Not enough campers: Girl Scout camp may close - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Not enough campers: Girl Scout camp may close

ALLAMAKEE COUNTY (KWWL) -- With low camper numbers, a Girl Scout camp in eastern Iowa has had to cut back this summer and might be forced to close. Now longtime campers turned camp directors are working to save their camp.

"I started coming to camp in 1994. I was 7 years old, and I don't know... It was just like a home away from home for me," Camp Director Mandie Wellner said.

For years, Camp Tahigwa administrators Mandie Wellner and Rebecca Twaites have been coming to the Allamakee County Girl Scout camp, but now that could be in danger.

"It's really heart wrenching. This is kind of where I grew up. I started coming here in 4th grade," Twaites said.

This year, the camp may have a shortened summer and then close for good in the next two years.

"Our numbers are extremely low. And when numbers are low whether it's at a sporting goods shop or a school, they'll close it. And that's what we're facing right now," Twaites said.

Generally, they have around 500 campers. So far, only around half that number are registered for this summer.

"A lot of parents, at least for me, have said you know, we can't really afford it right now. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to send my girl to camp, so we're looking for ways to get them to camp," Twaites said.

Wellner and Twaites say the camp can help families pay through grants or points the girls might have from cookie sales. The goal now, they say, is just letting people know they're in trouble.

"It's been so stressful, and just a lot of anxiety and worry. I know we have a good camp, and I know girls enjoy their time here. I just don't know how to get the word out more than we already have," Wellner said.

"I'm not going to give up without a fight. If I have to go to the president of the United States and say, save my camp, I will!" Twaites said.

If you're interested in registering for Camp Tahigwa, click here.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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