● Membership Planning Meeting - GSOFCT is hosting a meeting for the adult Milford membership to discuss the proposed sale of the Katoya property on Thursday, Sep. 30, 2021 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Fowler Field Rotary Pavilion, 1 Shipyard Lane, Milford, CT. Please bring a chair with you. Families welcome. To RSVP, please call 800-922-2770.
● The Katoya property consists of three parcels, one of which is deed restricted. Sale of the deed-restricted parcel requires approval by a 2/3 majority vote by the adult membership in Milford.
● To date, several meetings have taken place with Milford volunteers and the Mayor of Milford to share details of the LRPP and to answer questions from membership.
● The Katoya property sale would help fund planned improvements to GSOFCT properties, including AnSeOx, Aspetuck, Merrie-Wood and Yankee Trails, as part of the Long-Range Property Plan. The goal of this plan is to provide properties that are well maintained, with newly constructed areas such as amphitheaters, cooking shelters, new sleeping areas and updated program areas for archery, boating and swimming activities. Proceeds from property sales will also support an Innovation Fund to provide outdoor programming throughout the state, especially in areas where GSOFCT are centrally located, and a Transportation Fund to help girls reach properties throughout the year including for service unit events, troop camping and summer camp. The capacity for each property will increase, allowing members access to year-round facilities.
● We want to hear from our membership! Please take the time to fill out the online questionnaire before the property survey closes on October 15, 2021 and share your thoughts on the future of all GSOFCT properties including An-Se-Ox, Aspetuck, Merrie-Wood and Yankee Trails.
Property Investment Plan
● GSOFCT is committed to being transparent throughout the execution of the approved Long-Range Property Plan and to share financial information and allocation of the funds generated from property sales.
● The GSOFCT Board of Directors has approved the 2021-2022 operating budget including the use of sale proceeds.
● Approx. 1/3 of the total proceeds from properties sold during FY21 will be invested back into properties throughout FY22
● The remaining approx. 2/3 will be invested to fund future Improvements along with annual maintenance, additional transportation and innovation
By investing a portion of the property proceeds we are planning for a future in which the properties we operate are maintained, accessible, and used for many years to come.
● SLR, our Master Planners, is in the process of creating site plans for the future of the AnSeOx, Aspetuck, Merrie-Wood and Yankee Trails. The following are actions currently funded:
● A new accessible pool at AnSeOx, including showers/changing rooms
● New yurt at AnSeOx
● New Amphitheater at Aspetuck
● New Cook Shelters at AnSeOx
● Update the Inges Haus Pavilion at Merrie-Wood to provide a cooking area
● Expansion of the Archery area at AnSeOx
● Purchase two 4-wheel drive camp vehicles to assist in maintaining properties
● Convert Yankee Trails to a resident camp.
● Funding for future property investments in 2023 and beyond will come from additional planned property sales, improved results from ongoing business, other revenue generation ideas and expected returns on the portion of property sales that will be invested in the Endowment.
● Our overarching goal for these investments is to continue to support GSOFCT properties and membership in years to come rather than covering operating expenses in the short term and to increase spending in transportation, innovation and programs as we move forward in the long-range property plan execution.
● Sale Closing - The previously announced sale of Candlewood was finalized on September 7, 2021. The $8.3M in proceeds generated by the sale will be allocated to priority projects and property improvements as outlined in the Property Investment Plan above and according to the master plan for all GSOFCT properties.
● Closing Campfire - The closing ceremony for Candlewood was held on Sunday, August 29, 2021. Thank you to all who attended and shared camp memories, s’mores, and songs at this special celebration.
Master Planning Membership Engagement
- Fireside Chats - A total of sixteen virtual and on-site Fireside Chats were offered throughout June and July 2021 to discuss the Long-Range Property Plan. Unfortunately, GSOFCT received very low registration from membership resulting in the cancellation of all but two of these programs.
- Summer Outreach - GSOFCT gathered feedback during in-person workshops with Camp Laurel resident campers, day campers and staff, Camp An-Se-Ox day campers and staff, plus a virtual session with the CEO Advisory Board in July and August 2021. The input received from these sessions is being used to further establish priorities and develop the master plan for all GSOFCT properties.
- Upcoming Engagement Opportunities - Laurelei’s Letterboxing Weekend at Camp Laurel on September 25 and the Volunteer Development Conference at Camp AnSeOx on October 2 will offer additional opportunities to offer feedback on the master plan. Mark your calendars now. Members are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas for the future of these camps - we want to hear from YOU!
- Website Questionnaires - An online questionnaire is available for An-Se-Ox, Aspetuck, Merrie-Wood and Yankee Trails. If you can’t make an in-person session please take the time to fill out the questionnaire. The questionnaires will close on October 15, 2021.
- Closing Campfire - Girl Scouts of Connecticut will host a closing campfire to honor the legacy of Camp Candlewood on Sunday, August 29th, 3:00-5:00 PM. Please join us on this special day to share memories and reconnect. This is open to Girl Scout troops, individuals and families. RSVP by noon on August 26th via Doubleknot. Everyone is encouraged to carpool as limited parking is available.
- Reservations - The anticipated closing date for the sale of Camp Candlewood is August 30, 2021. Once the buyer takes ownership, they plan to survey the property in greater detail and will develop a scheduling system for reservations that will be available to GSOFCT members sometime in 2022. Once the reservation system is in place, that information will be posted here.