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Gov. Justice signs MOU between WVDNR and Girl Scouts to promote education, conservation

Agreement will provide scouts with free and reduced-price activities at state parks in exchange for service projects.
CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice today announced a partnership between The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the Black Diamond Council of the Girls Scouts of America to allow scouts to utilize state parks for activities while contributing to conservation service projects.

Gov. Justice signed the MOU at his regularly scheduled Administration Update Briefing today.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, scouts from the Black Diamond Council will be able to camp for free at various parks as long as the requested facility is available for use on the requested date and its use will not interfere with other groups or scheduled activities at the park. Recreational activities may also be provided at a reduced or negotiated rate, depending on volume, availability, operational hours and the time of year.

“I’m thrilled to continue to create partnerships with incredible organizations like the Girls Scouts of America and encourage the youth of our state to enjoy and conserve West Virginia’s natural resources,” Gov. Justice said. “This agreement will not only provide scouts with access to our beautiful state parks, but help foster a sense of responsibility towards our natural environment while offering enriching experiences.”

Before starting a service project, scouting units will be required to complete volunteer agreements and obtain project approval from the WVDNR’s West Virginia State Parks section. State Parks personnel may also provide educational programming, such as merit badge classes and counseling, to visiting scouts subject to the availability of parks personnel, scheduled events, operations and availability of facilities or activities.

“We are excited to partner with the Black Diamond Council and help develop the outdoor skills and leadership potential of these truly incredible kids,” WVDNR Director Brett McMillion said. “We hope the time they spend in our incredible state parks will translate into a lifelong love for West Virginia and an ongoing positive impact on the scouts, our state parks and the community as a whole.”

The Girl Scouts of America’s Black Diamond Council is headquartered in Charleston and serves more than 5,000 girls, helping them develop their academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills and citizenship skills through outdoor activities.

This new agreement is one of several public-private partnerships forged during the Justice Administration to promote environmental stewardship, outdoor education and community engagement. In July, the WVDNR signed a similar agreement with the Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Other partnerships include hunting trips, trout stocking and stream improvement projects with the Mountaineer Challenge Academy.

To learn more about the Black Diamond Council and scouting opportunities in West Virginia, visit bdgsc.org. For more information about West Virginia’s State Parks, visit WVstateparks.com.