Camp Adahi: Conserved, Protected, Revered
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Camp Adahi: Conserved, Protected, Revered

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Blast from the Past: Girl Scouts at Adahi in 1981 prepare to go out on the lake.

Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians’ (GSCSA) Camp Adahi encompasses 900 acres of picturesque wooded property located on Lookout Mountain in northwest Georgia. A 10-acre manmade lake, nine miles of hiking trails, basketball court, swimming pool, and an open “Field of Fun” provide plenty of room for camp activities. 

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Camp Adahi is also home to GSCSA’s Horseback Program. GSCSA owns or leases up to 12 horses during the program season. Younger girls learn how to be safe around horses, common horse terminology, what horses eat, how to feed a horse a treat, and ride a horse or pony while being led. Older girls also learn how to groom and tack a horse and get to ride independently in the arena.

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Atlantis stands tall in the Adahi Barn.

Camp Adahi is guaranteed to be a place of natural beauty and camp adventures indefinitely thanks to a conservation easement agreement between GSCSA and the Lookout Mountain Conservancy (LMC). A conservation easement agreement guarantees that the property in the agreement will be conserved for all of time. The property still belongs to the owners; they have not given up ownership, just the right to develop their land. But even if the property changes hands and is sold, the property still cannot be developed further than it already is.

The Southern Appalachians Girl Scout council was created out of three merged Girl Scout councils: Tanasi, Moccasin Bend, and Appalachian. When this merger was on the horizon, the Moccasin Bend board felt very strongly that measures should be put into place to ensure that Adahi was conserved. They searched for someone that would help them preserve the land while also letting camp programming remain active. The connection was made with LMC and wheels were set in motion to conserve Camp Adahi. 

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As part of the process, personnel of the Lookout Mountain Conservancy did base line studies of the camp property; they surveyed every inch, every tree, rock outcropping, invasive, native and rare plants, and documented all wildlife. Once that step was completed, they did environmental studies which included checking for contaminants to make sure all soil is clean. The LMC does a study of the camp property every year and brings up any concerns to GSCSA camp management team so solutions can be found. The conservation of Camp Adahi was finalized in 2008.

Robyn Carlton, the current CEO of Lookout Mountain Conservancy, came in right after camp Adahi was conserved. She says of conservation easement agreements, “Both parties have the same goal: to keep the land conserved.” She’s fond of the natural beauty of Adahi and the abundant wildlife that live there, such as turkeys and deer. She says, “It’s absolutely beautiful to turn a corner and see turkeys. It’s so quiet and peaceful.” 

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Kathi Grant Willis is a current GSCSA board member and was Board Chair of the Moccasin Bend board when the easement agreement was implemented. She says the board wanted to make sure that future Girl Scouts could use Camp Adahi. They also felt moved to act upon the Girl Scout mission to be good stewards of their land and conserve nature. She says, “We felt that it was our duty to the Girl Scouts and to the community; we did not want to see that land stripped by a developer. This was our legacy for Adahi to remain in place.” Kathi also says of Adahi, “It’s a peaceful, contemplative place. You don’t hear any city noise.”

Thanks to the work of the GSCSA board and Lookout Mountain Conservancy, Camp Adahi and its trails, lake, and grounds will be available for Girl Scouts to enjoy for years to come. 

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