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Messages from the Board

Message from the Board - May 12, 2021

After careful consideration and discussion during Board meetings held on May 4 and May 10, 2021, the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, Inc. has approved  pursuing the sale of Camp Ilchester, subject to the Board’s final approval of price, terms, and conditions of a potential sale.

As a result, the Board has appointed a special Board committee (the “Camp Ilchester Committee”) to engage appropriate real estate consultants and counsel to assist it in developing and implementing a strategy to position Camp Ilchester for sale to potential buyers, which may include governmental or other public entities (e.g., Howard County) and/or other potentially interested private entities, organizations, or individuals. The Camp Ilchester Committee will report to the Board on its progress and make recommendations to the Board regarding any proposed sale of Camp Ilchester to a specific buyer.

Prior to soliciting bids from developers, the Camp Ilchester Committee will commence discussions with groups interested in preserving the property as green space, including but not limited to local and/or state government.

At this time, the Board has made no decision, preliminary or otherwise, to accept or proceed with any specific sale of Camp Ilchester.

The Board prudently considered the financial, strategic, and other short-term and long-term factors relating to the sale of Camp Ilchester, including the views of the members, volunteers, and others as reflected in communications received, as well as the results of the non-binding ballot taken during the April 22, 2021 Special Council Meeting by the Voting Members. Informed by all of these considerations, the Board in the sound exercise of its business judgment believes that pursuing a potential sale of Camp Ilchester is in the best interest of the girls served by our Council.

- Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Board of Directors

Message from the Board - April 23, 2021

Last night during a Special Council Meeting, we, the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s (GSCM) Board of Directors, recommended for the Council to sell Camp Ilchester in Howard County as it is in the best interest of GSCM. There was a brief presentation, then a question-and-answer period, followed by a non-binding, advisory vote by the voting members of the Council in accordance with Article IV, Section 6 of the bylaws.

The Special Council Meeting is an integral part of our decision-making process that enables us to better understand the views, support, and/or concerns of the voting membership before making a binding decision about Camp Ilchester.

The accounting firm of Ellin & Tucker handled the non-binding, advisory ballot process. The following are the results of the non-binding ballot vote as reported by Ellin & Tucker:

Ellin Tucker

The next step in this process is for the Board to meet and consider the issue, informed, in part, by the results of the non-binding ballot. We sincerely appreciate each and every Council member, volunteer, and others who participated in this process.

- Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Board of Directors

Message from the Board - April 20, 2021

As Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) continues through our governance process of discussing the recommendation to sell Camp Ilchester (please see the March 30, 2021 Message from the Board), we’re continuing the conversation by sharing answers to your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

We would like to revisit and clarify two important pieces of information to address some misunderstandings and misinformation that is being circulated publicly.

1. There is no buyer and, more specifically, no developer for Camp Ilchester. We stated this in the first group of FAQs and it remains true.

2. The decision to sell a property has not been made. Any communication claiming that the GSCM Board of Directors announced a plan to sell Camp Ilchester is incorrect. GSCM’s Board presented the recommendation toward a potential sale of Camp Ilchester, one of the Council’s four camp properties, to its delegate members in order to reduce its property portfolio and the related operational and maintenance costs. The Council, following its governance process, is currently discussing the recommendation with its members.

The next group of FAQs is now available HERE on our website. These are reflective of the most frequently asked questions we have received to date.

We appreciate everyone who has emailed us with ideas, shared thoughts, and asked questions. We’re continuing to read every email and will continue to share updates as we work together through this process.

- Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Board of Directors

Message from the Board - April 7, 2021

Last Tuesday, we shared our recommendation to sell Camp Ilchester and focus the proceeds from the potential sale on the Camp of the Future at Woodlands.  This will allow us to get on a pathway toward providing more research-based outdoor programming and camping experiences for girls through the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland.

We encouraged you to ask questions, share thoughts, and send comments directly to the Board by emailing between now and April 21st.  We thank those of you who have emailed us and continue to encourage others to do the same.

The first group of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is now available HERE on our website.  These are reflective of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received to date.

We’re reading every email and will update you when additions are made to the FAQ.

- Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Board of Directors 

Message from the Board - March 30, 2021

Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience for girls in the world.  Everything a Girl Scout does centers around STEM, the outdoors, the development of life skills, and entrepreneurship.  In order to bring Girl Scouting to girls now and into the future, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland must engage in honest conversations about the state of the Council and make decisions today that set up the Council for success to serve girls for generations to come.

After thorough review of all of the figures and facts (including a decade of expert studies), it is clear to us that continued prudent fiscal management including reducing deficits across the board and managing with a balanced budget is critical to the long-term health of the Council. One of our largest, consistently deficit-funded areas is property.  Now is the time to discuss the properties and what is the right move for the future of the organization we all love.

Professional evaluations have been conducted on our camp properties for more than a decade and the recommendation is to find a buyer for Camp Ilchester.  Funds gained from the reduced property costs and sale of Camp Ilchester will go towards re-envisioning Camp Woodlands, making it a property that has progressive camping and outdoors experiences for girls now and long into the future. This expert advice is what we, the Board, have thoroughly reviewed, discussed, and are recommending.

At the March 30th Delegate Forum, we presented the history, facts, and figures along with the recommendation to find a buyer for Camp Ilchester and focus resources gained on Camp Woodlands. Because it’s important for this to be an open and transparent discussion with time for reflection, Delegates have been asked to share this information with members, have conversations, and come back to a Delegate Forum on April 20, 2021 for further discussion and an advisory vote on the recommendation.

All members are encouraged to ask questions, share thoughts and send comments directly with the Board by emailing between now and April 19th. Due to the expected volume of emails, we may not be able to respond to each comment individually. Please know that every email sent to the address provided will be shared with, and read by, the GSCM Board of Directors.

We understand and are respectful of the sentimental attachments to individual camp properties; many of us on the Board have fond memories of them ourselves. But the need to examine our current portfolio is one based on financial facts. 

This situation is an opportunity to build girls’ critical thinking and decision-making skills. Throughout their lives girls will be asked to make difficult decisions like this. We can use this experience as an opportunity to talk with girls about how to evaluate the costs and benefits of a decision, and how the right decision is not always the easiest.

Our camps and outdoor programming are as important as ever and the related programs are essential to who we are as an organization. They play a critical role in our mission as they help us build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.  We are committed to making sure there are robust outdoor and camping experience for girls through the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland.

As questions and comments are emailed to us, an FAQ tab will be created here on our website. The FAQ will be updated as well as this page with new information once it is available.

- Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Board of Directors