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Camp Sugar Pine Now Closed for 2017 Season


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This email was originally sent to all GSNorCal parents and volunteers on June 29th, 2017.

Dear Girl Scout Members and Friends:
 
Summer camp is an important part of Girl Scouts and of growing up. Each summer, almost 12,000 girls experience camp through our volunteer and council-run camps and camper safety is always our top priority. This morning, we shared the news with parents of girls planning to attend Sugar Pine, and with Sugar Pine staff, that we are cancelling summer camp at Sugar Pine for the remainder of this summer. While I am heart-broken by the need to make this decision, I believe it is the right decision, guided by our top priority for girl and staff safety.

The primary reason for this decision is that we have encountered trespassers on our Sugar Pine property this year during daylight as well as signs of trespassers during late evening hours. Additionally, we have had bears in the camp. Though Bears at Sugar Pine are not unusual, this summer, bears have entered camp during daylight hours, disrupting some camp activities and damaging some property. Girls' property has been disturbed by the bears and, most importantly, their feeling of security at camp has been breached.

While we are devastated by the prospect of letting our girls down, we take our commitment to our camp families—the promise that we will always put safety first—very seriously. It is our responsibility to provide the best and safest experience for girls. This year, there are too many variables that are out of our control, and we can no longer ensure that we can provide the best and safest experience for campers and staff at Sugar Pine this summer.

As we close the camp for the summer, we will use this time to engage security and wildlife experts to evaluate Sugar Pine and determine how best to increase girls and staff safety and sense of security. While we were already planning improvements to sleeping arrangements at Sugar Pine as part of our five-year property plan, we will now also take the time to engage additional experts to support us in increasing safety at this beloved mountain camp.

Campers registered for the Sugar Pine camp sessions that are being cancelled have options. We are opening unscheduled and unoccupied units to make space for campers at Bothin and Skylark Ranch.  We will be moving our troop camp to Skylark Ranch and we can run our Sugar Pine Back-Roads-Bound mountain adventure using Bothin as the start and end point. All Sugar Pine staff who want to transfer to Skylark or Bothin will have that opportunity and both camps will be fully staffed and able to accommodate additional campers.

Our Member Services team is working with families to identify the best solutions and we will, of course, issue full refunds for any camper that cannot find an alternate camp experience. We know that our Member Services team will be very busy answering phones and helping camper families and appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented situation.
 
Camp is very important to me and to Girl Scouts of Northern California. Please know that we will do everything we can to address the challenges we experienced at Sugar Pine this summer and return it to our camp line-up.
 
Yours in camping and Girl Scouting,
Marina Park
CEO, Girl Scouts of Northern California