VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) – With a Knox County Chamber of Commerce ‘after hours’ event scheduled Wednesday, Camp Wildwood in Vincennes will soon reopen for area girl scouts and the community. The re-opening comes following a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that put Camp Wildwood back in control of the interests of Vincennes Girls Inc.
Camp Wildwood, which is 10 acres of land along Washington Street, was sold by Vincennes University to the Vincennes, Indiana Girl Scout Council in 1946. The acreage was intended to be used as a camp ground for Girl Scouts.
The ruling cites a reorganization of the National Girl Scouts of America in 1965; which merged Vincennes Indiana Girls Scouts into the Shagbark Girl Scout Council in Southern Illinois. According to the document, at this time the property fell under the ownership of the Shagbark Council.
According to News 10 Records, the camp was closed in 2009 by the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, which tried to sell the property. The 2013 Supreme Court Ruling found that under an Indiana Constitutional clause, a land usage restriction from an original contract would allow the Vincennes Girl Scouts to keep the property.
“All of the sudden the girl scouts didn’t need the camp anymore, closed it, tried to sell it,” said Jim Gislason with the Camp Wildwood Foundation. “They had to keep it open for 49 years to get clear title, so the camp reverted back to us, after the supreme court ruled on it.”
Once the property was awarded back to the interest of Vincennes Girl Scouts, Vincennes Girls Inc., was disbanded and a Camp Wildwood Foundation was created.
Jim Gislason, met with News 10 at Camp Wildwood Tuesday to explain the changes happening before Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce After Hours event. Gislason keyed in on the fact, that the camp-site would now be open to the public. In prior years, only Girl Scouts could use the facility.
“Girl scouts are still included but it’s going to be open to anybody,” said Gislason. The Foundation member pointed to a trail behind the camp’s banquet hall, explaining it ran to the front of the campsite.
“We’ll take anybody that want to have a good time and enjoy the outdoors,” he added. “Other than the girl scouts, nobody knew what this was, or where it was, and now we’ve got a chance to make it available to everybody in the community. Everybody in Knox County, Greene County, Sullivan County, we’ll even take people from Terre Haute.”
To see about campsite reservations and view pricing at Camp Wildwood, click here.
To read the supreme court ruling, click here.