Council Property and Outdoor Program Updates
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November 2013 Update
Camp Boothe Oaks
- Sports Court was weeded and painted.
- Wall at Troop Lodge was repaired.
- A Boy Scout troop doing a service project cleared a trail at camp.
- Camp signs and signposts were repaired and painted.
- Della enjoyed the autumn beauty of CBO with winter ice!
- Tres Rios held a Service Unit Event for 80 girls and 20 adults.
- Cabin Camping and Tents trainings were held.
- The ZAP (Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness) event was a blast for 230 girls and adults.
- Troops who registered for the 2014 membership year by October 1 enjoyed a weekend camp-out.
- A “Discovery Workshop” facilitated by Studio Outside was held as part of the master planning process for Stevens Ranch and Camp Rio Blanco; 30 people attended.
- New procedures and a new camp site usage report form were developed so that we can obtain more accurate information on how our camp properties are being used. The new reporting procedure will begin in January.
October 2013 Update
Camp Boothe Oaks
- Della Falbo, new Camp Ranger at CBO, has settled in and is tackling many projects around camp! Including: Cleaned buildings, mowed, and painted; Obtained bids for roofing work for Plateau, Pavilion, and the Craft House; obtained bids for doors for Gypsy Glen; Repaired broken water lines; Replaced fire extinguishers and purchased fire blankets for kitchen; Replaced water heater in shower house; Removed dead tree at flag circle; Constructed steps for 2 buildings
- 3 events were held at camp.
- 2 troops took advantage of the warm weather to swim in the renovated pool.
- Celebrated Camp Kiwanis’ 85th birthday! 80 people came out to say HB to CK!
- Natalie Stephenson was interviewed on 3 TV talk shows promoting the CK birthday celebration and demonstrating 3 ways to make s’mores.
- Natalie promoted camping at the Amarillo Fall Kick-off.
- A combination Outdoor Skills 101/Cabin Camping course was held for 9 adults and 20 girls.
- The main parking area was resurfaced; the main entry road was patched; the secondary roads were graded.
- The wiring in the Infirmary was upgraded to improve the heating.
Camp Rio Blanco
- A reunion of former camp staff was held at CRB; they stained camp signs; cleaned Bridwell Lodge (washed windows, oiled the wood, cleaned and polished all the stainless steel in the kitchen), saw the turkeys and deer, and enjoyed being together at camp!
- The Studio Outside team (our new master planners!) visited CRB, walked the entire camp, and talked with our outdoor and property staff.
- Regular maintenance was done: mowing, plumbing repairs, pool maintenance, water system monitoring.
- Robert Daugherty is working on CEU’s required to renew his water operator license.
- Damaged flooring in the bathroom of the Bunkhouse was replaced.
- The Studio Outside team (our master planners) visited Stevens Ranch, walked the entire camp, and talked with our outdoor and property staff.
- The “He and Me Camps-a-lot” event (Dads and daughters) was a big success!
- Events for spring were planned: Fairy Myst, Resident Camp Open House, a volunteer work day
- Heidi Vose promoted camping at the Fort Worth Fall Kick-off.
- Preparations are underway for 8 Service Unit Events.
- The 2014 High Adventure Trips and Resident Camps for Stevens Ranch and Camp Kiwanis have been planned.
- A Challenge Course Day at Camp El Tesoro gave girls the opportunity to challenge themselves, practice teamwork, and have fun!
September 2013 Update
Work continues to carry out the property plan as recommended by the Long Range Property Planning Task Group and the Property Committee and approved by the Board, September, 2012.
- The handsome new building built this spring and used as resident camp staff housing has been named The Bunkhouse. Fee to reserve for one night is $75; $100 for two nights; capacity is 20. (Be aware that The Bunkhouse does not have an oven or a large activity area. It does have a stovetop, microwave, AC and heat, indoor toilets, showers, and bunk beds.)
- Kitchen in Richardson Hall now has AC.
- Resident camp - 1,110 girls attended – The program was a blend of the most popular sessions from both SR and CT.
- Held Treasuring Timberlake on April 20th to remember 68 years of fun and friendship at CT
- Fence was installed between CK and the property now owned by the Presbyterian Home
- Resident camp – 625 girls attended – girls were from all parts of the council
Camp Rio Blanco
- Stained and painted unit lodges
- 3 High Adventure Trips used CRB as “home base” – trips began and ended at CRB.
- Camp Ranger, Della Falbo, has transferred to CBO; a new Camp Ranger for CRB will be hired in January.
Camp Boothe Oaks
- Completed renovation of Gypsy Glen unit
- Camp Ranger, Roger Myers, retired. Della Falbo transferred from CRB to CBO.
- The Outdoor Program Task Group met in FW, Lubbock, Amarillo, and held one meeting in Fort Worth with members from across the council participating by webex.
- A Town Hall meeting was held in Sweetwater to share the property plan and to obtain additional member input regarding Camp Boothe Oaks.
- The Property Committee and the Outdoor Program Task Group toured Camp Rio Blanco so that members could see the facilities and program elements first-hand.
- The Outdoor Program Task Group made a presentation of program plans – especially related to SR and CRB - to the Property Committee
- RFP’s for firms to submit proposals for master plans for SR and CRB were sent out; proposals were received and interviews were held with 4 firms; Studio Outside was selected to prepare the master plans.
- Other outdoor programming offered this summer:
- High Adventure Trips – 53 girls
- Day/Twilight Camps – 501 girls, including 69 Program Aides, 132 adult volunteers
- Camping in the Oaks (core camp at CBO) – 83 girls; 37 adults
- The Trailguide (aka the Appendix for Camp Volunteers in Volunteer Essentials) has been updated for 2013-2014, now with photos and hyperlinks to camping and equipment reservation forms.
- Troop Camping Reservation Forms and Program Equipment Reservation Forms have been updated and are available on the website.
- The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors approved the sale of 4 lots in Sweetwater. There are no buildings on the lots.
Program Info: Vision2015 & Beyond for Camp Kiwanis:
- Troop Core Camps
- Ropes Course
- 3 day/2 night events for Brownies-Juniors
- Service Unit events
- Weekend horse program
- Troop Swimming during the week
- Volunteer-led twilight day camp
- Father/Daughter Overnights
- Mother/Daughter Overnights
All outdoor programs in Girl Scouting are progressive and we firmly believe in progression from a one night stay with a parent, to one night with other girls, then two nights, etc. Camp Kiwanis is the perfect spring board for girls to prepare to attend lengthier programs at the other camps.
Camp Kiwanis – Pool Clean Up
The pool at Camp Kiwanis was recently resurfaced and a new pool deck was added. All reports say girls are enjoying the "new pool" immensely. Apparently dads are enjoying it too -- at the Dad n Me camp the Dads went swimming on Sunday afternoon and WOULDN'T GET OUT!
Stevens Ranch – Sale of property north of Highway 67
Last fall as part of the council property decision, the board of directors voted to sell approximately 90 unused acres on the north side of Highway 67. This area of the property was cut off from the rest of the camp by Highway 67 and had no utilities and no improvements or development. It had not been used for major programming in years. In May, GS-TOP closed on the sale of the 90 acres north of Highway 67 to a local individual. The proceeds from this sale have been earmarked for improvement of council camp properties.
Stevens Ranch – Remodel and new Unit House
April 2013 Update
Camp Kiwanis – Sale of Southern 100 Acres
On March 18th, GS-TOP closed on the sale of approximately 100 unused acres on the southern end of Pitcher Pump Ranch at Camp Kiwanis. The Presbyterian Home for Children has purchased the land with plans to build a new facility. Both the GS-TOP council and the Presbyterian Home for Children are very pleased with the arrangement. Proceeds from the sale will be earmarked for the improvement of GS-TOP camp properties.
Old Tascosa Cycling Club: Through the local office, we have been informing members of the Old Tascosa Cycling Club (a group who used the property for outdoor recreation) of the impending sale of the property. Once the sale was finalized, Girl Scouts no longer had the right to grant access to the property, and our insurance no longer covered activity on the property. The property is now open for year-round use by girls (troop camping during the school year and summer camp) so it was necessary to establish the new boundaries of the camp. A fence has been erected to establish the new boundaries of the camp and to protect all three parties involved (Girl Scouts, the Presbyterian Home, and the Old Tascosa Cycling Club).
Fall 2012 Board Property Decision
Throughout this process, we have kept our work centered on A) how to best serve girls of today and tomorrow while making our Council stronger and financially viable long into the future; B) compassion for those who are impacted by these decisions; C) a thoughtful process for making the decision; and D) a plan for moving forward.
The Board of Directors, which is made up of volunteer representatives from across the council, has reviewed this plan over the past few months and in September of 2012 voted, and passed, the following recommendations:
A change in strategic direction for outdoor properties. Resources should be focused to develop two premier properties: Stevens Ranch and Camp Rio Blanco creating “high quality outdoor programs and facilities for girls”.
- Though specific program plans are still in development, Camp Rio Blanco will have a STEM focus to maximize the capital investment already in place from the building of Lorax Lodge.
- Increase capacity for Stevens Ranch with modern facilities and to modernize current facilities and using green building alternatives as much as possible and economically reasonable.
Gain insights and input for site, program and fund planning from members along the way.
The board has voted to sell approximately 90 unused acres north of Highway 67 at Stevens Ranch, approximately 90 unused acres on the southern end of Pitcher Pump Ranch at Camp Kiwanis, and the Morrison Lodge property.
Proceeds from the sales will be earmarked for improvement of our camp properties
- Proceeds from the sales will be earmarked for improvement of our camp properties
The board has voted to reassign the use of property to better align with program priorities:
- Immediate ceasing of overnight activity at Camp Timberlake including fall and spring troop/group camping and resident camp. Convene a task group to explore the viability of camp day use.
- Effective immediately, Camp Kiwanis is open for troop/group camping. Summer Resident Camp will continue at Camp Kiwanis through summer 2014.
- Troop/group usage will continue at Camp Rio Blanco and resident camp will begin at Camp Rio Blanco in summer 2015.
- Year round troop/group usage will continue at Camp Boothe Oaks
These decisions are not made lightly. We understand the emotional connection of the camping experience and the impact this may have on some members, and we will do everything we can to help address those needs. Nonetheless, at the heart of this decision is the desire to do what’s best for meeting the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s girls.
These are bold decisions for girls. We are striving to ensure that every girl in our council have access and opportunity to build friendships and learn leadership skills in the great outdoors. Girl Scouting has historically provided unmatched camping experiences and, with this plan, we will continue to do so.
A Special Message for Girls
Each of you hold special memories of Girl Scouting in your heart. Funny stories shared with friends in troop meetings, doing service for others or just having fun with one another. Camp is a special place for many girls; it’s a place to discover and create new friendships.
Each year, we ask girls what they like about camp and what they would change. We gathered up all of your answers and we listened. We’re making some changes to update our camps. What does this all mean for you? Well, for some, it will mean no more summer camp at Camp Timberlake. Camp Timberlake is a beloved place that fills a special place in our hearts. Even though we won’t be using the camp, we’re counting on all of you to hold near the amazing summer we had. We will have a chance to pay tribute in a special way and to honor the traditions of the Timberlake so watch for more information.
Also, Camp Kiwanis will be open during fall and spring so you can go camping there with your troop -- Yeah! Girls will have a couple more summers to build those great memories and then, like our Timberlake girls, we will count on you to help us wrap up the resident summers of Camp Kiwanis in a special way.
Stevens Ranch and Camp Rio Blanco will be built up to bring more summer fun, friendships and learning and will provide a place for you to teach those girls some of the things that you remember and love about the other camps.
We’ll keep you updated and will ask for your help in planning big ceremonies. We’re going to need your help to make them truly special. After we celebrate and honor the past, we’ll be ready to start something new and fresh at Camp Rio Blanco, at Stevens Ranch, even in your own backyard, because remember, camp isn’t just a place… it’s a feeling, it’s an attitude and in Girl Scouts we all live it and love it.
Questions can be sent to email@example.com or you may call Public Relations at 800-582-7272 ext. 1409