Girl Scout camps in Missouri working to avoid closure

Girl Scout Logo on Black Background

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Thanks to the efforts of local volunteers, three Girl Scout camps in Missouri will avoid the closure.

The Kansas City Star ( ) reports that five camps in the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland council were scheduled to close, but three have been rescued by local volunteers.

Girl Scouts of America has lost more than a million members in the past decade and has reduced its councils from 312 to 112. The organization says the decline in members is due to a lack of adult volunteers and the increasing demand from other organizations and activities.

The Missouri Heartland council has ended leases on two properties and sold two other camps. The council allowed three camps to stay open on a provisional basis, with orders to raise money, increase participation and repair the properties. The camps will find out at the end of the provisional period in September if they will have to close.

Missouri camps Latonka, Mintahama and Sacajawea West, like other Girl Scouts across the country have been struggling to salvage their local properties while introducing technology and new types of outdoor activities.

Groups like the Friends of Camp Mintahama have been fighting to keep the camps open by getting support from school and investments from businesses.

Camps are necessary,” said Lisa Nelson, chairwoman of the Friends of Camp Mintahama committee. “They’re near and dear to scouts because they were some of their first opportunities to be independent and express themselves on their own.”