The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 17, 2013

Our View: Earning a new badge

The Joplin Globe

— The Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland made a good decision Friday when it voted to give the community until November to develop a long-term plan to keep Camp Mintahama open.

But that doesn’t mean that the board should just kick the can down the road. We look forward to seeing real collaboration between the administration and the hundreds and hundreds of supporters and former Girl Scouts who earned badges for community spirit this past week in an emphatic show of resolve to keep the camp open.

A recommendation had been made to close the camp, located south of Joplin, in 2015 and then sell the property. That decision was based on the decline in camp attendance and the cost of repairs and improvements.

We think closing that camp is a decision we all would regret. Not only has it provided a great camping experience for generations of girls, but it is also 180 acres we’d like to see saved from development.

Cheers to those who quickly formed the Friends of Camp Mintahama Committee and developed a proposal that likely saved the day.

Now the really difficult work begins. How do you keep the momentum going and turn it into a viable plan for the camp?

Many of the former Girl Scouts are now professionals and leaders in their communities. They are examples of the why the Girl Scout program continues to be needed today. They all cite summer camping as an experience they continue to treasure.

If you would like to be involved in efforts to keep Camp Mintahama up and running, you can learn more through a Save Camp Mintahama Facebook page.

The camp was established as a Girl Scout camp in 1946. We’d like to see it celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2016 without the threat of closure looming.

For today, let’s count a victory for girls throughout our area.