Girl Scouts dedicating new $3 million lodge

Published: Saturday, Aug. 14 1999 12:00 a.m. MDT

A beautiful new Girl Scout lodge at Camp Cloud Rim in the Bonanza Flats area near Park City looks like it may have dropped in out of the sky.

Located in a peaceful, scenic setting amid pines and quaking aspens, the new Janet Quinney Lawson Lodge will be dedicated this afternoon for the Girl Scouts of Utah.The $3 million facility, named after its major donor, will be a place where youths can rekindle the magic of Girl Scouting, officials say.

"It is a real honor to be at a place where we are bridging from Camp Cloud Rim's history to its future. And I am so excited that we can provide such a wonderful place for girls of Utah to grow strong," said Toni Marie Sutliff, president of the 13,000-member organization. She will dedicate the new facilities.

Several hundred invited guests, including Lawson and the Right Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, are expected to attend.

The program will include a ceremony featuring 50 state flags and the Girl Scout flag and a bagpiper. Former Girl Scout council president Nancy Giles, who spearheaded fund-raising activities for the lodge, and Sharon Stetz, chief executive officer of Girl Scouting in Utah, will also participate.

The original lodge was dedicated in 1937 and served about 33,000 girls, until it burned to the ground in November 1992. Fire crews could not reach the scene because of heavy snow that winter. The fire's cause was never determined.

The new stone and wood lodge faces Lake Brimhall, which will be used for boating, canoeing, swimming, windsurfing and water safety activities. As the first lady and honorary president of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Lou Henry Hoover, wife of President Herbert Hoover, attended the first dedication.

Lawson, then a young Girl Scout, has told council officers she remembers the president's wife attending the event and that she personally carried the first lady's suitcase upon her arrival at the camp.

The new lodge, built and paid for entirely with donated funds and with insurance money obtained after the fire, is filled with furniture and fixtures designed by Utah artists. The furniture and light fixtures are decorated with silhouettes of girls hiking, around campfires and in other activities.

A "giving tree," designed to honor contributors to the new facility, is located in the "great hall" of the lodge. A crafts area is located in a walk-out area on a lower level.

A "promise path," cleared by older Girl Scouts of boulders and other materials, leads visitors around the lake. The lodge and other facilities, including camp tent platforms, six cabins, a dock and shower and latrine facilities, are all located at about the 9,500-foot elevation at the Wasatch County site.

Some 50 Girl Scouts, who each sold more than 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this year, were the first to stay in the new lodge this year. But since the camping season is about over this year, the new facilities will not be in full use until next summer, said Barb Guy, Girl Scouting communications director.

Winter camping activities are planned beginning after the regular camping season in the year 2000, Sutliff said.

Stetz says the "reopening of Camp Cloud Rim is a joyous day for Girl Scouts from all over Utah. Our new lodge is a wonderful backdrop for all the outdoor activities Girl Scouts love -- activities like canoeing, rock climbing, outdoor cooking, stargazing, windsurfing and backpacking. Our camp will give generations of Girl Scouts a place to make friends, grow strong and have fun."

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