- GSCO blog
2014 Outdoor Program Changes
Girl Scouts of Colorado is announcing the following changes in our outdoor program offerings for 2014 in response to high costs and low use, as well as a council-wide effort to create a leaner, financially-strong organization.
– GSCO will train volunteers to run day camps in their communities and promote these programs in the camp catalog, but we will not offer council-sponsored day camps. – GSCO will offer some vendor-provided horseback riding opportunities at overnight camps, but our statewide council horse program is being suspended. We would need to increase horse program fees or subsidies an additional 20 to 50 percent to make this program viable. GSCO does not have the resources presently to cover this financial loss. – Magic Sky Ranch will be open from May 15 to September 15 for overnight summer camp and other use, but closed the rest of the year. The Old Lodge and tent spaces will be open year round. – Meadow Mountain Ranch will be open for troop camping and group rental only from May 15 to September 15, with no council-sponsored programming on property. – Kiwa Korral, Lazy Acres, and Sky High Ranch will be open for troop camping and group rental only from May 15 to September 15, but closed the rest of the year. – At this time, there are no scheduled changes to operations at Tomahawk Ranch, Hamp Hut, Twisted Pine or Pawnee Lodge.
These decisions are difficult, as camp properties are so close the hearts of those who have made lasting memories at camp. GSCO is committed to offering the best value and Leadership Experience for girls at our overnight programs next summer at Magic Sky Ranch and Tomahawk Ranch.
As for the future of the camp properties, we are presently compiling data on usage, demand, program costs maintenance/upkeep costs and customer market research to analyze how much camp property our council can maintain and support on a lean budget. While we have already undertaken some creative solutions to try to increase our property revenue by extending property rentals to Girl Scout family, friends and other groups, this takes time. Girl Scouts of Colorado’s camps are our most highly subsidized programs, with camper fees covering less than 50 percent of the program and property expenses. No decisions have been made on the future of our camp properties at this time, but we do know that we own more property than our membership uses and our property maintenance and upkeep costs are exorbitant, especially considering the low percentage of our membership who use them. We know we need to devote less resources to property and more resources to serving our members in the ways that they are participating in Girl Scouting.
GSCO is developing an Outdoor Programs advisory committee of staff, volunteers, and Senior-aged Girl Scouts and above who will help develop more outdoor volunteer trainings and offerings. We look forward to first offering training on Volunteer Day Camps at the upcoming Springaganza in 2014.
Please direct any questions or suggestions you have to Betsy Till, Outdoor Programs Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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