If there is any credence to the old saying that good things come to those who wait, the Girl Scout staff is in for some bountiful times ahead.
Just around the time that COVID-19 was making its impact known in early 2020, the Girl Scouts decided to move headquarters from Dubuque to Camp Little Cloud, and ever since then, they’ve been patiently waiting to host a grand opening.
After several attempts to host something last summer, which were all ultimately canceled due to circumstances beyond their control, Vice President of Marketing for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois Maura Warner said all they can really do is laugh about it and hold out for the future.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make that big splash to say Camp Little Cloud is our home base, but we do have plans to do something in May,” Warner said. “We’re thinking that more people will be vaccinated by then and we can host it outdoors with the better weather.”
Since they’ve been established at their Dubuque location for such a long time, Warner said initially some of the long-serving staff had some difficulty with the move to rural Epworth, but in the end, it was the right call.
“We had been wanting to invest back in the property and get our staff out there,” Warner said. “And really, when we’re looking at our membership in the Dubuque region, a lot of girls are in the rural areas so it’s a lot more centrally located.”
Now that staff has settled in, Warner said they’ve discovered that there are big perks to having direct access to some premium hiking opportunities during breaks.
The move has also produced another unexpected benefit — showcasing what camp has to offer for girls who might not otherwise have considered a visit.
When a Girl Scout hits the big milestone of selling 250 boxes of cookies, Warner said they can come to camp to select one of their instant prizes.
“It’s cool to see the girls who maybe aren’t quite as outdoorsy come out to see what the camp’s like and get that opportunity,” Warner said. “That’s a big benefit — to make sure every girl has that opportunity to get outdoors because that is a core pillar of ours.”
While activity has been steadily growing at Camp Little Cloud on weekends, staff is now focusing on increasing foot traffic and hosting more family-friendly events in the coming months to really showcase what camp has to offer.
This summer, they will be hosting family camps on the weekends where girls can invite their favorite role models or family members to join them at a summer camp session. Warner said there are still spots available.
“Even if a family doesn’t have a girl that is a Girl Scout yet, they are still welcome to come,” she said. “I think that will be a fun opportunity for people to come out and see the property this summer.”
Warner also said to keep an eye out for new events once the weather begins to warm.