St. Louis, MO – August 22, 2016 – Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri recently received a $1 million pledge from Peggy Piotraschke of Union, Mo., to build a new lodge at Camp Fiddlecreek. Piotraschke is a longtime supporter of Girl Scouts and its mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.
“I have fond memories camping there as a Girl Scout and of attending volunteer trainings as an adult,” Piotraschke said. “My experiences at camp helped me develop meaningful friendships, leadership skills and an appreciation for nature. I hope this gift will inspire our community to also invest in girls and Camp Fiddlecreek, so that they can continue to challenge themselves, grow and have fun in a safe and nurturing outdoor environment.”
Nestled on 83 wooded 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, making it popular for younger Girl Scouts who are new to camping. The new lodge will include common areas for activities and cooking, as well as wings to house girls’ and volunteers’ sleeping quarters.
“We are grateful for Peggy’s commitment to our girls and her investment in future generations of Girl Scout campers,” said Bonnie Barczykowski, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri CEO. “This new lodge will allow more girls throughout eastern Missouri to experience the wonders of camp and its many benefits. I believe Peggy’s gift will encourage our community and Girl Scout family to continue their support.”
Piotraschke’s family has a long tradition of supporting Girl Scouts. Her late mother, Myrtle Walker, also contributed to the camp—two of her well-known eponymous 600-pound bronze turtles live on the shore of the camp’s Walker Lake. Another pair of turtles, donated by Piotraschke, will greet girls at the new lodge.
Piotraschke has shared her love of Girl Scouts with her family, and her granddaughter, now a Girl Scout, also enjoys staying at the camp. With the donation, Piotraschke has requested that the lodge be named by Girl Scouts, and that girls also play a role in designing a patch representing the building. The design and fabrication of the building will be completed by businesses located in Franklin County. Construction for the project is set to begin in the coming months, and the completed lodge will open in 2017.
Spending time outdoors and attending camp has shown to lead to numerous positive outcomes. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, girls who spend time outdoors through Girl Scouts eclipse their peers in environmental stewardship, more readily seek challenges, and are better problem solvers, all of which are traits needed for 21st-century leadership. To find out more information, visit our camp page.