Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

October 24, 2012

Girl Scouts dedicate new facilities at Camp Cardinal

By Keith Kappes - Publisher

Oct. 24, 2012 — After 13 years of planning and fund raising, the smiling, happy faces of Girl Scout leaders were understandable.

They were among more than 200 Girl Scouts, leaders, volunteers and parents who turned out Saturday to dedicate major improvements to Camp Cardinal, a Girl Scout camp near Carter Caves State Resort Park.

“This is the culmination of many years of hard work and personal commitment to the cause of Girl Scouting,” said Susie Duncan, president of the Friends of Camp Cardinal, which helped raise the funds to construct five cedar cabins which actually opened July 4.

Susan Hansell, chief executive officer of the Wilderness Road Girl Scout Council, described the improvements as a “rebirth” of the camp which was established in 1948.

“We were pleased to help make this happen and no one was surprised that camping here has doubled over last year since the new cabins opened this summer,” she said during the dedicatory ceremony.

Hansell dedicated the camp to all Girl Scouts “who have found wonderful, lifelong friendships in Girl Scouting.”

She also thanked the leaders and volunteers in the Wilderness Road Council which serves 68 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Singled out for individual recognition were relatives of the late Virgil “Bunk” Haney whose family has been associated with Camp Cardinal since the early 1940’s.

Haney himself was camp ranger for 35 years. His granddaughter, Cindy Worthington, and her husband, Mark, managed the camp for 16 years.

Virgil’s son, Jim, and Jim’s wife, Dixie, have been the rangers since 2004. Another son, Bob, worked at Carter Caves for 35 years and served as a volunteer at Camp Cardinal.

The Haney family is especially proud that one of the cabins is named the “Haney Bunk House” in honor of their patriarch, the first camp ranger.

“He devoted his life to maintaining this camp and to protecting the health and safety of the Girl Scouts who camped here,” said Dixie Haney. “I know he would be pleased to see what is happening today.”

The other four structures, also with eight bunk beds each, are named as follows:

“Friends Cabin”, for those who contributed personal funds and conducted fund raising events, including those at the troop level;

“Memory Cottage”, a memorial to former Girl Scouts and leaders, now deceased;

“Little Anne Marie’s Shelter”, to honor Anne Marie McGuire Riley and the McGuire and Riley families; and

“Scout Chalet”, for all girls – past, present and future – who will enjoy the beauty of Camp Cardinal.

Other improvements in recent years included new fencing, a new barn and a climbing wall.

The 156-acre camp is open from April through October. It includes several tent campsites, a dining hall, crafts building, unit shelter, stable, and bathhouse.

Camp Cardinal is located on KY 182, Carter Caves Road, a few miles from the park entrance.

Keith Kappes can be reached at or by telephone at 800-247-6142.