MOUNT VERNON — Thanks to a new partnership between the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County and Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council, Camp Cornish, a 66-year-old Knox County campground, will re-open beginning in April.
The foundation and Ohio’s Heartland Council finalized a purchase agreement Friday that preserves Camp Cornish for Girl Scout use. Representatives of the foundation and the Girl Scout Council began discussing the future of Camp Cornish soon after the council retired the 15-acre campground in October 2012.
“By January of this year, the major elements of an agreement were in place, including the purchase price and continued access to Camp Cornish by Girl Scouts,” said Sam Barone, Community Foundation executive director.
“The foundation established a supporting organization — the new Camp Cornish Foundation — to manage the property. Then Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland determined the number of days they desired access to camp facilities.”
The council will continue to schedule Girl Scout use of the grounds. It will be available for Girl Scout use 35 days per year, Barone said. Boy Scouts and other nonprofit groups will arrange access to the camp through the new managing board. Fees and guidelines for Camp Cornish usage will be published soon.
“We’re thrilled to continue offering diverse outdoor learning opportunities to Girl Scouts who visit this historic campsite,” said Council CEO Tammy Wharton. “Thanks to this creative partnership, present and future generations of Girl Scouts will learn and grow at Camp Cornish, as many of their parents and grandparents did in the past.”
The Community Foundation and private donors, Karen Buchwald Wright and the Ramser Arboretum, provided the funds to purchase the campsite from the council. All three contributed significantly to the construction of the new lodge on the campgrounds, completed in 2007.
Mark Ramser, a long-time scouting advocate, will serve as president of the Camp Cornish Foundation Board of Directors. Community volunteers Jan Reynolds, vice president; Kurt Schisler, treasurer; and board members Tim Cook and Chrystal Rardin complete the board roster. Sam Barone will represent the Community Foundation as a non-voting, ex-officio member and will serve as board secretary.
Camp Cornish offers 15 acres of forested land bordered by the area’s beautiful Amish country. Grounds include Cornish Lodge, a small shelter house and a primitive camping area. It was established on May 17, 1946, when the deed for the camp was transferred to Mount Vernon Girl Scouts. Ten years later, the Mount Vernon Rotary Club built a log cabin lodge there. In 2006, the club assisted with the demolition of the old building and a new lodge was dedicated on May 17, 2008.
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the premier leadership development program for all girls from kindergarten through grade 12. The mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Through activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy, and outdoor and environmental awareness, Girl Scouting provides girls with opportunities for fun and friendship, while fostering the development of leadership skills and self-esteem.
Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council, headquartered in Columbus, serves more than 32,000 girls and more than 9,000 adult members and volunteers in 30 counties: Adams, Ashland, Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Guernsey, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Union, Vinton, Wayne and Wyandot.
The Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County was founded in 1944 and is comprised of 310 individual charitable funds with combined assets of more than $40 million. Last year the foundation distributed $2.3 million in local grants, including $615,000 in college scholarships.
For more information on how to join, volunteer, or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) 621-7042 or visit gsoh.org. The Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County can be contacted at (740) 392-3270 or mvkcfoundation.org.