Press release sent to Scott E’s Blog on April 8th:
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Board voting to sell camp to fund other projects
On March 30, 2021, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) Board of Directors 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. GSCM Board members plan to make a final decision by May 4, 2021.
Girl Scout youth members and adult leaders, members of the community, and proponents of open green space for youth oppose the sale of Camp Ilchester to a residential developer. They have organized under the name Love for Camp Ilchester Coalition to stop the sale of this 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.
The coalition opposes this sale because:
- GSCM has not demonstrated that selling Camp Ilchester is an effective or necessary means to manage finances.
- Selling Camp Ilchester will significantly decrease availability of outdoor camp experiences for girl scouts 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.
- GSCM is making the decision to sell Camp Ilchester without member involvement or input, conflicting with the GSUSA constitution that states Girl Scouts is member-led. They have made it clear that an upcoming vote by delegates is only a formality required by the bylaws, but is not binding.
- The razing of Camp Ilchester by developers will negatively impact the environment, the Ellicott City and Elkridge community, and local girl scouts.
The organizers of the coalition have created a petition to save the camp, a rally on Sunday, April 11 at 10am at Camp Ilchester, and a social media campaign. They encourage people who would like to speak out about this issue to write to the GSCM Board of Directors, government officials, and preservation organizations.
The Love for Camp Ilchester Coalition was formed for the sole purpose of keeping Camp Ilchester a green open space for use by our youth and the community. For more information, contact us at RallyforCampIlchester@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on social media:
The petition has received more than 2,300 online signatures as of this article.
Here is additional information on the topic: