Effort to Save Girl Scout Camp now a Legal Fight

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The fight over the future of several Girl Scout camps around Alabama is entering the legal arena. WBHM has learned a former Girl Scout council president has filed a pre-suit discovery petition against the Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama.

The move comes in response to the Girl Scouts’ announcement this summer that it plans to sell four of six camps, including the 87-year-old Camp Coleman near Trussville. The council says the camps have become too expensive to run and are underutilized. The decision did not sit well with some members. So they formed a grassroots group called Save Camp Coleman to try and keep that camp open.

Sarah Edwards is part of the campaign and she filed the petition against the Girl Scouts Tuesday. Edwards did not respond to requests for comment, but her lawyer, Chip Bradford, says the petition is about access to records and whether the decision to sell the property was properly made.

The petition seeks an array of documents including meeting minutes, financial statements and e-mails related to the property decision. It also requests information on the board’s final vote on the property plan as well as names of consultants and others who may have helped develop it.

Bradford said there is also a question of whether the decision to sell the camps should have been put to a wider vote.

Hilary Perry, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama, said while she hasn’t looked over the entire list of documents requested in the petition, many of them have already been provided.

“The council has not done anything wrong in making this decision [to sell the camps].”

Bradford said if the judge grants the petition, they would then decide whether to pursue further action. He hopes to have a ruling within 30 days.

- Andrew Yeager, October 26, 2012