What Will Happen to Camp Archbald?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BROOKLYN TOWNSHIP -- In January, Newswatch 16 first told you about some significant changes being made to Camp Archbald. We've now learned of some more changes being made to the popular Girl Scout camp in Susquehanna County.

Camp Archbald is the second oldest Girl Scout camp in the United States. Scouts have been camping at the popular site in Brooklyn Township for nearly 100 years, but as changes continue to pile up, those involved in the Girl Scouts community worry about Camp Archbald's status moving forward.

Current and former Girl Scout troop leaders are worried about Camp Archbald's status in the near and long-term future.

"Two years from now, Camp Archbald will be 100 years old. Our group of people should be planning a celebration of that camp, not planning to protect it from demolition," said former Factoryville troop leader Deborah Sweppenheiser.

In January, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania told Newswatch 16 that half of the campgrounds acreage would be retired. That land is now under the control of a broker.

Officials also say 18 buildings will be demolished. There will also no longer be any overnight residential camping run by the Girl Scout organization.

"Instead, we are opening Camp Archbald to all of our troops and groups of troops to come in and rent camp all week long, all weekend long, and have day experiences, go hiking, boating, swimming," said Ellen Kyzer, President and CEO of Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

Now, troop leaders will have to plan and oversee any overnight stays. They say having no residential camping programs there is a big blow, given the impact that week has on the Girl Scouts.

"Now, if we want to have a residential camp, us leaders, volunteers, who work and are mothers of other children have to take time out of our lives and plan it," said Factoryville troop leader Diane Dalton.

"It's amazing when you go to pick up your daughter at the end of that week, the girl you dropped off is not the girl you're picking up," said Sweppenheiser. "Seeing the way Camp Archbald has not been taken care of the last few years, shows me that they do not have Camp Archbald's best interest at heart."

"Yes, we believe that they just want to close the camp. They don't want anything to do with it," Dalton added.

Girl Scouts in the heart of Pennsylvania says that many of the buildings that are being demolished are older buildings and the 144 acres being retired was unused and undeveloped land.

2 comments

  • O Bernardi

    Truth is all building up at Camp Archbald are old so the the exception of the dining all the next youngest was build in 1972… The problem is the gshpa as not put money in to any other building for many years…you could see it slowly degating and when you ask your well we are working on it …what for 10 years! There are so many people who would donate their time and hammers to help fix repair these buildings over the years but we they never came to their members. Or when we asked to help they would give is the a work on this trail or thst.. Forget about not asking us to help. But If they removal of these buildings will hinder bigger group like A Service Unit(is the smaller group of troop in a local area that is ran by leaders eho volunteer there time) to be ablecto hold camporee for their troop becuase many Service unit have 130 to 200 or more who attend camporee… Removing these will take the 280 or so spots for people to stay. Down to 100 it totally doesn’t make sense. Whem they keep telling us to use it but many of use who have in the past that had great numbers. Can not longer do if these buildings go down. What really make me made us all the money being recurve form oil right have not been used to help camp archbald it all seems to go down to Harrisburg… Nepal troops really hasn’t seen any improvement here. It really reminds me of those Robber Barons all over again.. It just not girl scout like.. They should be a shamed!!!

  • O Bernardi

    True is all building up at camp archbald are old the only new one is the dining all the next was build in 1972… The problem is the gshpa as no put money in to any other building or major repair since 2013 when the new kitchen was built. There are so many people who would donate their time and hammers to help fix repair these buildings. But we keep getting the old our policy doesn’t allow it etc… If they remove many of these building by the why was not a recomidation of the long term planning group formed, from members of gshpa to help with making recommendations on on all the camps in gshpa. Second taking these building down is removing the ability of many service units( this is run by volunteers) to run any big group activity bring the number of participants from over two hundred down to 100ish. .. Our service unit every year has a camporee hosted at camp archbald we have well over 130 individuals attend know how can we have this… Also they are not going to give up the oil rights.. What I see is they take the money and use it in harrisburg. Its the Robber barons all over again.. It just not girl scout like.. They should be a shamed!!!

Comments are closed.