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From the Montana Standard:

After 80 years of supporting Girl Scout activities, executives say Camp Castle Rock is due for some upgrades. But neighbors worry that a bigger camp would mean a bigger impact on nearby residents.

About 15 people attended the Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming’s Tuesday evening meeting discussing the draft long-range plan for the site, located about six miles south of Butte.

The camp will accommodate about 100 campers, plus staff during the camping season.

At the top of the camp’s improvement list is a dining facility separate from the main lodge, improved lodging sites and more flush toilets.

Properties director Stefanie Harrington said none of the proposed upgrades have been decided upon, so no budget’s been set. She said the proposals that end up becoming reality depend on the needs of the girls and the staff. Depending on the amount of changes, the project could take three to five years to complete, Harrington said.

At the meeting, mothers of scouts and scout group leaders shared their favorite parts about the plan, including an improved pond area, raised “tree house” cabins and a large amphitheater for camp songs and group activities.

But two neighbors who attended the meeting worried about increased traffic, potential water contamination from a new sewage system and more, and told the board their concerns.

Jim and Sandee Endahl live about half a mile from the site by road. At the meeting, Jim Endahl asked if an environmental study would be performed if the outhouses were removed from the site. He also raised concerns about the installation of a sewage system for flush toilets. The Endahls get their water from a well, he said, and the couple was concerned about the potential contamination of their drinking water.

Jim Endahl also pointed out that the road to the camp would need upgrades to allow the expected increase in traffic, but that he and other neighbors don’t want an improved road. He asked who would pay for all the road maintenance since the Girl Scouts is a tax-exempt organization.

“These are going to be some of the concerns you’ll have to confront as you go along,” Endahl told the executives.

Tom Richardson, a board member, told the Endahls that the alternative that was happening with some other properties was that they were being sold and developed into subdivisions.

“I may rather see a ranch out there” than an expanded camp, Endahl said.

When asked if they’d be more receptive to the plans if the Girl Scouts addressed all their concerns, Sandee Endahl said she would, but Jim Endahl was noncommittal.

“We welcome the project you’re doing,” Sandee Endahl said. “But what comes with it is a concern.”

Harrington and Leep thanked the Endahls for their attendance and said it was important to keep those concerns in mind when developing plans for Camp Castle Rock’s future.

Reporter Piper Haugan: 496-5572, piper.haugan@ or


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