Volunteers! Support Eagle Island Former Girls Scout Camp

By mark-slade April 13, 2011

More Than 70 Show Up to Support Former Girl Scout Camp

And more than 1,000 supporters have donated toward the acquisition of the Eagle Island property.
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Girl Scouts can do a lot more than sell a boatload of cookies.
A group of current and former scouts have organized to save a childhood treasure — Eagle Island Camp on Upper Saranac Lake in New York.
The Friends of Eagle Island, Inc. recently incorporated as a not-for-profit in the State of New York and held its first public meeting on Saturday, April 2, at Morrow Church in Maplewood. More than 70 alumnae of Eagle Island Camp  — teenagers to octogenarians — gathered to further develop plans for acquiring the property, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2004, and to reconnect with old friends.
If they realize their dream, the property will be a summer camp part of the year and also be open to preservationists, educational institutions and the community at large.
The Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ), owners of Eagle Island, closed the camp in 2009 and announced last October that they would sell the historic property. In a remote area of the Adirondack Park, the camp was designed by noted architect William L. Coulter for U.S. Vice President Levi Morton. In 1937, Henry Graves, Jr., the second owner, gifted it to the Girl Scouts of the Oranges and Maplewood. As a Girl Scout camp open to all, it provided campers with a wilderness experience, a sailing program and a wide range of activities in a setting among the High Peaks that has changed little since the first tent was raised in 1938.
The Friends — attorneys, policymakers, scientists, doctors, urban planners, professional fundraisers and academics among them — describe their experiences at Eagle Island as life-defining. The group formed in 2007 united by their passion for, and commitment to, preserving the island and its historic buildings, and ensuring that future generations of youths have the opportunity to build lifelong skills and friendships in the stunning island setting.
A base of close to 1,000 supporters, including Upper Saranac Lake residents, have made a significant financial pledge to acquire the property. Preservation groups are hopeful that the camp will reopen under the stewardship of those who will protect the historic property. The Friends await 501c3 approval from the IRS and seek large donors to realize their goal. In early June a fundraising hike/run/walk, “Take a Hike for Eagle Island,” will be held in several locations around the country.
For more information on the Friends of Eagle Island, their activities and fundraising efforts, visit www.friendsofeagleisland.org.