Susquehanna County, Pa. -- On July 29, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) decided to end the review process for Camp Archbald and two of their other owned properties. The council board decided that the properties met the benchmarks set by the council for the last three years and deemed all of them usable, removing them from review - and meaning that Camp Archbald will continue to operate as it enters its hundredth year.
The preservation of Camp Archbald was made possible largely thanks to the Supporters of Camp Archbald (SoCA). The group was created three years ago after word spread that no resident camp would be offered on the property during the summer of 2018. After hearing this news, former campers and alumni gathered to form the nonprofit group with a mission to support Camp Archbald for future Girl Scouts.
SoCA currently consists of at least 2,500 members and continues to grow. The group has volunteers around the country who worked thousands of hours to bring Camp Archbald to the public eye and raise awareness about the trouble that the camp was in. Through fundraisers, youth activities, maintenance, and communication, SoCA worked with GSHPA to end the review process and expected sale of Camp Archbald and will work to return the camp to a fully functioning Girl Scout camp.
Emily Loder, Marketing and Communications Chair for SoCA, released a statement on behalf of the group:
“Volunteers with Supporters of Camp Archbald are thrilled to hear the news about camp. We have been working hard the last three years to bring Camp Archbald into the spotlight and help people understand what an environmental and educational value this camp has on Girl Scouts and the community. We look forward to partnering with GSHPA as we move ahead in restoring the legacy of Camp Archbald.”
Nicole Morristell, President of SoCA, was excited to hear about the decision from GSHPA. “While there are still many obstacles to overcome like scheduled maintenance, reasonable rental fees, accessible water and sustainable budgeting, SoCA believes this is a small step forward in the future of outdoor recreation for the girls of NEPA.”
Though Camp Archbald is no longer at the risk of being sold, SoCA will continue looking out for the camp's future. Camp Archbald celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and SoCA intends to keep the camp around for another hundred.
SoCA will continue fundraising on behalf of the camp and will keep providing programming for girls in Northeast Pennsylvania virtually for now, and in person when it can be done safely.