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Camp Welaka

Camp Welaka

post hurricane camp welaka update

Post-Hurricane GSSEF Camp Welaka Update
(September 21, 2017)

While our camp properties did see some damage, we are very lucky to have avoided the type of damage that a direct impact might have created.

Camp Welaka in Jupiter sustained minor damage throughout the property. Examples include six bathroom and shower doors blown, two bathroom doors destroyed beyond repair, one shower wall destroyed, twelve broken windows, two roof turbines damaged beyond repair and two metal cabin roofs damaged.

  • Unfortunately, we must temporarily close Camp Welaka while repair and replacement work takes place. At this time, we anticipate re-opening Camp Welaka in mid-October. GSSEF must also temporarily close Camp Nocatee, and anticipate re-opening at the beginning of November.
  • Troop Camp Training (TCT), originally scheduled at Camp Nocatee, will now be offered at Camp Welaka on October 14-15, as Camp Nocatee will still be closed. Our adult volunteers will be able to register for this training via the GSSEF website next week. We will also be able to keep the planned work day with the FPL/Next Era "Women In Energy Group" on Saturday, October 14, as well as proceeding with the new Council-led Camporee for Brownie and Junior grade-levels scheduled for October 21-22.

Please keep in mind that the timelines for reopening our camp properties are tentative based on the current information we have. As work is completed, we will share an exact date of re-opening. If you have questions about any of the properties, please reach out to Cindy McHeran at


Located on a portion of Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Tequesta, Florida, Camp Welaka occupies 640 acres, including a swimming pool, lake and river access. Facilities are provided for daytime and Troop/Group Camping for Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador age levels. A full time camp ranger lives on site. Camp Welaka facilities include a combination of both platform tent and cabin sites. A lodge, an activity and dining center is equipped with a commercial kitchen. (Only a certified Food Manager may use the commercial kitchen.)There are three platform tent sites with eight tents, each sleeping four. An additional platform tent site has four tents each sleeping four. Cabins are available at two sites, one with six cabins each sleeping four and another with eight cabins. Also, a Cook’s Cabin that sleeps 14 individuals is available. A Unit House is located at each site for eating and activities. An ADA accessible Bunk House may also be reserved. There is also a Director’s Cabin and an Infirmary.

outdoor resources
Outdoor Resources

What can you do to help create an awesome experience while exploring the outdoors? Being comfortable and confident when planning will help. There are eight new outdoor skill-building videos especially for volunteers both new to Girl Scouts and older Girl Scouts as they take younger girls outside. The videos follow the Outdoor Progression in skills-building.  

Each video includes helpful tips that can be used when planning outdoor adventures. They are easily share-able too. Check them out:

  1. Step by Step: Developing Outdoor Skills in Girls 
  2. Taking the Journeys Outside
  3. Planning Your Troop's First Campout
  4. Introduction to Campsite Setup
  5. Introduction to Cooking Outside
  6. How to Leave No Trace Outdoors
  7. Outdoors Songs and Games
  8. Introduction to Fire Building

Important News about The Lodge at Camp Welaka

We have important news to share about The Lodge at Camp Welaka. On October 6th, strong sustained winds from Hurricane Matthew lifted the Camp Welaka Lodge up from its foundation. This movement caused some unforeseen damage that weakened it. Council staff have already met with a structural engineer, and while repairs are required, the structural integrity of The Lodge can be restored.

This is unfortunate, but we are pleased to report, it looks to be a temporary situation. GSSEF is actively seeking the required professional repair bids, per our Council Financial Policies and Procedures, because we intend to repair the damage. We know how important access to outdoor activity and education is for Girl Scouts – we want girls and troops to continue to utilize and enjoy GSSEF camp property. Our highest priority is ensuring the safety and security of our members.

Next Steps

The next steps will include: receiving sketches from the structural engineer, selecting a contractor, coordination with the City’s Buildings and Inspection team, repair period, inspections and finally the reopening of The Lodge. We anticipate this process will take place beginning now through February; therefore barring any unexpected delays or expenses, The Lodge can reopen in March 2017.

Steps That Have Been Taken

We also realize that this situation could potentially interrupt plans to utilize the property. Here are the steps we have already taken to share this news and accommodate our GSSEF Troops, Service Units, volunteers and girls:

  • Our Customer Care staff have already communicated with each Service Unit with a Camporee/Ingathering date, scheduled at Camp Welaka in this time frame, through its’ Service Unit Volunteer Manager (SUVM). Each Service Unit, in partnership with the Camporee/Ingathering team, will be able to make a decision about the individual events. If you know that your Service Unit is affected, please contact your SUVM directly.

If you have any questions about this information, here’s a list of contacts:

  • Information about The Lodge and it’s repair schedule: Vice President of Properties and Outdoor Initiatives Cindy McHeran at 561-427-0179
  • Information about Camporees/Ingatherings: Troop Support Specialist Asha Robinson at 954-513-3762