Letter to the Editor: What you can do to help Camp Tahigwa

To the Editor:
Last week over 5,000 volunteer hours were put in to make Camptastic at Camp Tahigwa happen. The mantra “Camp must go on” was in each of these volunteers’ hearts.
In 2010, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois (GSEIWI) Council announced that traditional residential camp would no longer be held at Camp Tahigwa in Dorchester. A fine group of women and men decided that was not an option, thus Camptastic at Camp Tahigwa was born, offering girls of all ages a true overnight camp experience, complete with the famous climbing tower, jell-o fights, and sleeping under the stars.
Camptastic has been going strong with increasing numbers from 2011-2015. However, the camp we have all come to know and love was “safe” at that time. The GSEIWI Council had stated they would be collecting usage data for Camp Tahigwa throughout some of that time. That collection data time has now come to an end. The Council can now make an executive decision concerning what happens to camp property, possibly “divest” it.
The definition of divest is: to strip or deprive of, especially of rights and property, to rid or free from, to take away. So what will council choose to divest? The meadow? All acreage across the creek? Or all 315 acres of Camp Tahigwa? This would be a tragic loss for Girl Scouts in our community, as the next nearest Girl Scout camp is three hours away. So what can you do to help?
Write to the Council, your local newspaper, your community leaders and let them know what Camp Tahigwa means to you and what a travesty it would be to lose it.
Tell everyone you know about the camp - the skills you learned there, the friendships you’ve made. Show people its importance in growing girls of courage, confidence and character.
Host an event at Camp Tahigwa. It’s not only perfect for Girl Scout events, such as day camps or troop stays, but also non-Girl Scout events, such as sewing circles, family reunions, and even weddings.
Tahigwa may not be “safe” but we are not out of the game yet. “For you belong to Tahigwa and Tahigwa belongs to you.”
To contact GSEIWI, go to the staff directory at girlscoutstoday.org and call or email Diane.
To host an event at the camp, email Mahlon at MahlonS@GirlScoutsToday.org.

Corinna Nelson