Girl Scouts plans to sell Camp Golden Valley

Jul. 07, 2013 @ 06:11 AM

The Girl Scouts Carolinas Peak to Piedmont council plans to sell approximately 500 acres of property in Rutherford County.

The council Board of Directors decided to put Camp Golden Valley — located near Bostic — on the market in June citing a lack of long-term camping and a need to streamline the operation.

And Camp Golden Valley is not the only property on the market.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the council is also putting Camp Douglas Long and Camp Dot Perry, located in Wilkes County. Camp Rotary, located near Gastonia, is also being considered for sale.

The potential sale has angered some residents with ties to the Girl Scouts.

"Our camp could have been better promoted," said Leann Harper, troop leader of Troop 20166, a local troop based out of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Grammar School. "I had the opportunity to rent the camp out every weekend next summer.

"They could have advertised Camp Golden Valley and they didn't."

Council CEO Marcia Cole said the Peaks to Piedmont council is calling it a "right-sizing" of property.

"We're just not using it," Cole said of Camp Golden Valley. "We don't have enough girls camping. We had eight camps when we started and we have sold two and another for sale in Greensboro as well as another we are working to sell in the Gastonia area.

"We are down to four and we really only use three of them."

But Harper said the camp has been utilized.

"To say that it isn't being used is not true because it is," Harper said. "I personally feel they didn't want to keep Golden Valley. It's in an area that can make them some money."

The Girl Scouts have owned Camp Golden Valley for nearly 50 years and Cole said she understood there would be a hardship created by the camp being sold.

"We have it positioned so there is easy travel for any girl that wants to go to camp," Cole said. "The hardship is that camps are like family, especially for people who have been Scouts for a long time and even worked at these camps."

Cole said there are no summer camps being held at the camp and only one or two training sessions and some weekend campouts over the course of the summer.

"Just 15 percent of our girls actually go summer camping," Cole said. "The other three properties can handle the number of girls that want to go."

There are approximately 14,500 girls that are members of the Peaks to Piedmont council. The council serves 40 counties from Asheboro to Murphy but does not include Charlotte.

Harper said the camp has a quality that makes camping an experience.

"When you walk into Golden Valley, it is like walking into the past," Harper said. "It is beautiful and it has archery, boating, swimming … everything you want except Internet, cell phones and those kinds of things.

"Everyone that has been out at the camp has said they are coming back. They want to camp at Golden Valley."

Cole said the council has not put a price on Camp Golden Valley, stating there are still particulars that need to be worked out with real estate professionals.

"The board will have to make the decision on what to ask for it and they just made the decision to sell it," Cole said.

The sale of Camp Golden Valley will leave three other camps within the council: Camp Ginger Cascades, near Lenoir; Camp Pisgah, near Brevard; the Keyauwee Program Center in Randolph County.

"There is a camp in Lenoir that is close to Rutherford County and it is ideal for weekend camping and we use it for that all the time," Cole said. "Anyone can get to Camp Ginger Cascades within an hour."

The Girl Scout organization celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

"It's losing a member of the family for some folks and that is hard," Cole said. "There is an emotional tie that people have to the camp. We hate it but it has to be a business decision because we can't afford to keep it going with the number of girls we have camping each summer."