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Selling off Girl Scout Camps


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#1 Fehler

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:34 PM

http://www.dailykos....rom-Communities

Interesting commentary (part 2) about councils' decisions to close camps, and open "Leadership Centers". Focusing on how these camps were gifted/built for Girl Scouts, and how the GSUSA councils are disposing of the properties for their own benefit and not the benefit of the communities from whence they came.
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#2 Nike

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 06:24 AM

Many, many GS leaders now were never GS as girls. Many have never been camping, and the unfamiliarity of it inhibits them. They don't want to do something that will result in girls being injured, or even uncomfortable. So, they don't camp. Councils have had to consolidate due to enourmous financial liabilities. The surviving councils are too large and impersonal.. GSUSA's pension liabilities are staggering. Under utilized camps and camps that will cost millions to bring up to standard are tempting low-hanging fruit. GS got hit hard by the '80s when suddenly so many extra-curricular opportunities were suddenly presented to girls and so many parents became dual income at all socio-economic levels. They floundered in the 90s, and then the "reimagining" that occurred in the early 00s has turned things upside down and inside out. Honestly, being an adult volunteer for GS State-side is not nearly as rewarding as working with the girls in overseas units. We're on our own and make things happen, whereas back home, the office drones seem to specialized in thwarting you.
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#3 qwazse

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:19 AM

This has always mystified me. One GS troop in my community is extremely active, great organizers, girls I've repeatedly invited to my crew (either directly or through their friends who were venturers). Problem is: plumbing. They know outings with us may be closer to latrine than shower-house. Home to me is where cellphones show zero bars, and I try to get back there as often as I can. Could I dumb things down? Yes, but that would do a disservice to the girls who were brought up in troops (like my co-advisor's) who learned to tough it out.
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#4 Nike

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 12:23 PM

This has always mystified me. One GS troop in my community is extremely active, great organizers, girls I've repeatedly invited to my crew (either directly or through their friends who were venturers). Problem is: plumbing. They know outings with us may be closer to latrine than shower-house. Home to me is where cellphones show zero bars, and I try to get back there as often as I can. Could I dumb things down? Yes, but that would do a disservice to the girls who were brought up in troops (like my co-advisor's) who learned to tough it out.

Qwazse, education is the key. If you can find some women who are very willing to be very forthcoming about handling hygiene issues in the field, you may be able to convince the girls. It's way more than how not to end up with pee in your socks and what to do with the toilet paper.

Watch TV and write down what you think the message is of most H&BA products aimed at women and teen girls.

Another thing which you'd think GSUSA could deal with but doesn't.
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#5 King Ding Dong

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 01:42 PM

This has always mystified me. One GS troop in my community is extremely active, great organizers, girls I've repeatedly invited to my crew (either directly or through their friends who were venturers). Problem is: plumbing. They know outings with us may be closer to latrine than shower-house. Home to me is where cellphones show zero bars, and I try to get back there as often as I can. Could I dumb things down? Yes, but that would do a disservice to the girls who were brought up in troops (like my co-advisor's) who learned to tough it out.

What are H&BA products ?
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#6 Basementdweller

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 03:23 PM

This has always mystified me. One GS troop in my community is extremely active, great organizers, girls I've repeatedly invited to my crew (either directly or through their friends who were venturers). Problem is: plumbing. They know outings with us may be closer to latrine than shower-house. Home to me is where cellphones show zero bars, and I try to get back there as often as I can. Could I dumb things down? Yes, but that would do a disservice to the girls who were brought up in troops (like my co-advisor's) who learned to tough it out.

guessing health and beauty
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#7 Kudu

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:49 AM

Girl Scout camp was where I first heard the phrase "Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle"! The Scoutmaster of my first Boy Scout Troop as an adult volunteer was an Eagle Scout. He did not allow boys to tent in weather under forty (40) degrees, so he rented cabins from early fall to late spring. Girl Scout cabins were his absolute favorite because the central heating meant that he did not have to assign a fire watch to insure against a chilly cabin at night. Without stuffed furniture, wall to wall carpeting, twin microwaves, and cable TV, it will take much longer for his future Eagle role models to log those important twenty nights of camping!
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#8 Basementdweller

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 07:13 AM

Girl Scout camp was where I first heard the phrase "Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle"!

The Scoutmaster of my first Boy Scout Troop as an adult volunteer was an Eagle Scout. He did not allow boys to tent in weather under forty (40) degrees, so he rented cabins from early fall to late spring.

Girl Scout cabins were his absolute favorite because the central heating meant that he did not have to assign a fire watch to insure against a chilly cabin at night.

Without stuffed furniture, wall to wall carpeting, twin microwaves, and cable TV, it will take much longer for his future Eagle role models to log those important twenty nights of camping!

I know that guy, He is the Metro sexual scouter who was going to join Trail Life because he isn't going to camp with gays.......Well he showed back up at round table.
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#9 Nike

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 04:24 PM

Girl Scout camp was where I first heard the phrase "Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle"!

The Scoutmaster of my first Boy Scout Troop as an adult volunteer was an Eagle Scout. He did not allow boys to tent in weather under forty (40) degrees, so he rented cabins from early fall to late spring.

Girl Scout cabins were his absolute favorite because the central heating meant that he did not have to assign a fire watch to insure against a chilly cabin at night.

Without stuffed furniture, wall to wall carpeting, twin microwaves, and cable TV, it will take much longer for his future Eagle role models to log those important twenty nights of camping!

Wow, GS cabins sure have gotten cushy. Ours had a huge rock fireplace that heated two rooms, and the kitchen was heated by a wood stove you cooked on. We had a picnic table and stacks of military surplus 4 inch mattresses. Good times.
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#10 jpstodwftexas

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 12:25 AM

http://www.dailykos.....om-Communities

Interesting commentary (part 2) about councils' decisions to close camps, and open "Leadership Centers". Focusing on how these camps were gifted/built for Girl Scouts, and how the GSUSA councils are disposing of the properties for their own benefit and not the benefit of the communities from whence they came.


Same thing is Happening in Boy Scouts
When We sold one of Our Camps a Family Members stated that they never thought that the Boy Scouts would have sold the Property otherwise they would not have Donated it to the Council. The Other Camp has a Stipulation that the Land Returns to the Family if the Camp is Closed or the Boy Scouts stop Operating it as a Camp. We can not sell it.
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#11 Pack18Alex

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:43 AM

I wish my Council would sell the camps. They are pushing to have all activities at a BSA Campsite... makes sense, they want the money to flow into BSA's facility coffers and not to the parks service. HOWEVER, there are limited "good weekends" and sometimes they are pushing us to move our weekends to accommodate. Two districts need to do a function the same weekend, and they pushed our Cub event off a week, where it will run smack into Passover (the weekend before, which takes my Unit out) and Palm Sunday (which will take out a Catholic Unit or two)... so to prevent us from returning to the Park we used when the BSA Site was being renovated, they are going to trash this awesome event. Camping at a Park costs us $4/person/night, camping at a BSA Campground is $7.50/person/night. The BSA has more useful bathrooms for us (individual bathrooms, wash areas, etc), but the Parks have more facilities, shade trees, playgrounds (for younger siblings), nature trails throughout the park. Down here, the Parks are cheap to use because the Taxpayers subsidize it and keep it cheap for "youth groups." I don't really get the point of BSA Campsites. A lot of money to maintain, so expensive to use. I get a few High Adventure places for olders Scouts, specialty sites like Camp Sawyer in the Keys (a primitive campsite in the Keys is really cool), places that can run Resident Camp all summer, etc. I get that. I also get the "Cub World" type locations which are awesome for getting Cubs excited. I don't get maintaining these locations all over the country when National/State/County/City Parks could server the purpose for normal overnighters. Clean up the balance sheet, consolidate Councils, more districts that are closer to the action, and recruiting/public relations help would be nice. Campgrounds? Only in areas that need them.
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#12 King Ding Dong

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:11 PM

I wish my Council would sell the camps. They are pushing to have all activities at a BSA Campsite... makes sense, they want the money to flow into BSA's facility coffers and not to the parks service. HOWEVER, there are limited "good weekends" and sometimes they are pushing us to move our weekends to accommodate. Two districts need to do a function the same weekend, and they pushed our Cub event off a week, where it will run smack into Passover (the weekend before, which takes my Unit out) and Palm Sunday (which will take out a Catholic Unit or two)... so to prevent us from returning to the Park we used when the BSA Site was being renovated, they are going to trash this awesome event.

Camping at a Park costs us $4/person/night, camping at a BSA Campground is $7.50/person/night. The BSA has more useful bathrooms for us (individual bathrooms, wash areas, etc), but the Parks have more facilities, shade trees, playgrounds (for younger siblings), nature trails throughout the park.

Down here, the Parks are cheap to use because the Taxpayers subsidize it and keep it cheap for "youth groups." I don't really get the point of BSA Campsites. A lot of money to maintain, so expensive to use. I get a few High Adventure places for olders Scouts, specialty sites like Camp Sawyer in the Keys (a primitive campsite in the Keys is really cool), places that can run Resident Camp all summer, etc. I get that. I also get the "Cub World" type locations which are awesome for getting Cubs excited.

I don't get maintaining these locations all over the country when National/State/County/City Parks could server the purpose for normal overnighters.

Clean up the balance sheet, consolidate Councils, more districts that are closer to the action, and recruiting/public relations help would be nice. Campgrounds? Only in areas that need them.

In my area there is are very limited public campgrounds that can accommodate groups of 30 or more. I don't know about your council, but at ours Boy Scouts camp for free in the camporee fields and on the trails. Ours have tons of trails. The small one close to the city 2,200 acres has climbing tower, COPE, Cubworld, shooting ranges, horses, cabins, camporee fields that could hold a thousand or more.

I think one advantage you missed was the safety and control BSA facilities provide for us. No motorcycle clubs camping a few sites down, loud partying college kids. I have a much more enjoyable time at a BSA facility than a State park, unless it is a designated youth group area of the park. Lots of yahoos out there camping.

I think when you start experiencing Boy Scouts you may appreciate some of the advantages of BSA properties. That of course is dependent on the quality of the properties in your area.

Granted if you have a small Pack a state park might be a better fit, our pack used one a couple of weeks ago and it was only $2 a head. Our Cubworld is hard to get on a "good" weekend also.

I can also say it is a lot easier to get cub families to come camp if the site is 1/2 hour away vs. 1 1/2.
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#13 Pack18Alex

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:27 AM

I wish my Council would sell the camps. They are pushing to have all activities at a BSA Campsite... makes sense, they want the money to flow into BSA's facility coffers and not to the parks service. HOWEVER, there are limited "good weekends" and sometimes they are pushing us to move our weekends to accommodate. Two districts need to do a function the same weekend, and they pushed our Cub event off a week, where it will run smack into Passover (the weekend before, which takes my Unit out) and Palm Sunday (which will take out a Catholic Unit or two)... so to prevent us from returning to the Park we used when the BSA Site was being renovated, they are going to trash this awesome event.

Camping at a Park costs us $4/person/night, camping at a BSA Campground is $7.50/person/night. The BSA has more useful bathrooms for us (individual bathrooms, wash areas, etc), but the Parks have more facilities, shade trees, playgrounds (for younger siblings), nature trails throughout the park.

Down here, the Parks are cheap to use because the Taxpayers subsidize it and keep it cheap for "youth groups." I don't really get the point of BSA Campsites. A lot of money to maintain, so expensive to use. I get a few High Adventure places for olders Scouts, specialty sites like Camp Sawyer in the Keys (a primitive campsite in the Keys is really cool), places that can run Resident Camp all summer, etc. I get that. I also get the "Cub World" type locations which are awesome for getting Cubs excited.

I don't get maintaining these locations all over the country when National/State/County/City Parks could server the purpose for normal overnighters.

Clean up the balance sheet, consolidate Councils, more districts that are closer to the action, and recruiting/public relations help would be nice. Campgrounds? Only in areas that need them.

1. I distinctly pulled out Cubworld as a useful thing. Those are extremely useful.

2. Regarding Boy Scouts, to be honest, I think my council focuses way to much on that program. The troops won't/can't recruit, they won't/can't sell popcorn, they won't/can't help the packs including their feeder packs, and they have more manpower in terms of volunteers than the packs. It's the flagship program, but too much catering to them takes place as is, part of why they don't take responsibility for their program.

We have designated Youth Group Camping options at State/County parks all over Florida. It's a regional thing, but here, I don't understand our much derided "Park Elmore" (it's called Camp Elmore) which is basically a small Park NEXT to a county park with BSA campgrounds. So they are "useful" for the Troop Level program in terms of safety... well, that's terrific, so let the Troops fund them. Stop forcing Cub Level events to take place at BSA campgrounds (which are useful for Troops, NOT useful for Packs, because G2SS doesn't let us use anything there) as a way of funding them.

Packs are expected to provide their own programming while Council focuses on the Troops (every Saturday it seems is a Merit Badge Day somewhere, lots of events for them) the "Webelos Weekend" type events seem to get canceled because nobody is willing to put them on. Meanwhile, we have 1 Cub Fun Day and 2 Belt Loop Days/year... And we're 2/3s the Membership, 70% the Fundraising, and 95% of the recruiting... and our programming gets ZERO budget and is forced to subsidize the Troop level programming.

None of ours are as large as you are describing, one is a small park with space for canoeing, shooting sports, etc... all things that we can't use as Cubs. The other two are unique but small primitive campsites. Everglades is 253 acres, it's just a primitive campground but a unique location, and Sawyer is 10 Acres but on the beach.

We have two unique properties, Camp Sawyer (in the Keys) and Camp Everglades (in Everglads National Park). Those don't seem to be that expensive to maintain (viewing the 990s) and offer something Unique for us any anyone wanting a unique Florida experience. I guess my vent is with Camp Elmore, which is a glorified Park that is more expensive, harder to schedule (because there is 1 Elmore, and dozens of County/State Parks), and generally sucking the life out of our program.

But, I think that consolidated to "exceptional" campsites makes sense, there is no need to run a private park system. Focus on unique things that only a BSA site can offer. Building BSA sites around (climbing tower, COPE, Cubworld, shooting ranges) and resident camp makes sense. Just having Campsites to have Campsites doesn't make sense to me.
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#14 King Ding Dong

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:25 AM

I wish my Council would sell the camps. They are pushing to have all activities at a BSA Campsite... makes sense, they want the money to flow into BSA's facility coffers and not to the parks service. HOWEVER, there are limited "good weekends" and sometimes they are pushing us to move our weekends to accommodate. Two districts need to do a function the same weekend, and they pushed our Cub event off a week, where it will run smack into Passover (the weekend before, which takes my Unit out) and Palm Sunday (which will take out a Catholic Unit or two)... so to prevent us from returning to the Park we used when the BSA Site was being renovated, they are going to trash this awesome event.

Camping at a Park costs us $4/person/night, camping at a BSA Campground is $7.50/person/night. The BSA has more useful bathrooms for us (individual bathrooms, wash areas, etc), but the Parks have more facilities, shade trees, playgrounds (for younger siblings), nature trails throughout the park.

Down here, the Parks are cheap to use because the Taxpayers subsidize it and keep it cheap for "youth groups." I don't really get the point of BSA Campsites. A lot of money to maintain, so expensive to use. I get a few High Adventure places for olders Scouts, specialty sites like Camp Sawyer in the Keys (a primitive campsite in the Keys is really cool), places that can run Resident Camp all summer, etc. I get that. I also get the "Cub World" type locations which are awesome for getting Cubs excited.

I don't get maintaining these locations all over the country when National/State/County/City Parks could server the purpose for normal overnighters.

Clean up the balance sheet, consolidate Councils, more districts that are closer to the action, and recruiting/public relations help would be nice. Campgrounds? Only in areas that need them.

I am obviously am not familiar with your Council and how they operate and clearly they have some problems. How much does it cost to maintain that little park ?

How big is your council ? Does it include a major city ? We have summer cub day camps at parks all around the city and no one forces cubs to camp on BSA property.

There are a lot of MB days around here but are not really council or district events. They are put on by corporations and community groups such as radio stations, trucking companies, anglers clubs, humane society, Greek orgs at the university, hospitals, garden centers, climbing gyms. No Council funds that I have heard of.
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#15 qwazse

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:40 AM

I wish my Council would sell the camps. They are pushing to have all activities at a BSA Campsite... makes sense, they want the money to flow into BSA's facility coffers and not to the parks service. HOWEVER, there are limited "good weekends" and sometimes they are pushing us to move our weekends to accommodate. Two districts need to do a function the same weekend, and they pushed our Cub event off a week, where it will run smack into Passover (the weekend before, which takes my Unit out) and Palm Sunday (which will take out a Catholic Unit or two)... so to prevent us from returning to the Park we used when the BSA Site was being renovated, they are going to trash this awesome event.

Camping at a Park costs us $4/person/night, camping at a BSA Campground is $7.50/person/night. The BSA has more useful bathrooms for us (individual bathrooms, wash areas, etc), but the Parks have more facilities, shade trees, playgrounds (for younger siblings), nature trails throughout the park.

Down here, the Parks are cheap to use because the Taxpayers subsidize it and keep it cheap for "youth groups." I don't really get the point of BSA Campsites. A lot of money to maintain, so expensive to use. I get a few High Adventure places for olders Scouts, specialty sites like Camp Sawyer in the Keys (a primitive campsite in the Keys is really cool), places that can run Resident Camp all summer, etc. I get that. I also get the "Cub World" type locations which are awesome for getting Cubs excited.

I don't get maintaining these locations all over the country when National/State/County/City Parks could server the purpose for normal overnighters.

Clean up the balance sheet, consolidate Councils, more districts that are closer to the action, and recruiting/public relations help would be nice. Campgrounds? Only in areas that need them.

You can start creeping on South FL council here http://www.sfcbsa.or...partial BUC.jpg.

P18A, I suggest you look into joining your council's camping committee. You might discover that some of these facilities are only considered council properties as long as they are maintained for the scouts. They can't be consolidated because the land can't be sold without the entire proceeds reverting to the estate of the donor.
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#16 Pack18Alex

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:15 AM

I wish my Council would sell the camps. They are pushing to have all activities at a BSA Campsite... makes sense, they want the money to flow into BSA's facility coffers and not to the parks service. HOWEVER, there are limited "good weekends" and sometimes they are pushing us to move our weekends to accommodate. Two districts need to do a function the same weekend, and they pushed our Cub event off a week, where it will run smack into Passover (the weekend before, which takes my Unit out) and Palm Sunday (which will take out a Catholic Unit or two)... so to prevent us from returning to the Park we used when the BSA Site was being renovated, they are going to trash this awesome event.

Camping at a Park costs us $4/person/night, camping at a BSA Campground is $7.50/person/night. The BSA has more useful bathrooms for us (individual bathrooms, wash areas, etc), but the Parks have more facilities, shade trees, playgrounds (for younger siblings), nature trails throughout the park.

Down here, the Parks are cheap to use because the Taxpayers subsidize it and keep it cheap for "youth groups." I don't really get the point of BSA Campsites. A lot of money to maintain, so expensive to use. I get a few High Adventure places for olders Scouts, specialty sites like Camp Sawyer in the Keys (a primitive campsite in the Keys is really cool), places that can run Resident Camp all summer, etc. I get that. I also get the "Cub World" type locations which are awesome for getting Cubs excited.

I don't get maintaining these locations all over the country when National/State/County/City Parks could server the purpose for normal overnighters.

Clean up the balance sheet, consolidate Councils, more districts that are closer to the action, and recruiting/public relations help would be nice. Campgrounds? Only in areas that need them.

I'm plenty involved in Council/District level committees. :) I'm mostly here venting, I'm normally a positive person, a pile of scheduling messes and budgets fell on me.

The biggest issue is the conflict between the Camping Program "put all Council events at Camp Elmore" and the Activities Committees... Basically, there are not as many conflict-free weekends as you think... Our heavy camping season starts in January (the weather gets good in November/December, but holidays screw them up) and runs until March (we're stretching into April this year). Between Easter, Passover, Spring Break, etc., you really do start to run out of weekends to do EVERYTHING.

So as a result, my District Cuboree might get actually trashed. Basically, it got moved back because of other events (and to accommodate my Pack), but the weekend we want is booked by a different district. We'd happily move it back to the County Park we were at last year, but Council wants ALL events at Council properties, trying to plug its financial hole. The weekend we're pushed to happens to be the weekend before Passover (which will essentially exclude my Jewish Unit) and Palm Sunday (which will essentially exclude the Catholic Units). Cuboree was a HUGE hit last year, and has momentum to be good, but our Council's short sighted policy may destroy it just as its getting going.

Similarly, I'm working on planning a major Jewish Committee event. To include the Orthodox/UltraOrthodox Units, we picked a long weekend so we could use Sunday/Monday for activities. This happens to be one of the few good and open meetings, and the local JCC just scheduled their big January event that Sunday. It happens to be at a Park with a Campground (and last year, the Jewish Committee happened to use that particular park). So if it wasn't for the Elmore-only rule/push, we'd relocate to the Park where the JCC event is and just kind of have things staffed accordingly so we could use it for recruiting.

So while I think it's great that we have these council properties, it's an albatross when it becomes a requirement, when sometimes extenuating circumstances warrant moving elsewhere.
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