp Scoutcrest.
We understand how much all of our camp properties mean to girls and
volunteers and this decision was not made easily or lightly. Camp
Scoutcrest has become a unique water destination filled with memories
and experiences for thousands of girls. We are committed to honoring
that history and relocating programs to other properties. As
responsible stewards of Girl Scout opportunities and resources, we
must continually adapt our program and property needs to support
relevant programs for girls today and in the future. As our smallest
property, Camp Scoutcrest is least equipped to facilitate large
encampment groups. When this size factor is considered alongside the
amount of viable overnight lodging and certain capacity restrictions,
it has become a challenge and led to the decision to no longer offer
overnight sessions for our Summer Camp program. There are also
regulatory barriers to further develop the property and, while not an
immediate impact or concern, the potential for long-term safety
challenges arising due to camp aspects that are out of our control
(i.e., the public road that bisects the property, and a shared,
Different aspects of our watersports program, currently that primary
draw at Camp Scoutcrest, can be facilitated at other camps.
Specifically, Camp Indian Echo can provide access to canoes,
paddleboards, kayaking, inflatables, lake swimming and more, with the
added benefit of a safer waterfront area that is completely private
and under council control to ensure the safety of girls. Similarly,
the restoration of the lake at Camp Wildwood, currently underway, will
provide an expansive area for watersports in the near future.
Monies from the sale of the property will be held in a special
Restricted account, separate from our council's operating funds, until
our board of directors deliberates on the capital use of these funds
to invest and improve upon our remaining camp properties.
To honor the history of this camp that has served so many girls and
adults over the years, we will be holding special ceremonies at Camp
Scoutcrest in the future. Details for these events will be shared with
all members once they are formalized and we encourage everyone to come
out and celebrate this property's history as we look toward the future.
For questions/information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.