On November 2, 2017, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) informed volunteers that it will divest itself of Camp Golden Pond. On April 6th, 2018, a group of Girl Scout volunteers met to incorporate “Friends of Golden Pond” as non profit legal entity with the goal of acquiring Camp Golden Pond. Camp Golden Pond officially closed its doors as a Girl Scout camp on July 28, 2018.
On March 1st, 2019 Camp Golden Pond was reopened as a leased property under the care and operation of Friends of Golden Pond, a volunteer-run public charity. Friends of Golden Pond has been granted federal tax-exempt status under IRS section 501c3. We are pleased to announce that on April 30, 2021, Friends of Golden Pond has purchased the camp and is committed to preservice this facility for many years to come.
Our mission is to promote leadership and youth development through safe, affordable camp experiences that will allow both youth and adults to develop courage, confidence, and an appreciation for the outdoors.
We believe that the camp experience is critical to our youth’s development and that Camp Golden Pond serves a crucial role in bringing those experiences to our area youth. Camp Golden Pond was built as a community resource and should remain a resource open to our community.
Board of Directors
Melanie has been a Girl Scout for 36 years and a very active volunteer within Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA. She was a Girl Scout as a girl in the west region of the council surrounding the Mount Union / Huntingdon areas and frequented Camp Golden Pond as a camper. She now serves in the North region of the council as a Service Unit lead for a large portion of Schuylkill County. She currently serves as a member of the Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition Board Committee, co-leads and plans the Volunteer Led Outdoor Adult Enrichment Weekends for GSHPA, is a National Delegate and has just been awarded a Thank You badge by GSHPA in April 2020. She has spent 23+ years serving the hospitality industry managing hotels, restaurants, hospitality staffing agencies, event planning and sales by creating destination experiences. She is an avid outdoors person and loves being in nature. With what free time she does have, she spends homeschooling her four children at home, has a small home based bakery and does hospitality consulting with her husband.
When Golden Pond was owned and operated by Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, Tim served as the on-site ranger for elven years. As a result of this, he comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience with this property. He knows the ins and outs of all the buildings that are a part of the camp. If a stove quits working the way it should, Tim can assess the problem and come up with a solution in no time at all! A leaking canoe…well, he’s the one who knows how that can be fixed. When we need hard wood for the fireplace, Tim appears with a wheelbarrow full for us to use. During the summer months Tim is there to make sure that the grass is cut so that campers can be outside and enjoy activities in the grassy areas while others who stay with us can just enjoy how nice the scenery is no matter where they look. Of course, during the winter months Tim makes sure that the roads are plowed so that those with reservations can safely get to whichever building is their destination. If you want to know about the osprey that appear in the spring, what fish inhabit the pond, which animals visit the grounds, or even which groups have reserved the camp on a regular basis, Tim has the answers. He is a valuable asset that we are lucky to have on the Board of Friends of Golden Pond.
With a degree in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and later a master’s from Shippensburg University, Sharon taught for 35 years. Growing up, as an intermediate Girl Scout, she earned the Curved Bar rank, an equivalent to the present-day Gold Award. As an adult she has been a troop leader at many levels for 36 years. During this time she was recognized by Hemlock Council as a master trainer. She has been a resident camp director; a day camp director; certified canoe instructor; both fall product and cookie sale liaison; service unit director, manager, and lead; and co-leads the volunteer led adult enrichment weekends for GSHPA. She was awarded a Thank You Badge from GSHPA in April 2020. In addition, she has been very active at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Mount Union as well as in the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 107 for many years.
Paula Keefer is the mother of five, ranging in ages from 29 to 12. Working in a hospital lab for seven years, she was a Certified Medical Assistant as well as a Certified Phlebotomy Technician. Later, she returned to school and earned her bachelor’s degree online through the University of Phoenix. Paula has worked with many different backgrounds focusing on youth. Having been a Girl Scout in her youth, Paula has now been a Girl Scout leader for 13 years. At the present time she is responsible for four troops, encompassing all the age groups. In addition, Paula has enjoyed spending time at day camps where she has directly worked with varying age groups teaching them about outdoor cooking, tying knots, etc. She has also become invaluable with her assistance in the canoeing activities. Concentrating on the older Girl Scouts, she has helped plan the Older Girl Events the past several years. Currently Paula is a stay-at-home mother, where four of her five children are in school at home, either learning remotely or being home-schooled.
Dawn is a leader of a Girl Scout troop in the Penns Valley/Bellefonte area for over 15 years plus 6 years as a youth as a Girl Scout in Western Pennsylvania (Talus Rock Council) as she is originally from Johnstown, PA. She is an archery facilitator, fall fundraiser service unit manager and camp director of the older girl camp. She serves as co-captain for her Relay for Life team, the M.A.D. Crew. Dawn is a graduate from Penn State University with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Recreational/Institutional Management. She has worked for over 24 years with Walmart Stores, Inc. and now serves as team associate. She spends time at home with her husband of 21+ year and her 2 daughters (both Girl Scouts from Daisies to Adults). Dawn enjoys doing a variety of crafts, geocaching and music.