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Save Historic Furnace Hills Girl Scout Camp

$1,200 of $1.4M goal

Raised by 19 people in 3 months
********UPDATE********
We just got word that the asking price is $1,495,000. This includes all the properties and the inventory within the buildings. We have adjusted our GoFundMe page to reflect this price. We only have until 2/28/2019 to enter into agreement before it will be listed publicly. There are 6 other parties interested at the moment.

We need your help now more then ever. Please help spread the word of our GoFundMe page  https://GoFundMe.com/savefurnacehills

Thank you,
FHCA

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********UPDATE********

We performed a flyover of the camp on 12/29/2018. The photos from this flyover can be found on our website along with a open letter to the GSHPA Board of Directors . www.furnacehills.org I include a few at the bottom of this GoFundMe page as well.

********UPDATE********
Here are the timelines we have been given regarding the sale of Camp Furnace Hills.

- On or before December 21, 2018, GSHPA will set a price for 175 acres of Camp Furnace Hills under advisement from GSHPA’s broker and approval from the Board of Directors.
- By January 11, 2019, reach out to all parties that have shown an interest in the purchase of 175 acres of Camp      Furnace Hills.
- If no sales agreement is in place for the 175 acres on or before February 28, 2019, Camp Furnace Hills will be placed on the market for public sale.

Time is running out. We are down to the wire! Please donate to this fight. Even $1.00 goes a long way. In the event the camp is sold to another party we will look for other property to build a camp for the girls. Furnace Hills Camping Association was created to give these kids a voice and we will continue to do that! 

********UPDATE********
After a few heated emails back and forth. We are currently waiting for feedback from the property committee. We have been repeatedly denied the opportunity to speak with the committee directly. We were informed  that "GSHPA’s board of directors has put in place very clear guidelines on how the Property Committee is expected to function.  One of those guidelines is that all proposals from interested parties, including friends’ groups, are shared with the entire committee through the staff and committee member engaging with those groups. "

We will continue to fight for the hundreds girls who asked for help because they feel GSHPA cannot and will not listen to them. 

Furnace Hills Camping Association  is made up of 100% unpaid volunteer staff. Your donations go to support our efforts to complete our mission. 

Question : What will happen to the money raised should the council not sell the camp to FHCA?

Answer: We will put on programs at other sites and continue to build funds to purchase a new property in the local community. We will work with Donors and the community to select the location.
 


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We would like to tell you the story of what was once a great camp for Girl Scouts. This story is one of sadness, greed, and hope.

 

Let’s start at the very beginning.

 

The year was 1947 and the Cold War was just starting. The Girl Scouts of Lancaster County, PA started to collect waste kitchen fats to buy and start a day camp. Over the next few years they built a fund of about $10,000. In 1946, the council asked permission to use the funds to purchase a day camp. During this same year, the Furnace Hills Campsite was discovered. After a complete investigation and council approval, it was decided to purchase the site. They put on their own campaign to raise funds to help develop the site. The campaign was conducted in December of 1946 and raised approximately $75,000.

Building began in April of 1947 with the dining hall, kitchen and storeroom, renovating the stone house, drilling the well, piping water to all parts of the camp, and developing two tent units with wash houses and latrines. The camp opened in July of 1947 and was able to accommodate thirty-two girls at the time. The land that camp is situated on is believed to be an old Revolutionary War farm.

 

Let’s fast forward 70 years now.

34802090_1543066994979230_r.jpegStrom Damage
 
Over the years the camp has grown. It currently has cabin sites, horse stables, a large swimming pool, and so much more. The site grew in acreage to around 270 acres.

In February of 2017, a devastating storm damaged the camp and the local council was forced to close the camp until repairs were made. Over the next few months, the council debated on how to handle the repairs. The insurance company for the council told them that they had to make a decision on how to proceed before funds would be released. In August of 2017, the Board voted to not repair the camp and to deposit the insurance money into a council fund. Council also decided to perform forestry Camp Furnace Hills along with many of its other camps in the area. On November 2, 2017, the council voted to “retire” all but 50 acres of the property. The 50 acres they are now selling will be placed under review for 3 years. This property does not include the original property from 1947 that has the dining hall, swimming pool, horse stables and many of the camping areas.


34802090_1543067029275672_r.jpeg Strom Damage


After months of research and hundreds of girls asking for help to try and save the camp, a group of camp staff got together and decided to form a nonprofit to save the camp for the girls.

On March 12, 2018, the group of volunteers got together in the basement of a local church to discuss the options at the time. It was decided that the best way to help the community was to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and work with the local council to come up with a creative way to save the camp.

34802090_1543067049427938_r.jpegStrom Damage



Over the next few months, as we talked with council, we were told that they were looking to sell the property in spring of 2019. As we worked to raise funds and awareness, we were informed on our September phone call that the forestry had begun and that the landscape is not going to look anything like it did when the camp was functioning before the storm. During that call we talked about some options to save the camp and we were asked for some proposals. They assured us that they are going to sell the property to someone who truly cares and not to just anyone.

 

We completed our research and created a proposal that outlined 3 options. Options included that the camp be reopened and that we would run the camp for them including all maintenance. The second option included that we lease the camp from them and reopen it ourselves. The last option was that we buy the camp under an agreement.

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Strom Damage


We presented these options on October 29, 2018 through phone calls and emails. During the call we were informed that they want to make the final decision the beginning of 2019. We stressed to them that we need to know the asking price and an idea of what options they choose so that we can plan accordingly. We were informed that the committee meeting was the following week and that they would let us know.

34802090_1543067692749968_r.jpegForestry/Timbering beginning 

We received an email on November 8, 2018 which said that due to the “robust nature” of their meeting they were unable to discuss our proposal but promised to discuss at the December 3rd meeting. We were told that they strongly suggest we look at buying the camp as soon as it hits the market. Sadly, we still do not know the full asking price as they have been stalling on giving us the appraised pricing. They also said that they can look for a buyer that may be willing to work with us to reopen the camp. They have also not given us the opportunity to present these options in person to the Board.

34802090_1543067562601147_r.jpegForestry/Timbering beginning 

Unfortunately, our council seems to have lost sight of the community and, most importantly, the girls. They have turned to pure greed and the want of money. They have harvested most of the trees from the camp and have reported gains from that. They also kept the insurance money from the damage and now plan to sell the property to whoever offers the most money.

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Please help us raise some money to either save this camp or to buy another camp for the girls. The kids are truly in need of a safe place to camp.
 
For more information, please visit our website at http://www.furnacehills.org or signup for our mailing list for up-to-date information.




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Photos from our 12/29/2018 flyover:
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Please help our fight to save this beloved camp. 
+ Read More
We just got word that the asking price is $1,495,000. This includes all the properties and the inventory within the buildings. We have adjusted our GoFundMe page to reflect this price. We only have until 2/28/2019 to enter into agreement before it will be listed publicly. There are 6 other parties interested at the moment.

We need your help now more then ever. Please help spread the word of our GoFundMe page https://GoFundMe.com/savefurnacehills

Thank you,
FHCA
+ Read More
We performed a flyover of the camp on 12/29/2018. The photos from this flyover can be found on our website along with a open letter to the GSHPA Board of Directors . www.furnacehills.org I include a few at the bottom of this GoFundMe page as well.
+ Read More
******update*******
Here are the timeline we have to work with.
-On or before December 21, 2018, GSHPA will set a price for 175 acres of Camp Furnace Hills under advisement from GSHPA’s broker and approval from the Board of Directors.
-By January 11, 2019, reach out to all parties that have shown an interest in the purchase of 175 acres of Camp Furnace Hills.
-If no sales agreement is in place for the 175 acres on or before February 28, 2019, Camp Furnace Hills will be placed on the market for public sale.
+ Read More
*****UPDATE*****
We have been given the timelines by the Girl Scouts. These timelines are very tight and it is going to be very hard and stressful to meet these timelines. We still only have until the beginning of the year to be in position to secure that property. Unfortunately, the exact timelines are confidential at this time but they are tight! With your help we will meet and beat these timelines and prove to them that we truly care about Camp Furnace Hills. We will show them that we are in this fight together for the girls! Please share this with everyone you know. Including the media, congressmen, Santa Claus, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and your friends.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$1,200 of $1.4M goal

Raised by 19 people in 3 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Furnace Hills Camping Association
Certified Charity
+ Learn More
Manheim, PA
EIN: 824958920
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
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