Transforming Girl Scouting in Northern New Jersey
Riverdale, N.J. – October 19, 2023 – Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey (GSNNJ), the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, unveils its property master plan to reimagine its service locations and further invest in girls in the communities it serves.
The strategic property plan will position Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey to enhance access to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and create more meaningful opportunities for girls. The two main tenets of the property master plan include the construction of a Girl Scout DreamLab within GSNNJ’s core service area, which spans Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and northern Warren counties, as well as future investments in the Girl Scout Camp experience through enhancements to its summer programs and camp properties.
To achieve the goal of constructing engaging and dynamic spaces in the northern New Jersey community for girls to thrive, GSNNJ has made the strategic decision to sell two properties that are not being utilized to their full potential by the Council: its Camp Glen Spey property in Glen Spey, N.Y. and its Randolph Service Center in Randolph, N.J. After a thorough portfolio evaluation, GSNNJ determined that these two properties are no longer positioned to provide the enriching experiences current and future members deserve and desire.
Once the properties are sold, proceeds from the sales will be instrumental in the execution of the property master plan and will be deployed toward the construction of the DreamLab as well as toward enhancements to GSNNJ’s two camp properties—Lake Rickabear Camp in Kinnelon, N.J. and Jockey Hollow Camp in Mendham, N.J. Working toward the goal of a 2025 launch date, GSNNJ is still in the early planning stages of the Girl Scout DreamLab and has not yet determined a location for the property, which will be an innovation center uniquely designed to cater to the needs and aspirations of today’s girls.
“We’re thrilled to unveil our plans to transform the future of Girl Scouting, where we will strive to ensure every girl has access to unparalleled resources, unforgettable experiences, and boundless opportunities to become the leaders of tomorrow,” said Sandra A. Kenoff, President / CEO, GSNNJ. “Our plan to reimagine our properties and invest in girls through the construction of our very own Girl Scout DreamLab will shape the future of Girl Scouting in northern New Jersey and we look forward to embarking on this exciting journey alongside our members.”
The Girl Scout DreamLab concept, first unveiled by Girl Scouts of the USA with the opening of its inaugural DreamLab in Denver, Colorado, earlier this year, is an innovative experience center designed to drive awareness of Girl Scouting in the community while offering unique programs and experiences for girls. Centered around hands-on experiences and innovative spaces that align with the four pillars of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—Life Skills, STEM, Entrepreneurship and the Outdoors—Girl Scout DreamLabs inspire and engage current and future Girl Scouts with amenities including but not limited to STEM centers, podcast booths, bouldering walls, outdoor skills areas, retail spaces and more.
“Our vision is that the Girl Scout DreamLab will be more than just a property—it will be a space designed to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place through immersive experiences uniquely tailored to both our current and future members,” said Bette M. Simmons, Ed.D, Board Chair, GSNNJ.
“There’s truly never been a more exciting time to be a Girl Scout and I look forward to helping bring this vision to life so girls within our service area have access to a modern, engaging space dedicated to fostering leadership, encouraging curiosity, and embracing innovation for years to come,” added Kenoff.
GSNNJ will also explore opportunities to enrich the Girl Scout Camp experience through additional improvements to Lake Rickabear Camp in Kinnelon, N.J. and Jockey Hollow Camp in Mendham, N.J. Underscoring GSNNJ’s commitment to outdoor programming remaining a core attribute of Girl Scouting, Jockey Hollow and Lake Rickabear camps have recently undergone significant renovations and upgrades to improve the camp experience, highlighting GSNNJ’s focus on providing girls with enriching, beneficial, and fun experiences that enable them to learn new skills and thrive in the outdoors.
Upgrades completed earlier this year at the 332-acre Lake Rickabear Camp and its activities offerings included the addition of eight new pickleball courts, two basketball half courts, three four-square courts, three hopscotch courts, and a junior scooter track in addition to new roofing and replacement windows in the existing friendship lodge and beach lodge, respectively. At Jockey Hollow Camp, capital improvements included upgrades to the facility’s five-station archery range, a full remodel of the camp’s large, L-shaped swimming pool and a new horse corral.
The property master plan to transform the future of Girl Scouting in northern New Jersey is the latest advancement in GSNNJ’s ongoing commitment to making it a great time to be a Girl Scout. This year, GSNNJ has unveiled new programs at the Council, hosted exciting new events for girls and their families, and rolled out engaging new patch offerings including mental health patches, which will be incorporated into troop camping and community engagement initiatives to promote mental wellness, as well as a new GSNNJ Pillar Patch.
GSNNJ serves more than 18,500 girls ages 5-18 and over 10,200 adult members in Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and northern Warren counties. For more information, visit www.gsnnj.org/propertyplan.
About Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.
Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey serves girls ages 5-18 in Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and northern Warren counties, bringing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to more than 18,500 girls and over 10,200 adult members. Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for every girl and her family.
To learn more about Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey or to volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.gsnnj.org and stay connected by following GSNNJ on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.