Girl Scouts launch campaign to build storm shelter

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The girls and alumnae of Norman Girl Scout Troop 241 have teamed up with Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma to launch a fundraising campaign to build a storm shelter at Camp E-Ko-Wah, the organization’s camp near Marlow.

The $265,000 Give Storm Shelter Campaign will provide for a 1,200-square-foot, multipurpose shelter that will also serve as an activity space for campers. The FEMA F5-rated structure will be built with 8-inch thick concrete interior walls reinforced with steel rebar. The campaign will also provide for two 15-passenger vans, which are part of the council’s transportation and safety plan. While the camp has an evacuation plan for tornadoes, there is currently no on-site storm shelter.

“When risk for tornadoes led us to forego a much-anticipated Council-wide Campout in 2012, members of our troop and others formed a committee to explore possible solutions,” said Amanda Wheelock, a senior in Troop 241. “The multipurpose storm shelter is a great solution because girls can use it all year for camp activities, regardless of the weather.”

Troop 241 has initiated a letter-writing campaign to raise the funds from Girl Scouts and supporters throughout the council to reach their goal. The grassroots campaign is chaired by Troop 241 leader Brenda Wheelock. They are also encouraging Girl Scouts to do coin canister-drives to collect change in their homes and at businesses, as well as organizing their own fundraising projects in their communities.

The highpoint of the campaign will be Aug. 23 when Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma hosts Over the Edge, giving volunteers who raise $1,000 or more in pledges an opportunity to rappel 16 stories over the edge of Leadership Square in downtown Oklahoma City. The activity will be led by Over the Edge USA, which provides safe, successful fundraising events for nonprofits throughout the United States.

“In Girl Scouting, we teach girls to discover the world around them, connect with each other and take action to create a stronger community. Norman Girl Scout Troop 241 did just this, coming together as a team to advocate for a storm shelter at our resident camp to keep girls safe,” said Shannon Evers, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma CEO.

To contribute to the campaign or for more information on Over the Edge, visit givestormshelter.org or contact Jaimie Siegal at 405-528-4475, jsiegal@gswestok.org.

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