side menu icon
Girl Scouts at Work — Making River Valleys a Better Place

Council Project Updates

Girl Scouts is at work this year, and we’re making River Valleys a better place for girls. We’re thrilled to share news about all the improvements we’ll be making. We are working to enrich the quality and breadth of our program offerings, continuing to invest in supporting volunteers, and enhancing and updating our camps, service centers, shops, and troop spaces within our properties. Whew! It’s going to be amazing.

Hey Girl Scouts, Let’s Get Building

Here’s a look at some of the projects we’re working on.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we make our properties and spaces as awesome as the girls and volunteers who use them! We’ll be updating this information as more becomes available and as timelines change.

Camp Elk River

Camp Elk River's Proposed Mountain Bike Course & Storage Building

The Girl Scout mountain bike trail—to be constructed in summer 2020—is a sprawling 2.1 mile biking path and skills course at Camp Elk River in Zimmerman, Minnesota. Every year, over 500 girls will build grit and resilience as they learn to ride mountain bikes and take on the challenge of this increasingly popular adventure sport on the Camp Elk River trail.

Camp Elk River's Proposed Mountain Bike Course

The Mountain Bike Trailhead will be built in the old Red Barn area, on the south end of camp. The existing Little Red building will be repurposed as a headquarters for the Mountain Bike Program, offering water, bathrooms, and a sheltered instruction area. A bike storage shed will be build in the adjacent area. A grassy field near Little Red will also be used for instruction. The trail and skills course will be built south of Little Red, in a formerly unused section of camp with sprawling prairies and woods.  

Camp Elk River's Proposed Mountain Bike Storage Building

Camp Elk River's Whispering Prairie Equestrian Neighborhood

Capital improvements in 2017-2018 at Camp Elk River centered on Whispering Prairie, a new equestrian neighborhood that make every moment girls have with our horses a learning moment. Construction on the new program area and facilities at Camp Elk River completed in the fall of 2018 and saw its first summer program use in 2019.

Whispering Prairie includes cabins, a multipurpose program center, and a sheltered riding arena. Combined with other camp maintenance and improvement projects, Whispering Prairie provides girls with more ways to learn and lead than ever before.

Barn & Covered Riding Arena

A beautiful new equestrian barn with sheltered saddling, grooming, and riding areas allows Girl Scouts River Valleys to accommodate additional horses and more campers. In a region where unpredictable spring and fall weather can often interfere with outdoor riding, this sheltered space enables girls to learn and ride no matter the weather conditions.

Covered Riding Barn at Camp Elk River

Program Center

During the summer, our new program center will focus on horse camp programs, serving as classroom space for our equestrians to learn about barn safety, horse biology, tack, and equipment. During the rest of the year, the center houses other camp programs and events for girls and volunteers.

Program Center at Camp Elk River


Whispering Prairie features two new duplex cabins with charming porches and bunk beds. Each of the 4 units can house 10 girls and 4 adult chaperones, for a total of 40 girls and 16 adults. With 8 weeks of camp, that's 320 girls and 128 adults every summer.

Morgan and Pinto Cabins at Camp Elk River

Gray Koch Program Building

  • New bathroom sink counters
  • New toilet partitions
  • Repaired floor and coffee station counter
  • Updated office furniture

The Pines

  • New bathroom sinks and counters
  • New toilet partitions
  • New furniture


  • New signs
  • New truck spreader


  • Repaired road

In Progress & Future Work

  • Mountain bike course & storage building
  • Re-roof day camp shelters
  • Replace carpet in The Pines building
Camp Lakamaga

Annie Paper Dinging Hall

  • Purchased new floor scrubber
  • Added additional attic venting
  • Began chair replacement
  • Upgraded fire alarm
  • New bathroom counters

Coya Knutson Sports Pavilion

  • Remodeled showers
  • New toilet partitions
  • New paint
Remodeled green and white toilet partitions and showers

Mary Randall Troop House

  • Updated upstairs lighting
  • Remodeled basement bathroom


  • Repaired chimney

Troop House

  • New bathroom counters

Day Camp Program Hut

  • Replaced roof
  • Repaired and replaced floor


  • Added additional dock sections
  • Updated pontoon boat deck and chair upholstery
Camp Singing Hills

Echo Ridge

  • New wood stain on bunk beds
  • New paint on interior walls

Shady Glen

  • New wood stain on bunk beds
  • New in-wall air conditioning units
  • New paint on interior walls


  • New commercial cleaning equipment

Archery Range

  • Added permanent pavilion

Shower House

  • New anti-slip floor coating

Program Center

  • Added additional lighting around building and basement entrance


  • New equipment storage shed


  • New heated cab, plow and sander for utility vehicle
  • Added three new yurts
Camp Northwoods

Thunderbird Shower House

  • Added additional high capacity washer and dryer

Thunderbird Lodge

  • New wood stain on building exterior
  • Added commercial cooler and freezer


  • Replaced water line to prevent freezing


  • Purchased commercial cleaning equipment
  • Cleared overhanging trees and brush along roads

In Progress & Future Work

  • Replace water heater in Thunderbird Shower House
  • Update/replace furniture
Camp Edith Mayo
Upgraded water and sewer service and new van with Girl Scouts River Valleys logo


  • Upgraded water and sewer service
  • New van with Girl Scouts River Valleys logo

Historic Lodge

  • Added commercial cooler and freezer
  • Installed fireplace insert

Program Center

  • New furniture and display cabinets

In Progress & Future Work

  • Repairs to Historic Lodge exterior and foundations
  • Pave lower parking lot
  • Level and expand playfield
Brooklyn Center Service Center

The building exterior and parking lot now have bright LED energy efficient lighting. Weather sealing has been completed on windows. Following the granted pilot project at our St Paul office, Brooklyn Center followed suit and was approved for grant funding (theirs through Hennepin County) to add organics compost to our waste collection. Both service centers now have trash (black or gray bins), recycling (blue bins) and organics compost/organics recycling (green bins). Restrooms have green organics collection bins for paper towel and tissues. We are proud to be diverting organic materials out of our trash. Organic materials include all food, coffee filters and grounds, plant waste, napkins, paper towel, tissues, etc.

St. Paul Service Center

Our St Paul Service Center remodel, completed in 2017, included many energy saving updates. Our interior and exterior lighting is now efficient and bright LED, reducing our energy use and cost. Old worn windows on the south side of the building were replaced and their new window treatments block out cold in winter and hot sun in summer. Retail customers love the inviting and expanded layout of the shop. More recently, leaking and frequently clogging toilets were replaced with those that have a much heartier flush. Several HVAC roof top units were also replaced.

Saint Paul Service Center Lobby and Shop