Joy Hollow supporters pack meeting to save Girl Scout camp
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- It's a camp that thousands of Girl Scouts have called their home away from home for years, and Monday night, scouts past and present packed a Sioux City meeting to try and save it.
The task force looking into the operation of Camp Joy Hollow says the 360-acre facility near Westfield, Iowa, is an expensive endeavor that needs several upgrades.
One of those is a tornado shelter, which would likely be a major cost. The task force says that's just one of several issues, and it's looking into options for the future of the camp.
One of those options is a partnership with several conservation groups, acting as a consortium.
Many of those who love the camp say, they wish the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa had come to them before talks of a merger even started.
Parent/Trooper Leader Michelle Bonnewell says, "It has been a staple of the Girl Scouts here in Northwestern Iowa for 28 years. I went there as a scout."
While an appraisal has been conducted on the camp, Girl Scout officials say they're only trying to find ways to keep the camp operational, and it's never been in the plans to shut it down.
In 2009, it cost the Girl Scouts $121,000 to run the camp.
They say they're looking at the best way to use their limited resources.
Laura Lindstrom, Joy Hollow Task Force says, "I know that there were people who were told that the camp was definitely going to be sold and that certainly has not been decided."
Other concerns of many in attendance include dwindling numbers of girls attending the camp, and fewer activities, while the price to attend keeps going up.
Officials say they do not have a date for a final decision on Joy Hollow. Ultimately, it's up to the Girl Scouts' board of directors.