DALLAS – Nov. 26, 2012 – Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, the largest pipeline for female leadership, has received historic major gifts totaling $2.5 million from the Rees-Jones Foundation, Hoglund Foundation and Perot Foundation which will go toward making major improvements to two premier Northeast Texas Girl Scout camps, Camp Whispering Cedars and Camp Bette Perot. These three 100th anniversary donors are investing in the future of Girl Scouts and the 21st century of Outdoor Leadership.
The gifts are laying the foundation to transform Camp Whispering Cedars and Camp Bette Perot into Centers of Excellence. Camp Whispering Cedars, built in 1921, is the largest urban camp for girls in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and will be transformed into a Center of Excellence for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). This "living laboratory" will provide girls the unique opportunity to explore STEM careers, an area under-represented by women in the workforce. These investments allow Girl Scouts to enhance the program offering, build infrastructure and implement technology, and improve the existing facilities for the 21st century.
Camp Bette Perot is a Center of Excellence for Girl Scouts’ equestrian programs and the investment in the Bette Perot Aquatic Center will continue the transformation to a fully comprehensive camp with the appropriate facilities, programs and activities for the 21st century girl.
The focus on outdoor leadership has been a priority for Girl Scouts for 100 years. However, in 2010, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas began a property master plan that led the organization to begin conversations with donors about these exciting, and necessary changes. In the Fall of 2012, during the 100th anniversary, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas had a unique opportunity to begin telling this story by hosting the National Centennial Girl Scout Exhibition in the historic Hall of State during the 2012 State Fair of Texas, providing an opportunity for fairgoers, Girl Scouts and Girl Scout Alumnae to see the proposed plan for the new Centers of Excellence.
"We are honored to receive such generous gifts that will allow us to serve girls well beyond the 21st century," said Colleen Walker, chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. "Further developing and improving our centers of excellence will introduce more girls to outdoor leadership opportunities and skills they would not otherwise receive in an indoor setting. These donors are setting an exemplary example of the need to invest in girls."
The $1 million gift from the Rees-Jones Foundation is the first million dollar gift in council history and Camp Whispering Cedars will be home to the Rees-Jones Foundation Welcome Center.
The Hoglund Foundation Girl Center at Camp Whispering Cedars will provide an area where girls can interact with Dallas STEM professionals through a hands – on experience while exploring all aspects of science, technology, engineering and math.
Camp Bette Perot, a 1,400 acre property located in Athens,TX, will benefit from a $1.2 million gift from the Perot Foundation. This generous gift is the largest gift in council history.
The gifts will result in fully restored and improved Centers of Excellence for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. The Centers of Excellence are open year-round to troops and Girl Scouts throughout the United States.
For more information on giving to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Capital Campaign, please visit www.gsnetx.org or contact Jennifer Bartkowski at 972-349-2400.