By Alicia Smith
Democrat and Chronicle
The Girl Scouts of Western New York's Board of Directors announced last week that they will sell three camps.
Camp Pinewood in Dansville, Camp Oak Orchard in Medina and Camp Sky High in Orchard Park will all be closed. These camps will still be available for facility rental until the properties are sold.
"We understand the emotional toll this may have on some members," said Board Chair Judith A. Maness in a news release. "We will do everything we can to address this, yet at the heart of this decision is what's best for meeting the needs of today's girls while ensuring a strong future of Girl Scouting throughout our communities."
The Board of Directors determined that these camps needed more than $500,000 in repairs. Senior Vice President of Communications Trina Tardone said Camp Oak Orchard is currently not handicap accessible and would be too expensive to upgrade. Closing the camps will allow the organization to reinvest money in remaining properties.
Four properties will host camp programming this summer. Camp Piperwood in Perinton and Camp Windy Meadows in Lockport will operate as day camps. Randolph's Camp Timbercrest and Camp Seven Hills in Holland will run resident and day camps.
Camp Seven Hills has about 700 acres of land and will be able to offer more programming than the smaller properties being sold could provide. Camp Seven Hills is also centrally located in the GSWNY district.
"It's a pretty smart move to be able to serve more girls," Tardone said in a phone interview. "We made these decisions to be able to offer these opportunities to girls who would never otherwise have them."
The GSWNY will offer special trips this summer, including trips to Disney World and New York City. Camp CEO, which is in its 3rd year, will allow girls to get career advice and network with female business executives. Last year, Brighton Town Judge Karen Morris did a mock trial with Camp CEO participants.
"It's something that the girls will never, ever forget," Tardone said.
About 20,000 girls and 9,000 adult volunteers in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties are served by the GSWNY.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle