Updates from May 2021
It has been a busy year at our camp properties. Now that the Kilo Hoku (Camp Wai Lani) and Firefly (Camp Wildwood) units are available for reservations, we have completed some of our major goals that were established when we launched Her Vision of Tomorrow (our long-range program and property plan). We have made so many enhancements, both large and small, through our long-range program and property plan and while improving our maintenance and upkeep efforts—and this is only the beginning! We are excited to look to the future as we continue to focus on offering great programs and experiences at our Girl Scout Camps for the girls of today and tomorrow.
Recently, we secured an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) grant that provided a team of volunteers who visited three of our properties throughout April. The team assisted our rangers with much-needed repairs and maintenance that weren’t feasible for our rangers to complete on their own. The team replaced siding and painted the exterior of the lodge and demolished old screen enclosures so they could be replaced at Camp Wai Lani; painted and re-screened Ladybug at Camp Dorothy Thomas; and repaired more than two miles of fencing at Camp Wildwood. One of the team members created a mini-documentary of the team’s experience and impact here at GSWCF.
Here’s some updates on improvements at each of our properties.
Camp Dorothy Thomas
All buildings received a deep cleaning that included pressure washing; many of them also received new screens. Several buildings received fresh coats of paint, including the Archery Shed, Ranger Office, Day Pavilion, Holiday House, Ladybug, Merry Go Round, and the Sport Shed.
Throughout the camp, we’ve worked hard to clear overgrowth not only on trails, but around cabins and program areas, too. We’ve made the Daisy Bridge Trail accessible again and cleared a 20 foot radius around CIT, Holiday House, Chigger, Sleepy, Skunk, Oak, Pioneer, the Cook’s Cabin, Staff Cabin, and the Yurt. The barn has been deconstructed to salvage the building materials for use in future projects at all of our camps (a value of about $6,000 in materials). We’ve removed unused and deteriorating elements at the challenge course and are in the process of replacing the whale watch. Additionally, we cleared an area with a 20 foot radius to be used for team building activities.
Oh, and did we mention Ladybug got a new AC unit? Just in time for summertime troop camping!
Camp Indian Echo
At Camp Indian Echo we completed a boundary survey that examined the property lines and resolved encroachments. We cleared our electric lines to prevent damage and potential danger during storms. We purchased two new Teepees, which will be installed when we open for reservations in the fall.
Camp Wai Lani
Thanks to the generosity of the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas (JWB), we were able to make a number of improvements at Camp Wai Lani. We installed new energy efficient windows and (exterior) doors at the Lodge, Dining Hall, classrooms, office, trading post, sewing room, and cook’s quarters. Additionally, we installed new AC units in the cook’s quarters and classroom 2. We put up new fans in the dining hall, new exterior lights at the lodge, and interior lights in the dining hall in addition to security cameras throughout camp and a privacy fence around the AC units at the Lodge. You’ll also notice that AEDs (automated external defibrillators) have been placed throughout camp.
In addition to the improvements funded by the JWB and the work done by the NCCC volunteers, we’ve also accomplished a number of other projects including renovating the boat house, building shade structures at the archery range, refurbishing the craft building, painting all the cabin exteriors and replacing the screens underneath them as well.
At Camp Wildwood, we hosted a barn workday where we rebuilt the barn doors, cleaned and organized the tack rooms, and cleaned the pole barn. In Costello Lodge, we removed the carpet, sanded and polished the cement, and installed a new septic system. Horseshoe Meadows has a new fire alarm, fire suppression hood, and ice machine. (Friendship also has a new fire suppression hood).
The pool has seen some major renovations, too. We completed restorations to the pool deck and the pool itself. The pool bathhouse has a fresh coat a paint and a new roof. Also in the bathhouse, we restored the concrete flooring in the lifeguard room, replaced all the sinks, gave the interior a bright new coat of paint, and replaced the tarp on the covered area.