(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Girl Scouts of America) By Paul Morigi
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) -- Volunteers are working on improvements to the Girl Scout camp south of Joplin.
The work comes 18 months after the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland property committee recommended selling Camp Mintahama.
The Friends of Camp Mintahama, a volunteer group, formed quickly and launched a campaign to save it. The 180-acre camp features a lake, swimming pool, two lodges and five camp sites.
In November 2013, the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland board of directors approved the volunteer group's three-year plan. The group was charged with taking care of deferred maintenance, increasing camp usage and raising a part of the camp's annual operating costs.
The board reviewed the group's first-year progress last week and approved continuation of its work.
"We're really excited to continue the momentum and very appreciative of the public's effort to support us," said Lisa Nelson of the Friends of Camp Mintahama group.
The group focused its efforts this year in pursuing grants and partnering with other businesses and organizations to start renovations on the property. Local Girl Scouts solicited donations during their annual cookie sales and raised about $5,000. Four local Lowe's stores collaborated with volunteers in renovating the dining hall in September.
"The bottom line is we're trying to take the long view on developing partnerships and programs that will sustain (the camp) in years going forward," Nelson said.
Volunteers' primary focus in 2015 will be the construction of a shower house, the Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/11t7MqL ) reported.
Nelson said if the board hadn't thought progress was being made, it could have put the future of the camp at risk.
"Across the country, Girl Scouts is wrestling with the number of properties it has and the cost to maintain them, and a lot of them are being sold, so we are very happy to partner with" the Girls Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, she said. "It seems like the only way -- it seems like the Girl Scout way -- to use our resources to work together and get this done."