Big Plans Will Bring New Life To Camp Louise
The Friends of Camp Louise want to show the long-time Girl Scout camp some love — by fixing it and opening it to the public.
A group of 13 women who formed a nonprofit organization to save the camp met there Sunday to update the public on their progress to get the camp reopened.
“Our goal is to have the camp fully functional as it used to be,” said Sarah Fountain, the secretary of the Friends of Camp Louise board of directors.
Camp Louise is as 340-acre camp with a 12-acre lake located at the top of Jonestown Mountain near Shickshinny that was closed three years ago by the Girl Scouts of America.
The Friends of Camp Louise organization has a year to realize their goal, since an anonymous donor gave them the money to lease the camp from its owner, Valley Preservation Corp.
“We signed the lease on April 29,” Fountain said. “At the end of the lease, we will revisit the issue, whether we extend the lease or not.”
On the website, the group’s original intention was to buy the camp, Fountain said. But that was before the leasing option came about.
Fountain said the group is trying to attract donations but also can rent the camp out to raise funds.
“We can rent out different sections of the camp for different groups and different purposes but we haven’t set the rates yet,” Fountain said.
The camp would have many uses for the public, Fountain said.
“It could be used by Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, for outdoor activities like camping or hiking,” Fountain said. “It could also be used for weddings, family reunions, church groups or special needs groups. It can be used for day camps, like if someone wanted to teach first aid.”
The lake has been used for fishing and boating but fish haven’t been stocked there in years. Also, there is no boat launch for people who bring their boats to use.
Aside from the lake, there are campsites that can accommodate groups with tents. A few of the campsites have cabins, Fountain said.
The dining hall is where weddings and possibly family reunions can be held.
There is also an Olympic-size swimming pool but like the other buildings and facilities on the property, it needs some attention, Fountain said.
“The camp was neglected before it closed,” Fountain said. “We need help with roofing, flooring, plumbing and electrical. The camp was never winterized.”
Fountain pointed out the work needed at the camp presents an opportunity for any vocational school or construction trade students in the area who need work experience.
The group has a Facebook page, and their website is friendsofcamplouisepa.org. Their email address is: email@example.com.
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