Parkland Strongly Opposes Paving Over Girl Scout Camp


By Buddy Nevins



Commissioners in Parkland sent a strong message on Wednesday that a Girl Scout camp in their city should remain open space.

After unanimously passing a resolution asking that the property be left alone, commissioners warned the Broward County Commission that they would never approve any development on the property.

“We want the land to stay the way it is today,” Mayor Michael Udine said.

The vote was a rare rebuke by Parkland residents of County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, who represents and lives in the city.

Ritter proposed last month that the Girl Scouts organization be permitted to sell 9-acre Camp Telogia to a developer. She was acting at the behest of the management of the Girl Scouts organization, which contends it needs money and could probably net more than $2 million for the land.


Ritter Takes No Position 


“I put this on the agenda because the property is in the district I represent and I believe it deserves a public hearing. I have no position on this and will wait until I hear all the testimony,” Ritter wrote

Broward commissioners must approve any sale because of a deed restriction placed by the county on the land when it was sold to the Girl Scouts for a $1 in 1961.  The restriction requires the property be used for the Girl Scouts and not be developed.

Since only the county can remove the restriction, Ritter asked that it be removed so that the Girl Scouts could sell their land for the maximum value.

County Auditor Evan Lukic said last month that removing the restriction is a bad deal for taxpayers, who gave the Girl Scouts the property for a specific purpose.

Girl Scout parents, and now city commissioners, also said, “No.” Loudly.

Parents packed the Parkland commission meeting Wednesday night. Former County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, who defended Camp Telogia repeatedly while in office against moves to develop the land, joined them.

What galls some parents is that any development would pave over land now open to Girl Scouts, rich and poor, and replace the tree canopy with single-family multi-million estates on huge lots.

This issue isn’t going away soon. It returns to the County Commission in the near future.

Meanwhile, parents took a victory lap after last night’s vote as evidenced in the following e-mail from lawyer and parent Marilyn Bonilla Krantz:


Subject: City of Parkland Commission demonstrates their Support of Girl Scouts

Good Morning!

For all who could attend last night’s City of Parkland Commission meeting, I know you join me in thanking the City of Parkland Commission (copied on this email) for placing Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida (GSSEF)on the meeting agenda, and providing girls, troop leaders and residents a public forum to voice their concerns about GSSEF’s decision to sell Camp Telogia. It was a proud moment, witnessing Girl Scouts having the courage, confidence and character to voice their opinions by speaking out, participating in our governmental process and doing what they could to keep Camp Telogia open for their sisters and future generations of girls in Broward County.

As Girl Scouts echoed, Camp Telogia is our “Home Base.” We appreciate the action taken by the City Commission to pass a Resolution encouraging the Broward County Commission to keep the 9.5 acres known as Camp Telogia open and green space. Such official action supports our environmental stewardship which is a cornerstone element of Girl Scouts.
And many thanks to former Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman who attended last night’s meeting and provided a historical perspective of the bond passed by Broward County residents who spent $92 million to purchase open space, some of which was less pristine than Camp Telogia. We also appreciate the fact that she provided GSSEF a $500,000.00 challenge grant (one half of her discretionary funds) to improve our camp. Although our concept plans were never realized, Ilene’s stellar support and commitment of Girl Scouts will always be cherished and respected.

Mayor Michael Udine encouraged GSSEF’s Board members to consider the city an interested party when identifying potential purchasers of the three acres they own outright. We remain hopeful that the Broward County Commission will vote not to lift the deed restrictions on Camp Telogia as a matter of public policy. Commissioner Stacy Ritter challenged troop leaders to try and raise the money to maintain Camp Telogia ($20,000.00) and report back to her in one week. She remained determined to demonstrate that there is no community support to fund Camp Telogia. We have started a restricted pledge drive to fund the maintenance of Camp Telogia contingent on GSSEF agreeing to keep Camp Telogia open and not sell it. Commissioner Christine Hunchofsky made the first pledge of $250.00 toward this demonstration of financial support. Thank you!

We remain determined to keep our “Home Base” safe. I have attached a pledge form and ask that you consider distributing it throughout our community so we will have an outpouring of support which we can report back to Commissioner Ritter during Tuesday’s meeting when the vote on the deed restrictions will be taken.
Thank you again to everyone who came together last night to make our world a better place!

In Girl Scouts,

Marilyn Bonilla Krantz
Troop 10164



29 Responses to “Parkland Strongly Opposes Paving Over Girl Scout Camp”

  1. David Gobeo says:

    A great move by Parkland, good job city commission!

  2. Ha Ha Ha says:

    City commissioners who DON’T gang-fellate developers?!? Expect a very sharply worded resolution of revulsion and condemnation from the Fort Lauderdale City Commission!!!

  3. Lori parrish says:

    Someone needs to pull the minutes of the meeting when the county Commission gave the Girls Scout the land and the promises they made for the future to the County Commission.

  4. Just the facts says:

    People don’t realize that the Girl Scouts are closing that camp. It’s not an option for them to keep it open. So the only thing that will happen to that property is that it will be more-or-less abandoned. Overgrown. Vagrants living there. Local kids getting in trouble. Nothing good will happen in that neighborhood if it can’t be sold. The Girl Scouts own the land, not the city or county. Be careful what you wish for.


    My guess is that not too many vagrants frequent in that part of Parkland.

  5. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    am Schillerplatz, Alt-Stadt, Chemnitz, Freistaat Sachsen WHERE NON PROFITS WHO GET CITY or COUNTY or STATE or NATIONAL LAND DO NOT GET TO SELL IT to line the pockets of non-profit bureaucrats!
    l. If you get land FOR A PURPOSE or PURPOSES and YOU ABANDON THE PURPOSE YOU MUST RETURN THE LAND to the DONOR! – apparently in this case the COUNTY and its PEOPLE!
    2. For County Commissioner Stacy Ritter to be the water carrier once again for a non-profit without thinking of the her constituents is a reason I think of the Broward Board of Commissioners as a little version of Ali Baba and 40 Thieves!
    3. Yes, the “land swaps” of the Fire House and Sebastian Beach kleiner parkplatz are OUTRAGEOUS, the Fire House deal is a threat to the health of us seniors who live or use the Beach. And, yes, when a member of the City Commission tells me “ah, Bahia Cabanas has been GOOD TO ME” I could throttle the Commissioner in question. I MEAN, DO WE ELECT COMMISSION MEMBERS IN FT LAUDERDALE TO BE “treated well” by out of state developers? AND WHAT DOES “TREATED WELL” by developers mean in the case of this or that Commissoner? Yep, the people look at the Parkland City Commission’s actions and the votes at the Fort Lauderdale City Commission on the Fire House and Sebastian Beach and think – Do they really hate EVER BLADE OF GRASS and EVERY GRAIN OF SAND in the City of Fort Lauderdale?

  6. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    First of all if I had children I would never let them join the boy scouts, girl scouts etc, nor altar boys etc. For the simple fact to many didlers hanging around kids or hiding behind a priest’ collar(cut your nuts off if I catch you(yes). I agree w/ the auditor no way should we give this property to the girl scouts(I could care less who on the dais was a boy scout, girl scout etc I mean really)for nothing so they can sell it and profit millions of dollars. Comm.ritter back off(Lukic really got you good-your retilation came off as bulling him). This was issued in 1961 to keep the property as is not to put million dollar condos there…Besides the money the scouts have(girl/boy) is in the millions of dollars. In other words eat cake or mint cookies….

  7. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    The intent for the county commission in 61 was to allocate a park for the girl scouts. If the girl scouts are not fully utilizing it, why aren’t they allowing, boy scouts, or under privileged kids use the camp. Sounds like a hidden asset no one knew about. Another idea, sell it back to the county for a dollar. I am sure the county could make another county park out of it and everyone in the county could enjoy it.

  8. mikkiG says:

    in the meeting on Tuesday, Stacy told the parents they had to raise $20,000 before the Tuessday meeting to show they support Camp Telogia. What’s ironic is that according to the Girl Scouts internal financial documents, every property they own operates at a deficit. However the property with the lowest projected deficit is Camp Telogia at roughly $17,000. The properties they want to keep operating, which are outside Broward County, have deficits 4 – 6 times larger than that

  9. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    I need a like button for #3 Lori Parrish’s comments.

  10. histerical says:

    What Ritter is proposing is unprecedented. The County gave land to the Boy Scouts in Davie with the very same deed restriction. The county has a process for funding not for profits and releasing the deed restriction gives the Girl Scouts money they intend to use on facilities outside of Broward county. They county has never funded a NFP for services not provided in county. Also, the county has a competitive process for funds to various other nfps; like Family Central, the Aging and Disability center, Hispanic Unity, the Urban League. Why should the girl scouts be treated any differently than the rest of the nfp comunity?

  11. holycow says:

    I understand that Ritter had a meeting on Tuesday with Mayor Mike Udine, parent girl scout leaders and the executive officers of the Girl Scouts organization. She basically told Udine and the parents that Parkland had enough open and green space and didn’t need anymore. At last night’s Parkland City Commission meeting, the City manager told the Commission that Camp Telogia is listed in the City’s Comp Plan as open and green space to meet their requirements under the comp plan. So, it would take a comp plan amendment to allow Telogia to be developed and the City would need to replace the space.

    Ritter is so out of touch. How do you think you could ever be the toursim czar for this county when you can’t even get you arms around the public sentiment in your own backyard?

  12. Just the facts says:

    I know of kids who drive dirt bikes there. If they know no one is using the buildings, it will only be a matter of time before there is a fire or some homeless people living in them. They’ll find it. Trust me


    That is why there are police. The owners of this property have a liability of someone is hurt on this property.

  13. Kudos to Mayor Udine says:

    Kudos to Mayor Udine for courage, conviction and integrity. His actions precisely demonstrate why Parkland is the envy of Fort Lauderdale. Any BC commissioner who votes for this give-away will be off the dais next election. Period.

  14. NK says:

    This was a great city commission meeting and it was fantastic to see a group of young people participating in local government.

    In terms of the underlying issue with this camp, it appears that the Scout Executive Council wants to continue with scare tactics and veiled threats. I was embarrassed to be sitting at the meeting and listening to the council representatives a few seats away muttering nasty comments (that they probably didn’t realize could be heard at a distance) about the parents, local troop leaders and some of the scouts themselves.

    But the reality is this — this land was given to the Girl Scouts by the County for a specific purpose – a campsite and open space for local scouts.

    If the Scouts don’t want to use it for that purpose any more, it is a shame, and it is their right — but they should give the land back to the County or the City to utilize in the same way.

    As the commissioners properly said on Wednesday night, it would be a horrible precedent to have organizations who were GIFTED public land (land that has been valued in the millions) with special conditions attached be able to get those conditions lifted and profit from it. That is a cost to the citizens and taxpayers of the County.

    There are a number of other organizations who have received gifts of property from various municipalities and the county with special conditions. If this is approved, how many others may seek to bide their time and then get their own conditions lifted to sell their gifted properties at a huge profit.

    I hope the County Commission looks back at the reasons that this land was given to the Scouts and ensures that it is either used for that purpose or, if the Scout leadership no longer desires to provide the outdoor and camp opportunities for local scouts, that the land goes to the county/city or another not-for-profit that will use this green space properly.

  15. jerry says:

    Ritter can not be faulted for listening to her constituents on the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida. However, it has been pointed out that the $2 million the Girls Scouts make from this real estate sale could and probably would be spent outside of Broward County. The stipulating should be that they spend it in Broward County to offset the loss of the camp.

  16. Stacy Ritter says:

    I never told the troop leaders they needed to raise money for the camp. I merely suggested they could show support by doing so. I never said I was determined to prove there was no support although I did expect my comments would be mischaracterized. What the City of Parkland isn’t telling anyone is that they want the land for a charter school but they don’t want anyone to know that. The city manager told us she didn’t want that made public. As if Holmberg Road isn’t congested enough with no plans to widen it. Parkland has the best public schools in the county. Why do
    we need a charter? Why aren’t the residents of Parkland being told the truth?


    I asked Mayor Michael Udine if the city wanted the land for a charter school. “Absolutely false,” he told

    I have no idea what is true. It is a he-said she-said.

    I must add that I don’t remember either of these individuals ever lying to me.

    Maybe there was just miscommunications…or there were plans and they have now been called off…who knows? I throw it out there for consideration.

  17. excompassionate conservative says:

    There is something very wrong when a county as wealthy as ours has officials who would eliminate a natural camping facility and find other to use it for more mega houses. There is no shortage of mega homes in Broward county.

    This reminds me of when I lived in NJ and the owner of a picnic grove in Oakland wanted to sell it to developers for condos. The town did not want to give up green space and an enjoyable place for residents to use. The owner than decided to bring in the parties that would cause so much trouble that the town would want to get rid of him. I think in the court records in the NY Post, he went out to Brooklyn in the early violent NYC of the 1980s to find all sorts of clubs that would hold loud dance parties and bring in hundreds of blacks to Oakland NJ to whoop it up and drink till they collapsed. The police were then called in over and over. The final straw was a Jamaican party of ganja and guns which ended in murders and gun fire and cops from several towns coming in to restore order. Don Imus did a radio commercial skit about this on his AM show.

    What you know. The story is here on the web.

    Jersey picnic shootout possibly linked to Jamaican politics
    Aug. 6, 1985

    HACKENSACK, N.J. — Authorities are investigating whether a political dispute between rival factions of Jamaicans from New York prompted a gunbattle that killed two and sent some 2,000 people diving for cover in a park.

    Frank Gallo, owner of the park in Oakland, N.J., that bears his name, denied he intentionally tried to draw troublemakers to the facility to convince borough officials to allow him to sell the land to a condominium builder.

    Authorities were still trying to determine which of 30 firearms – including automatic weapons — found in the 40-acre park were responsible for the fatal shots fired Sunday.

    Five New Yorkers were charged with attempted murder and weapons offenses. A sixth was accused of weapons offenses and a seventh was charged with possession of marijuana, Bergen County Prosecutor Larry McClure said Monday.

    He said authorities were ‘not sure precisely what triggered the shooting’ but it likely stemmed from a longstanding feud. ‘There were ill feelings and animosity in a (New York) community that transferred itself to Oakland.’

    McClure said those involved ‘appear to be primarily or all of Jamaican extraction’ and that authorities were looking into whether the melee might have been triggered by a dispute over politics in Jamaica.

    Increasing political tension in recent years between the governing Jamaica Labor Party and the People’s National Party, which led the country until 1980, has led to sporadic violence in Jamaica.

    One of the nine picnickers wounded by gunfire told The New York Times she believed political rivalry was to blame. ‘This feud has been going on for years and years,’ said Claudette Allen, a Jamaican native now living in Brooklyn, N.Y.

    However, McClure said the incident also may have been caused by a narcotics deal gone bad or a personal feud.

    At the time of the shooting, the park was crowded with about 2,000 people, including 1,000 New Yorkers who arrived in 13 buses and dozens of cars as part of a party advertised in New York by Gallo, McClure said.

    Gallo denied reports he had threatened to bus outsiders to the park every weekend after borough officials denied a permit to develop the complex with condominiums. He said he was still seeking approval to sell the property, located about 30 miles northwest of New York City.

    Oakland Mayor William Winterhalter said ‘people have indicated to me’ that Gallo made the threat, but he was ‘unable to verify that at this time.’

    Charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a handgun were Michael Elliott, 26, who allegedly fired on a police officer; Junior McLeod, 25; Franklin Gordon, 23; Earl Nelson, 28; and Anthony Kellner, 26, who allegedly was carrying a machine gun.

    Ted Marzoucha, 17, was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun and Clifford Rodney, 41, with possession of marijuana.

  18. intent info says:

    Among the covenants and restrictions in the deed to the Girl Scouts (Broward County Official Records Book 2259, Page 790), No. 4 states:
    Should the land conveyed hereby be abandoned or cease to be used for the corporate purposes authorized by said Charter of the party of the second part [Girl Scouts] for a period of two (2) years, the title thereto shall revert to the party of the first part [Broward County], ipso facto.
    This clearly indicates the intent of Broward County at the time of transfer was for the Girl Scouts to only use the property in furtherance of their organization’s activities, not for the Girl Scouts to convert the property to some other use or sell it to a third party as they please.

  19. hmmmm says:

    It is starting to look like a pattern that the County is taking away things that benefit kids for development. They want to do the same thing with Young at Art.

  20. Talks like a politician says:

    Dear Ms. Ritter,

    The name of the city is Parkland as in park land.
    Any part of Broward County could use park land a lot more than it needs more houses.

  21. Stacy Ritter says:

    Let me be clear: as I told the people who attended my meeting on Tuesday I put this on the agenda because the property is in the district I represent and I believe it deserves a public hearing. I have no position on this and will wait until I hear all the testimony on Tuesday and read all of the backup before making a decision. I do not make decisions without all the facts. Unfortunately that message was lost on those who attended and they heard
    what they wanted to hear. Therefore I am making it clear here. This is not my item; it’s an item about a parcel of land in District 3. I hope this straightens out those who think they heard something I never said.

  22. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    “Let me be clear: as I told the people..”sounds more like a Latin American or Arab Dictator that a Reform Jewish Democratic elected oficial! Doesn’t Stacy Ritter have any sense of how arrogant she sounds time after time after time!
    And her comment “”… that message was lost on those who atended and they Heard what they wanted to hear…” is so condescendeing as to be inappropriate for a democratically elected Democratic public official. It is one thing for the former Polish Kings or German Emperors when they were in the Castles of Poznan here to talk like this, but for an AMERICAN ELECTED OFFICIAL its … words that I cannot use on this family-oriented blog.

    across from the 11th century Castle Island, Poznan, Wielko Polska, Polska

  23. jokes on you says:

    So the land will revert back to the County after 2 years who will end up selling it and making the money. The girl scouts should be able to get that money to improve the other facilities they have.

  24. letsbeserious says:

    Let me be clear- for someone who does not have a position one way or another on this issue, you sure didnt show it at the meeting where you went basirk on Evan Lukic for doing his job lady.
    You are a phoney
    Backtracking beacuse you know it was a politically stupid move
    You will never be tourism czar- got it?

  25. Woooosh says:

    Ritter only listens to one person. His name is mike Moskowitz. Just has uber

  26. Joan Moore says:

    She sounds like that other crook Obama….let me be clear. How dare either of these phony incompetents lecture the VOTER. Both work for us. Neither are the royalty they believe they are.

  27. Joan Moore says:

    and why do we still have NINE County Commissioners to deal with an airport, a seaport, a garbage dump, and a small pocket of depressed real estate. Why don’t we abolish the County Commission and let the municipalities decided their own fate. I believe the only reason there is a County Commission is so that politicians can continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the taxpayer. Talk about multiple layers of government. Enough already.

  28. Joan Moore says:

    Put the million dollar BS sized part time “commissioner” salaries, and their exorbitant millions of dollars “discretionary funds” back into the local municipalities so that they can more effectively serve their residents. That alone would pump TEN MILLION dollars back to the local economy.

  29. Marilyn Bonilla Krantz says:

    A Letter to Camp Telogia Supporters:
    Yesterday was quite the “political” day! Girls, parents, troop leaders, a Parkland City Commissioner and neighbors packed the Broward County Commission chambers prepared to deliver their 2 minute speeches to oppose the lifting of deed restrictions on their beloved Camp Telogia. Commissioner Stacy Ritter shockingly berated whom she called “parent activists” (we are troop leaders), questioned the City of Parkland’s commitment to open and green space and falsely accused them of plotting to use the land for a charter school. All false and misleading…masking the fact that the measure did not have the votes and would have been wisely defeated by her colleagues. So…she withdrew the item, leaving everyone holding their speeches in hand and unable to refute the disparaging remarks she was free to make from the dais. Not the best model for Girl Scouts witnessing our government in action. For now, the deed restrictions on Camp Telogia remain in place… protecting the land from being sold to developers. On behalf of everyone who helped with this effort to “Save Camp Telogia”, a heartfelt big THANK YOU! Over 1,000 on-line petitions were signed! We were challenged to raise money to demonstrate community support…and with your help we raised $42,497.00 in restricted and contingent pledges. During yesterday’s Commission meeting, Commissioner Lois Wexler also pledged $20,000.00 to cover the maintenance costs of Camp Telogia (estimated at $18,000.00 a year.) A total of $62,497.00 was raised in one week! THANK YOU!!! Now we turn our attention to working with the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida to persuade them not to “rest” or close Camp Telogia. Hopefully your outpouring of support to keep Camp Telogia open for generations of girls in Broward County will help! And thank you to the City of Parkland Commission for passing a supportive Resolution and sending a strong letter to Commissioner Stacy Ritter expressing an “unwavering commitment to take ownership of the property or collaborate with Broward County in a cooperative way that maintains open space.Camp Telogia is a significant part of Parkland and is important to many of our residents.” THANK YOU for representing the interests of your constituents.I will keep you all updated as we reach out to the leadership of the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida to develop a plan to keep Camp Telogia open… today, tomorrow and for years to come.
    In Girl Scouts,
    Marilyn Bonilla Krantz
    Troop Leader 10164