Girl Scouts learn courage, character and confidence.
Now some Quincy Girl Scouts are using those skills to make a bold statement in support of a cause.
You might recall the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois plans to sell several properties as part of a 10-year property plan.
One of those properties includes the Wildwood Girl Scout Center in Mt. Sterling.
You can find more information, including a timeline on the organization's 10-year property plan at http://www.girlscouts-gsci.org/long-range-property-plan
Wildwood is expected to close by 20-12, and some people are not very happy about that decision.
Katie Davis, Stephanie Newbrough, Liz Dix and Kelsey Strother have a combined 40 years invested in Girl Scouts. Year after year, they've sold Girl Scout cookies. But this year, they're boycotting cookie sales in West Central Illinois and asking others to do the same.
The girls said, "Recently, we learned that they were going to sell our Wildwood Girl Scout Center, and we felt that at the forum meeting that we went to that we just hadn't been able to make our point yet how disappointed we were that we're losing our second home. So, we decided that to make a point, and to show them how much we care, we were going to boycott cookies."
What's the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois' response to these four girls' boycott of the Girl Scout cookies? Erica Douglas said, "The Girl Scouts provide a leadership experience designed to build girls with courage, confidence and character. This troop is demonstrating some of the skills they've learned in Girl Scouts for standing up for what they believe in, and we respect their opinion. However, their stand has the potential to negatively impact other girls and the programming opportunities that we offer. "
Are you scared that the boycott will hurt the Girl Scouts? The girls answered, "We don't want to hurt the Girl Scouts with this. We don't want to take money away from all of the other programming that other girls might enjoy. But we haven't found a way, before this, that got the Girl Scouts' attention that us girls feel this strongly about it. And by doing this, we finally have found that this has gotten the attention that at least they know that we are this upset and that they have hurt us this deeply. They're taking away one of our second homes."
KHQA's Rajah Maples spoke with a board member about the decision to sell Wildwood in November. Nora Baldner told KHQA the organization evaluated its properties, talked with the girls about what kinds of activities they wanted and developed the long-range plan. Even though Baldner acknowledged that Wildwood is a beautiful piece of property, she said usage is down. Baldner also said Girl Scouts of Central Illinois plans to buy and create program centers in Quincy and other areas across Central Illinois to be used for troop activities.
But that information does not appease these girls who are reminiscing over memories at Wildwood.
The Girl Scouts said, "A lot of friends that I have that are my age, um that are still in Girl Scouts. They're in it mostly as singles for Wildwood, for the horses. The horses are what keep them in the camp, or in the Girl Scouts, and without this camp, and without our horses, and stuff, a lot of us older girls, we don't have any reason to stay in Girl Scouts."
Douglas said, "We understand that there are emotions tied to that plan and tied to our Wildwood Girl Scouts Center. We had to make some difficult decisions and decisions that we made are in the best interests of the girls and what are financially responsible for our Girl Scout members.//13:33;52 Our Girl Scout cookie activity is such a great activity for our Girl Scout members. and they build skills, such as business skills, marketing. things that they're going to use for a lifetime, so we really want to encourage our girls to participate and hope we get the support from our customers. "
Girl Scout cookie sales in West Central Illinois begin January 15th.