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Girl Scouts of Central Maryland cancels summer camp due to staff shortages

Camp Conowingo.jpeg
Posted at 6:02 PM, Jun 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-26 18:19:45-04

BALTIMORE — A group of parents are furious after they said their kids summer girl scout camp was canceled while the kids were already in custody of the camp officials.

It happened on Sunday as campers were being taken to the Camp Conowingo site and it left parents scrambling to figure out how and why this happened.

Tria Tucker and her 16-year-old daughter Shelby are just some of the people who were impacted and are now working to get answers from Girl Scouts of Maryland.

“It is a shame, it is disheartening, it’s disrespectful to parents and families,” Tria said.

It’s how Tria described the communication between leaders at Girl Scouts of Central Maryland and its participants when their camp was abruptly canceled this week.

This is a tradition that’s been in their family for decades.

“I went to the camp as a camper back on the 70’s, my daughter’s been going there since second or third grade,” Tria said.

But after attending camp for almost eight years, Shelby said this year camp was much different than she had remembered.

“Last week at camp, it was a complete and utter disaster. There were complete staffing shortages, there was a lack of routine, there was a lack of tradition. Like usually we have a lifeguard, we did not have a lifeguard last week so nobody could swim. We didn’t have a nature specialist, that completely cut off activities that involve like the woods,” Shelby said.

They said multiple people in leadership were either fired or they quit. And while kids were being taken to the camp for the second week, 20 minutes before they arrived at the location in Cecil County, some of the campers received a message about the cancellation in a group chat.

“Stating that camp was canceled for the week. Something the counselors on the bus hadn’t even been notified of,” Shelby said.

Violet Apple, who’s the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland sent WMAR-2 News a letter stating that camp was canceled this week because of staffing shortages and that they notified family members by phone calls and emails.

But the Tuckers said that’s not entirely true, because hours after the decision some parents still hadn’t received word.

“There were campers who didn’t get home until after 8:00 last night after having been put on a bus at 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning,” Tria said.

And since yesterday, it’s been the same problem trying to get more answers about when their money will be refunded, and if camp will resume for any of the remainder of the summer.

“I’ve left messages, I’ve tried to call, there’s a myriad of parents who left messages we’re getting no feedback at all,” Tria said.