LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Girl Scout Camp Rio Blanco celebrated its 50th anniversary, but this could be the last. The camp will be temporarily closing next summer because of budget issues.
During the summer, most kids look forward to going to camp, and if you are a Girl Scout, Camp Rio Blanco is the place you can't wait to be. "It's something that you don't get to experience when you are in Lubbock," said Girl Scout mom De'Aun Porr.
A mix of troop leaders, girl scouts, and parents were in shock when they heard the news that Camp Rio Blanco was temporarily closing for the summer. "Being a part of nature is very important, and I want her to have that, I don't want her to lose that" said Girl Scout mom Christa Threet.
"We are having a budgetary shortfall across the board but particularly in our property holdings," said Kathleen Copeland with Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains.
Copeland says, in order to set back the budget gap, Rio Blanco will be closed during next year's summer months. Something she hopes will be temporary. "Girl Scouts is a program that has been around for almost 100 years now and its one of those things that people I don't want to say take for granted but it's always kind of there and around and just like any other organization, we need support from the community and people's dollars to keep it running," said Copeland.
Camp Rio Blanco just celebrated its 50th year. Deby Dillon attended the first summer camp back in 1959 and has since become a camp trainer and troop leader. She's watched her daughter and granddaughter get involved in Girl Scouts. If the camp were to close for good, Dillon says she would be devastated. "It would rip my heart out. I would actually die. It would be the saddest day of my life," said Dillon.
"We will do everything possible to promote the organization; Girl Scouts is an awesome organization. They build girls of confidence, courage, and character," said troop leader Dusti Dillon-Stoner.
It's an experience that the girls don't want to give up. "We've learned so much and it's like taking away part of our life," said Girl Scout Aislynn Threet.
"We love going there and every week that I have to leave summer camp, I start to cry because I don't want to go," said Girl Scout Megan Laird-Dillon.
To fill out a survey about Rio Blanco, (click here) and click on 2009 Resident Camp Evaluation.
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