Girl Scout Camp Gets $500,000 for Improvements

Sen. Chris Van Hollen with Girl Scouts Lily Horning (left) and Shalisa Ibad (right). Photo courtesy Van Hollen’s office.

By Susan Nolan 

Girl Scouts and local lawmakers agree—camping is good for the body, mind, and soul. Recently, Sen. Chris Van Hollen secured $500,000 in federal funding for Camp Woodlands, an Annapolis property belonging to Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM). The funding is part of an $11 million package for improvements to infrastructure and opportunities for residents of Anne Arundel County and southern Maryland.  

Located along Broad Creek, the 34-acre camp has belonged to the Girl Scouts for over 60 years, but it is also used by Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Annapolis Junior Rowing, and YWCA. Lamb’s Lodge, the camp’s iconic teepee-shaped centerpiece, won the AIA Certificate of Merit design award in 1954 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Van Hollen called Camp Woodlands a state treasure during an event at the camp last week and said the funding is a way of helping Girl Scouts of Central Maryland preserve the property for future generations. It will be used to upgrade the stormwater management system and make improvements to the buildings and grounds. Plumbing and electrical systems in existing buildings will be upgraded and new year-round cabins and lodges will be built. The funds will be added to $2 million secured by state Sens. Sarah Elfreth and Guy Guzzone. 

“All of the new structures will be ADA-compliant including pathways and roadways that will also be updated for better maneuverability,” said Violet M. Apple, CEO of GSCM. Apple said groundbreaking will happen next year, and is optimistic that portions of the camp will remain open while construction is underway.   

Lily Horning is a ninth grader at Annapolis High School. Her Girl Scout troop meets at Camp Woodlands regularly, and she is especially fond of hiking on the property. She earned her Bronze Award for a beautification project at Camp Woodlands. “It’s a special place,” she says. She wants to see it used by Girl Scouts and other community groups in the future.  

Shalisa Ibad, a ninth grader from Howard County agrees. Like Horning, she has been an active member of Girl Scouts for 10 years and now serves as a representative on the GSCM Board of Directors. “Camping is a time that is screen-free,” she said. “Studies show you are a happier person when you spend time outdoors.”  

GSCM serves Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. For more information, visit