Save Camp Ilchester!

Save Camp Ilchester!

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Camp Ilchester started this petition to Girl Scouts of Central Maryland

IMPORTANT! This change.org petition prompts you to make a donation, but the Love for Camp Ilchester Coalition is NOT seeking donations at this time. The donation is to change.org and their charities not the camp preservation effort.

Please sign and continue to share this petition and help us raise awareness of this issue so that Girl Scouts of Central Maryland feels compelled to sell Camp Ilchester ONLY to a preservation buyer and not to a housing developer!

On May 12, 2021 the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, Inc. (GSCM) shared that it has approved pursuing the sale of Camp Ilchester, subject to the Board’s final approval of price, terms, and conditions of a potential sale.

GSCM board is making the decision to sell Camp Ilchester despite fact that the voting members of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Council (which includes members of the Board of DIrectors and Nominating Committee along with delegates representing membership) on April 22, 2021 voted against the sale of Camp Ilchester. 

On March 30, 2021, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) announced their plan to sell Camp Ilchester (Ellicott City). According to their statement, GSCM intends to use the sale proceeds to re-envision Camp Woodlands (Annapolis) into “a model for the Girl Scout camp of the 21st century,” an endeavor projected to cost $21M. Camp Ilchester is zoned R20, making it attractive to residential developers and yielding a potential sale profit of $5-11M. 

Please join Girl Scout youth and adult members, members of the community, and proponents of open green space for youth by opposing the sale of Camp Ilchester to a residential developer. Help stop the sale of existing, well-used and well-loved, outdoor activity space as a trade off for the not-yet-funded promise of updated facilities in Anne Arundel County at a not-yet-disclosed (or determined) future date (that may never materialize). Once this 20-acre green space is lost, it can never be regained. 

GSCM has not demonstrated that selling Camp Ilchester is an effective or necessary means to manage finances. The GSCM Board failed to provide a clear demonstration of the financial information they are using to make the decision to sell Camp Ilchester.  According to its 990, GSCM expenses do not exceed revenues. Camp Ilchester generates revenue, its maintenance expenses are low, and it receives financial support from The Clementine Peterson endowment fund.  Selling the camp will not fully fund the re-envisioning of Camp Woodlands. Since 2017, GSCM board-led efforts to raise money for this project yielded only $1.8 M.  

Selling Camp Ilchester will significantly decrease availability of outdoor camp experiences for girl scouts and other youths and reduce access disproportionately. 

If Camp Ilchester is sold, only three camps will remain to serve 20,000 girls and 8,000 adults in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard counties. Each year, summer camp and activity registration fills quickly; many girls are put on waiting lists or turned away due to camp space constraints.  Focusing financial resources on fewer camps will ultimately serve a smaller percentage of girls and favor older girls, girls with more financial resources, and those in closer proximity.  “The Outdoors” is one of GSUSA’s four core pillars. Very few organizations offer outdoor, camping, and nature experiences. Selling green space to a residential developer conflicts with the Girl Scout values. (i.e.: Use resources wisely. Make the world a better place).  The sale of the camp contradicts with the organization’s own studies which prove the need, desire, and benefit of outdoor experiences for young people.  

Several years ago, GSCM conducted research to determine whether members wanted updated camping facilities. GS members question whether the research effort polled a representative sampling of GSCM girl scouts. The research did not include questions about the sale of Camp Ilchester as a consideration. For years, advocates of camp preservation have petitioned GSCM for greater transparency with property financials and the ability to fundraise. GSCM has repeatedly denied these requests.  

The razing of Camp Ilchester by developers will negatively impact the environment, the Ellicott City and Elkridge community, and local girl scouts.  If the camp is razed by a developer, it will further hurt a community already reeling from overcrowded schools, lacking infrastructure, and two devastating floods. Wildlife will be destroyed, trees cut down, and animals displaced, which is in stark contrast to Girl Scout teachings of environmental stewardship and preservation.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!