Thursday, October 24, 2013

Celebration and Tour of Camp Singing Hills

GSAK had a great turnout for our Camp Singing Hills celebration and tour! Girls, troop leaders, community members, and legislators - including U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Geran Tarr of Anchorage, and Rep. Bill Stoltze of Eagle River - helped make the day a success. 


  GSAK CEO Sue Perles (left) and Sen. Murkowski with Troop 690

The event was held 2:00-4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 19 at our 40-acre Camp Singing Hills property in Chugiak. Reporter Samantha Angaiak covered the event for KTUU Channel 2 News. Attendees enjoyed Girl Scout Cookies and hot drinks while they toured the camp. They also witnessed a flag ceremony conducted by Cadette Troop 407, were treated to a skit put on by Brownie and Junior Troop 690, and heard speeches by GSAK CEO Sue Perles, Singing Hills Capital Campaign Chair Jane Angvik, U.S. Sen. Murkowski, and Rep. Stoltze.  

Sen. Murkowski, a Girl Scout alumna and member of honorary Congressional Girl Scout troop Troop Capitol Hill, spoke to the girls about the importance of STEM education. Once completed, our 6,500-square-foot Singing Hills lodge will be fully wired for interactive distance learning and will serve as Alaska’s first STEM Center for Girls. Sen. Murkowski serves as honorary chair of GSAK’s Singing Hills Capital Campaign.


Camp Singing Hills lodge

In addition to the lodge, Camp Singing Hills will have four yurts and a shower house for year-round camping; two trail systems, plus camping locations and outdoor environmental education sites; and a waterfront area with canoe storage and an environmental education dock.

Saturday's celebration and tour launched the public phase of our capital campaign and accounted for more than 40 new donors. The primary structure on the Camp Singing Hills property was destroyed in 2009 by an act of arson. In 2010, project teams came together at Encampment to consult with girls, adult volunteers, and board members to determine the camp features and facilities that would best serve Alaska’s girls. 


From left: Michael Fredericks, president of RIM First People; Wayne Flesch of Cornerstone General Contractors; Jane Angvik, Singing Hills capital campaign chair; Bryce Klug of RIM First People; Lynda Zaugg, GSAK first vice chair; and Cricket Gartrell of ARCADIS. 

In 2011, the Alaska State Legislature appropriated $2.1 million to assist with Camp Singing Hills planning and development. With support from the State, and Sen. Murkowski as honorary chair, GSAK launched a $4 million capital campaign to rebuild Camp Singing Hills. In addition to the State of Alaska, we have received support from the Rasmuson Foundation, BP Alaska, ConocoPhillips Alaska, the Mat-Su Valley Health Foundation, and a host of community leaders. 

The rebuild of Camp Singing Hills is due to be completed by the end of 2014.Once completed, we expect the camp to serve 2,000 unique girls, attract 4,500 in-person girl visits each year, and reach many more girls employing interactive technology.

A big thank you to all those who turned out for our Camp Singing Hills celebration and tour! 

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