Dear Editor:

I could fill a book with what my experiences at Camp Tahigwa meant to me, and how much I have learned from them. However, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois have proposed selling all four camp properties in the council.

The stated reason is decreased interest in camping, but from 2008-2012 there was an overall increase of 33 percent in camp facility usage. A study by the council states that, "Overwhelmingly, the girls say they are interested in camping..."

The council leadership has lost appreciation for traditional camping, as well as the drive to see it succeed. We should be encouraging outdoor programming, yet I see the opposite happening. Sixty-five percent of families learned about camp through mailed brochures, which the council stopped sending. Our camps have been set up for failure through reduced programming, and decisions which go against the strengths of each camp.

More than the council's misleading information, and even more than the lack of plans in place for after selling the camps, I think of the future. Natural spaces are diminishing as more land is developed, and selling properties is permanent. There is no other way to truly understand the natural world than to be in nature.

We do not need to sell properties, we need a council who supports outdoor programs, encourages use of properties and allows them to run according to their strengths. Please help save our camps - for the girls of this council and the future of Girl Scouting.