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Girl Scouts celebrates grand opening of new lodge


St. Louis, MO – Sept. 22 – When future generations of Girl Scout campers recall memories of Camp Fiddlecreek, those might include stories of staying at Myrtle’s Manor, under the watch of two bronze turtles standing guard at the entrance.

On Sunday, Oct. 1., Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri celebrates the grand opening of Myrtle’s Manor, its newest lodge, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Camp Fiddlecreek. The organization received a $1 million gift last year from Peggy and Jim Piotraschke of Union, MO., to build the lodge. With the donation, they requested the lodge and sleeping pods be named by Girl Scouts. The Piotraschke family are longtime supporters of Girl Scouts and its mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

Nestled on 83 acres in Labadie, MO., Camp Fiddlecreek is the closest of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s three camps to the St. Louis metropolitan area, as well as the smallest. This little camp in the woods offers all girls high adventure opportunities like a climbing wall, zipline and spider net. Camp Fiddlecreek also gives Girl Scouts opportunities to participate in more traditional camping activities such as boating, hiking and swimming. In addition to air conditioning, a community kitchen and dining area, Myrtle’s Manor includes three sleeping pods; Turtle Lodge, Legacy Lodge and Friendship Lodge. Turtle Lodge will sleep 12 girls and four adults while both Legacy and Friendship Lodge will sleep 16 girls and four adults.

Peggy’s family has a long tradition of supporting Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. Her late mother, Myrtle Walker, also contributed to Camp Fiddlecreek—two of her well-known 600-pound bronze turtles reside on the shore of the camp’s Walker Lake. They’re now joined by two additional bronze turtles who will live at the entrance of Myrtle’s Manor.

Girl Scouting has a lengthy and successful history of getting girls outside. Approximately 50 percent of girls said that Girl Scouts provided them with opportunities to experience the outdoors in a way they could not have otherwise, according to the Girl Scouts Research Institute. But it’s not just about giving all girls a chance to join in fun, camping activities. Findings also support the positive influence Girl Scouts has on girls’ leadership development through outdoor experiences, like camping.