Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

September 10, 2010

Camp Singing Hills scheduled to be closed

MIDDLEBURY —

It may be "So long," for Camp Singing Hills.

The board of directors of Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana announced recently that the 240-acre Girl Scout camp, founded in Middlebury on Oct. 28, 1966, will be closed as part of a realignment of the district.

That announcement did not sit well with a number of Girl Scouts volunteer staff and Scouts, according to Learning Opportunities Coordinator/Trainer Will Menges, who is part of Service Unit 601. He was one of five people who came together to create what is now known as the Friends of Camp Singing Hills, making a push to save the camp.

"We just all decided we don’t want to see this camp close because we looked at the numbers and the benefits that Camp Singing Hills has," Menges said. "One of those being that as far as year-round programming goes, we feel that Camp Singing Hills has better facilities for winter camping than Camp Logan."

Menges said an official Girl Scouts task force was created late in the spring of this year to study all the camps in the newly restructured district. He was only aware of two weekend work sessions held by the group, one to visit the different camps and one to analyze other related information. The FCSH group said in a recent release that it does not believe the general membership had a voice in the decision-making process.

According to the release, many Scouts and families were only able to answer one online survey from the task force due to computer-related issues, after which paper copies were offered. The FCSH group argued the survey for Scouts was still difficult and not age-appropriate for younger members.

"Additionally, those who were elected or selected to serve on the task force did not make efforts to talk to the local membership, either at a town hall-style meeting, at troop meetings or a service unit meeting," the FCSH release reads. "There was no clear solicitation of registered member opinion or suggestion for this process."

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