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Camp Chenoa on market for $2.5M

Girl Scout leaders cite declining enrollment

  • The 300-acre Girl Scout camp located in Antrim is nestled in the woods near Gregg Lake, and has functioned as a resident camp since 1996. Now the camp is on the market for $2.5 million.
  • Girl Scouts performing at Camp Chenoa, in Antrim, during a summer camp session by Gregg Lake.

ANTRIM — A Girl Scout camp with 300 acres nestled in a quiet area near Gregg Lake is now on the market for $2.5 million because of a decline in attendance over the last five years, say camp administrators.

The Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains announced Saturday that Camp Chenoa would be put up for sale, since more and more Girl Scouts are choosing other scout programs leading to a steady decline in attendance at the camp in recent years.

This is a significant loss for girls who attended the summer camp , said a former Camp Chenoa director, Carrie Green who works for the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains. “Many Girl Scouts thought they would always come back someday or send their daughters there,” Green said in an interview Wednesday. “Girls from Antrim went there, but the campers really came from all over New Hampshire and Vermont.”

Proceeds from the sale of Chenoa will be invested in other council properties, including Camp Farnsworth in Thetford, Vt., according to a press release issued by Girl Scouts CEO Patricia Mellow.

According to the real estate agent selling the property, Mathew Cabana of The Bean Group, the Girl Scouts are marketing the 300 acres as a camp, with all the buildings, wells and other structures remaining intact on the property. He said the property is an active listing as of Wednesday . Cabana said the only things that will be removed from the camp prior to the sale are several historic Girl Scout signs.

If an interested buyer is found who does not wish to keep the property as a camp, Green said, the Girl Scouts would consider an offer regardless. “We would accept the best offer, but we would also love to see it continue as a camp,” Green said. “First-time campers form an instant loyalty and attachment to the camp the first time they go. There will be a lot of work done to convince girls to go to Farnsworth.”

Although there are other Girl Scout camps in New Hampshire, Green said they are not overnight camps. Farnsworth is an overnight camp located in the geographical center of the two-state council of New Hampshire and Vermont, and can easily accommodate all the girls who used to attend Chenoa.

The very popular climbing wall that Chenoa has will be moved to Farnsworth for next year’s summer sessions.

“The girls loved the climbing wall, and with Gregg Lake right there, there was also a lot of swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding and other water activities that the girls enjoyed,” Green said.

From 2004 until 2008, Green worked as a full-time director, one of many, and from June until September she would stay overnight at Chenoa. She said that looking back 10 or 15 years, the Girl Scouts have noticed a very slow decline in overnight camp participants.

“But in the last five years, we have seen a steady decline,” Green said. “Fewer girls were choosing to participate in the three or four week-long sessions, more girls would only register for a one-week session.” She said the reasons may be related to other types of camps offered these days, such as art camps or sports camp, or registering a child for three or four weeks may be too expensive for families these days.

The Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains purchased Chenoa in 1991 from the Minute Man Boy Scouts Council, but the camp didn’t function as an overnight camp until 1996. Until then, Green said the camp operated as a day camp for girls, while construction of an overnight camp took place.

The Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serve 18,000 girls across New Hampshire and Vermont. Green said that an average week of summer camp at Chenoa included 150 campers.

For a chance to say goodbye to Chenoa, Green said the Girl Scouts will host a closing campfire event in October for any Girl Scouts who wish to gather one more time at the camp and be with other past campers. Green said they may offer an overnight stay for campers attending the closing campfire, but could not confirm this Wednesday afternoon. She said more information will be available on the Girl Scouts’ website in the next day or two. The event will take place on a Saturday evening, Green noted.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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