Camp Curry Creek Girl Scout Camp Closing

CAMPBROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) – Declining participation and increasing expenses have led Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania to decide to close and sell five of its nine camp properties.

“This was a very hard decision to make, but it’s a tough business decision we need to make so that we can remain a viable organization,” Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania CEO Patricia Burkart said.

The camps have been taking in about $600,000.00 in annual revenue while racking up nearly $2 million in expenses.

About 13 percent of the nonprofit’s more than 22,000 members — or fewer than 3,000 — have been going to the camps. That’s down from a 20 percent participation rate in 2009, Burkart said.

Five properties will close on March 31:

• Camp Singing Hills on 222 acres in Oil City, Venango County;

• Camp Curry Creek on 63 acres in Brockway, Jefferson County;

• Camp Resting Waters on 410 acres — including a 13-acre, spring-fed lake — in Kane, McKean County;

• Camp Elliott on 101 acres in Volant, Lawrence County;

• Camp Roy Weller on 792 acres — including two ponds and a nature sanctuary — in Preston County, W.Va.

It’s the second time in the last decade the Girl Scouts group has closed camps.

In 2008, when five councils merged to form Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, the organization owned 16 camps, “many of which had a lot of deferred maintenance,” Burkart said.

By 2014, the organization had closed seven camps as part of a cost-savings plan.

Resident camp programs will continue to be offered at three camps: Conshatawba in Cambria County; Hawthorne Ridge in Erie County; and Skymeadow in Armstrong County.

Camp Redwing along Connoquenessing Creek in Butler County also will remain open but no longer will offer resident camps. Instead, the Butler County site will be available year-round to use for a day camp, troop camping, or weekend events.

Some of the money from the sales will be used for upgrading other camps.

The organization took in $10.1 million in revenue in 2014 and ended its 2014 fiscal year with a $300,000.00 deficit.

The board plans to host closing ceremonies for camp alumni in April and put the five properties on the market around June.

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