Girl Scouts Get Financial Boost for South Dallas STEM Camp

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has received $11.5 million in financing to continue transforming Camp Whispering Cedars into a STEM education center.

STEM

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has received $11.5 million in financing to continue transforming South Dallas’ Camp Whispering Cedars into a living laboratory for science, technology, engineering, and math education. 

Capital One gave $2 million in federal New Markets Tax Credit equity and a $3.5 million bridge loan for the STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars. Another $6 million in NMTC equity came from the city of Dallas Development Fund. 

“Capital One has been a proud supporter of STEM education for girls through our Women in Technology initiative,” said Mary Jo Hoch, senior vice president for Capital One Commercial Banking, in a release. “We’re especially pleased to partner with the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and the city of Dallas to further this mission through our New Markets Tax Credit financing work.”

“This investment makes a bold statement about the commitment of our community to developing a strong workforce …”

Jennifer Bartkowski

The initial phase of the $13.5 million STEM camp project opened in April and the first Girl Scouts programming was held in the summer. Within two years, GSNETX plans to finish converting the 92-acre property. 

Plans for the camp include an outdoor music garden, aquatics center, archery range, and ropes course. There will also be an observation tower providing opportunities for astronomy and topography lessons and an outdoor exhibit exploring the concept of energy.

While other councils have opened STEM-focused buildings, GSNETX CEO Jennifer Bartkowski said to her knowledge the South Dallas property will be the only entire camp focused on STEM.

“This investment makes a bold statement about the commitment of our community to developing a strong workforce, to south Dallas, and to building future female leaders in our community,” Bartkowski said. 

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