Despite recent controversy about the possible sale of local camps, volunteers have recruited and registered a record number of girls for next week's Camptastic at Camp Tahigwa.

On July 21, 130 Girl Scouts will travel to Camp Tahigwa for Camptastic at Camp Tahigwa, a volunteer-run program designed to give girls an opportunity to have a resident (overnight) camping opportunity at Camp Tahigwa. In 2011, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois announced that Tahigwa would no longer host a resident camp program.

When this announcement was made, a group of former campers and other supporters came together to find a way to offer a resident camp program, and Camptastic was born.

Sponsored by local service units, every aspect of Camptastic is planned and executed by volunteers, from recruiting and registering volunteers to ordering food to keeping the campers safe and busy. Camptastic staff will focus on making sure the campers are safe, have fun and develop confidence, courage and character, some of the core values of Girl Scouting while at camp. Each staff member, from the nurses to the lifeguards to the counselors, is donating her time to help keep costs down for girls. By the time the event is over, they will have logged over 4,600 volunteer hours.

On Feb. 4, the volunteer Property Committee of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois announced their recommendations to sell all four camps in the council, including Camp Tahigwa, in part due to low participation.

"Our girls have continued to vote with their participation," council CEO Diane Nelson said in a council press release.

The announcement came just after the first planning committee meeting for Camptastic, but the group decided to move forward anyway.

"There was a lot of talk about girls not wanting or needing camp, but we as a committee felt strongly that camp is relevant to girls today. Girl Scout Camp is so good for children, and as soon as we found out there would be a camp at least until after our scheduled dates, we decided to go ahead as planned. We are so glad we did." said Brecka Putnam, one of the event's directors.

The volunteers aren't the only ones who are glad. Eleven-year-old Kari Tangen of Decorah will be attending the event for her third time.

"I can't wait," she said.

"At camp there are campfires and tubing, and you get to meet new friends."

The Camptastic committee is seeking volunteers to help prepare camp for arrival Saturday, July 20, and to help take down tents Wednesday, July 24.

Male and female volunteers are welcome. Contact info@camptastictahigwa.org to