Local Girl Scouts to try and save Camp Latonka

Local Girl Scouts to try and save Camp Latonka
(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)

(KFVS) - It's a tough time for girl scout camps, as budget issues mean they're closing all over the nation.

When local girl scouts found out Camp Latonka near Wappapello Lake was on the chopping block, they decided to do something about it.

"It was a shock to us all to learn that we could loose our camp," Girl Scout volunteer Christy Slaughter said.

She said she remembers when she was a Girl Scout going to Camp Latonka.

"Camp is very near and dear to my heart. I was a camper when I was a girl, my mother was a girl scout leader."

Now, Slaughter hopes to keep the family tradition around for her daughters.

"You get to make new friends and you get to see a lot to see new people from different towns... you get to go canoeing, and you get to have lots of fun,"Emma Slaughter, Christy's daughter said.

But that may not happen at Camp Latonka.

"I'm gonna give all that I can give, and just keep going," Slaughter said.

The plan is simple - raise money and save Camp Latonka.

"It is hard, I'm not gonna say it's not hard... I'm not gonna say that it's not heartbreaking when you find out, 'yes, you still need to continue to this.' But, we keep moving on, we keep raising money, we keep doing what we're doing because we want it there for the girls," Slaughter said.

So far, they've raised almost $200,000 through a variety of events and donations. They hope to keep Camp Latonka open for the next generations of Girl Scouts.

"Camp Latonka has always been my favorite place," Slaughter said. "A sense of calm washes over me when I drive under the gate through the sign I'm home. This is my home away from home and always has been and always will be as long as we can keep it there."

Eky Combs calls herself a lifetime girl scout, she has been at the forefront of the fundraising efforts. She said this year the group needs to raise over $29,000.

"There's a total of 5 generations of scouting in my family," Combs said. "Starting with my grandmother had a troop, my mother had a troop, I've had a troop, my children have a troop now and they are the leaders of my grandchildren. I have a real love for girl scouting."

The Girl Scouts locally hope more people will use Camp Latonka and that will help keep the doors open.

On September 24, 2016 at noon a groundbreaking will take place for a new tree house structure to be built for the camp.

The final decision will come this time next year.

If people would like to make a donation to help save the camp, donations can be sent to: Friends of Camp Latonka, 233 North Main St. Suite 306, Sikeston Mo 63801

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