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Girl Scouts cancel inaugural day camp

The first year of the Girl Scout Day Camp in Austin this week was canceled because of low enrollment, but the Girl Scout Council for Southern Minnesota is confident that Austin has potential for future day camps.

"It was a brand new concept for Austin and it's too bad, but we are gong to continue to refine it and offer it next year," said Barbara Boelk, the spokesperson for the council. "I am comfortable in saying there is potential in moving forward for next year."

There are 283 members of Girls Scouts in Mower County, which includes 131 girls in Austin.

Across Minnesota, many day camps are moving from staff-led to volunteer-based camps, which seem to inspire more ownership in the community.

"Unfortunately registrations were a little low this year, but on the positive side we had some interest after it was canceled, encouraging us to try it next year," Boelk said.


When numbers were declining in the staff-led Rochester day camp, it switched to volunteer-based, and this year more than 40 girls participated, Boelk said.

"I think there is a different communication message when it comes from the council vs. volunteers," Boelk said. "They feel like they have ownership locally and it's a different perspective when you are involved in the process."

The goal for the Austin program is to establish it as a staff-led program, build interest and then turn it over to a volunteer-based model for the community.

"The girls really have a great time," Boelk said. "We are going to learn from this year and move forward with the program for next year."

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