Nonprofits Outdoors For Kids

Nonprofit Spearheads Effort to Buy, Preserve Girl Scout Camp

‘Our Nawakwa’ organization purchases 75-acre camp in Chippewa Co.

Sheng Yang |

MAKE NEW FRIENDS, BUT KEEP THE OLD. Scenes from Camp Nawakwa. (Photos courtesy Our Nawakwa Inc.)
MAKE NEW FRIENDS, BUT KEEP THE OLD. Scenes from Camp Nawakwa. (Photos courtesy Our Nawakwa Inc.)

Nestled peacefully about 45 minutes north of Eau Claire, a 75-acre camp sits silent. Camp Nawakwa has been best known for the past few decades as part of the Girls Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. It was a summer haven for Girl Scout troops to meet, camp, and connect with nature.

In October 2022, it was announced that the Girl Scout council – which serves 10,000 girls in northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – was selling off properties and assets, with Camp Nawakwa being one of the properties being let go. Heart-broken Girl Scouts and parents in the area were left with uncertainty about not only the camp’s future, but for the future camping experiences of their daughters.

Sherry Jasper
Sherry Jasper

Sherry Jasper knew that Camp Nawaka was far too precious to lose. Last November, she helped to establish Our Nawakwa Inc., which by March received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. The organization now operates with the intention of preserving the legacy of Camp Nawakwa and protecting the natural beauty of its surroundings, while continuing to make the camp available not only to the Girl Scouts, but also to any and every local organization intent in developing the spiritual and physical growth of all youths.

The agreement was finalized on Oct. 2, and in early January, Our Nawakwa Inc. will become full owners of the camp. Jasper is currently working to create a full board of directors to help facilitate every aspect of keeping up the legacy community camp. Coming soon, the organization will put together a capital campaign to raise funds for the camp.

“I’ve been a Girl Scout my whole life. The camp I grew up at, the first camp I worked at, and the camp I directed at … are all gone. This is the one camp that we can save,” Jasper said.

In a media release, the Girl Scout council said that the sale of the camp “presents a unique opportunity to further Camp Nawakwa’s impact on the lives of Girl Scouts” and other young people.

“Our Nawakwa Inc. has demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles that have made Camp Nawakwa so special, and we are excited about the opportunities this collaboration will bring to youth throughout the community,” Dr. Kelly Steelman, board chair for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, said in a media release.

Jasper of Our Nawakwa Inc. wants Camp Nawakwa to be a community-based youth organization open to diversity and affordable to all children. Jasper is also hoping to create monthly family-focused events at the camp that are open to everyone. A maple syrup tapping event is an example that she’s hoping to create next April. She understands that memories are the key to creating a well-rounded child.

And memories are powerful. Jasper has promised that Girl Scout Troop 3055 of Chippewa Falls – which lost three Scouts and a parent in a 2018 crash – will never be forgotten. A memorial, which was built from a small capital campaign by the Girl Scout Council, was abandoned by the council with the selling of the camp. But Jasper’s dedication to honor the victims of Troop 3055 remains a large part of her public capital campaign. For instance, after the completion of the new kitchen, it will be given a name chosen by the family of Autumn Helgeson (who died at age 10), and an art studio in remembrance to Haylee J. Hickle (also 10), and her mother, Sara Jo Schneider (age 32), to be named by Haylee’s grandmother. A remembrance is also in the works with the family of Jayna Kelley (age 9).

For more information about Our Nawakwa, please visit or email