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News Article: Girl Guides Want Answers – The Sun Times, May 16, 2010

by on May 18, 2010

Girl Guides want answers

By PAUL JANKOWSKI, SUN TIMES STAFF

There’s an uprising in the ranks of the Girl Guides in Ontario.

A core group of leaders have set up a website — onmyhonour.ca–“for those concerned about the state of Guiding in Ontario.” A media release is to be issued today questioning the provincial leadership in light of its decision announced last November to close and sell 16 Girl Guide camps, including Camp Aneesh just west of Owen Sound, in a bid to stem financial loses.

The provincial council says the deficit from operating its 33 Girl Guide camps was $1.376 million in 2008.

“Some of the camps have no problem closing. They don’t like though the way it’s being done,” Heather Green, a long-time local Guiding volunteer who has been involved with the local camp since its inception, said in an interview Sunday.

Green, among other Guide leaders, has had a problem with the “transformation” that began in 2007 and has centralized decision- making in the movement. Local camps, for instance, were turned over to provincial council, which now controls everything from paying power bills to providing insurance.

Camp Aneesh and some of the others ordered closed ran well under local control, Green said. The provincial organization was never asked for any funding.

Now, when those opposed to closings ask for justifications for the decision or offer options to keep the camps running, the answer is always the same: “The decision has been made,” she said.

Local leaders have never seen a copy of a consultants report about the camps written a few years ago, Green said.

“We’re not saying down the road it shouldn’t close. What we’re saying is please give us a chance and we’re not getting that chance and there is no appeal.”

Green said that a decision has all but been finalized to ask Ontario’s Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee to investigate the way the provincial organization has handled the finances of Guiding since funds from local organizations were taken over when the smaller units were dissolved in the transformation of guiding in 2007.

Provincial Guiding officials could not be reached for comment on the weekend.

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From → Camps, Media Coverage

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