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Camp Coleman opens on ‘limited use’ basis Jan. 15

By Gary Lloyd

TRUSSVILLE — Camp Gertrude Coleman in Trussville will be available for use on a “limited use” basis for Girl Scouts troop camping beginning Jan. 15.

The Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Board of Directors on Nov. 20 unanimously approved a resolution to allow the closed and rested camps to be re-opened on a limited use basis.

Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Community Partnership Chief Russell Jackson said he wasn’t aware of any plans set for Jan. 15 at Camp Coleman. Jackson said that Jan. 15 is the first day that troops can start making reservations.

Camp Coleman in Trussville
file photo

The Girl Scouts camps will remain open pending the outcome of the re-evaluation and strategic planning process. The camps included are Camp Coleman in Trussville, Camp Anderel in Florence, Camp Tombigbee in west Alabama and Camp Trico in Guntersville.

“Since the three-phase property plan was approved, we’ve had a number of members step forward with creative ideas and solutions that will allow the camps to re-open on a limited use basis,” Board of Directors President Sarah Edwards said in November. “The board of directors is ultimately responsible for the fiduciary management of the organization and therefore we recognize the importance of ensuring that the re-opening of the camps is done so with a great deal of thought.”

“Limited use” means that no staff, instructors or services will be provided and that troops will be responsible for bringing their own equipment and supplies.

“Opening the camps on a limited use basis provides us with an opportunity to see if this particular model is feasible and more importantly, sustainable,” Edwards said. “We just recently began the process of conducting a comprehensive strategic plan for the organization, so this test run will help us in that process.”

The Board of Directors in May 2013 approved an amendment to its three-phase property plan, which rested Camp Coleman instead of closing it permanently. At the May 9, 2012, Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Board of Directors meeting, a 13-4 board vote approved of divesting the Camp Coleman property as part of Phase 2 of the group’s property plan.

Camp Coleman in June 2012 was favorably reviewed and listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage by the Alabama Historical Commission. A historical marker was unveiled near the bridge at the camp’s entrance in early 2013. The marker was dedicated in remembrance of all the “courageous women who established this site and those who sustained it over the years so that girls could enjoy the benefits of camping envisioned by (Girl Scouts founder) Juliette Low,” according to the marker.

Camp Coleman, in continuous use for nearly 89 years, consists of 34 wooden structures and outbuildings constructed between 1925 and 1994.

Contact Gary Lloyd at news@trussvilletribune.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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