GSNETX Unveils Phase One of the STEM Center of Excellence Campus with Ribbon Unknotting

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX), the largest pipeline for female leaders in North Texas, celebrates the grand opening of The Rees-Jones Foundation Welcome Center and The Hoglund Foundation Girl Program Center at the new STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars on April 8 with a ribbon unknotting. This event marks the start of a series of renovations to convert the property into a living laboratory for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  The STEM Center of Excellence will offer girls a progressive way to experience STEM education and careers, conduct on-site experiments, and explore and learn in a unique girl-centered outdoor leadership environment.


“This redeveloped campus aims to equip the 21st century Girl Scout with the knowledge and skills to be successful now, as well as in future STEM careers,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO, GSNETX. “With specially designed curriculum, the STEM Center of Excellence is poised to provide girls with the inspiration and experience needed to be leaders in their respective fields. We also hope to stimulate a lifelong love of STEM education with the uniquely girl-centered experience the camp provides.”


To date $8.4M has been raised towards the $13M capital campaign launched in 2012 to transform a 100-acre pre-World War II camp property into a 21st century STEM Center of Excellence.  By exposing girls to new opportunities and mentors in the field of STEM, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas is changing the workforce pipeline in STEM careers.


“By providing opportunities for girls that instill confidence, build character and develop leadership skills, Girl Scouts is playing a pivotal role in preparing young women to be active and productive contributors in their communities,” said Jan Rees-Jones, Rees-Jones Foundation. “We are excited about the opportunities for growth that will be offered through the STEM Center of Excellence and all of the other enriching activities at Camp Whispering Cedars.  Through its work, Girl Scouts is helping change the course of these girls’ lives.”


The Girl Scout Research institute study indicates 74 percent of teen girls are interested in the field of STEM – of these girls, 81 percent are interested in pursuing a career in this field, but only 13 percent say it’s their first choice (Generation STEM, 2012).  The new STEM Center of Excellence will offer a robust portfolio of activities that will drive girls toward STEM education and careers.  Geared for all girls in K-12 grades, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars is located just 20 miles from downtown Dallas.


“The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has a longstanding history of measurable impact in our community. We know this investment is catalytic in connecting girls with leadership experiences in STEM that will inspire their aspirations,” said Kelly Compton, Executive Director at The Hoglund Foundation.  “The Hoglund Foundation Girl Program Center is designed for girls to connect in real ways to their world – and see math, science and technology not only as part of their everyday lives, but something they can transform into a lifelong passion and career.”


Phase Two construction is set to begin this spring, and will include the Serena Connelly Archery Range, Millie & Allan Bradley Energy in Motion Zone, Dallas Foundation Community Impact Fund Outdoor Music Garden, Crystal Charity Ball Exploration Center, Nita Prothro Clark Nature Trail, Geology Trail by Lynne Mabry in memory of Amy Frazier, Katherine C. Carmody Trust Texas Tree Trail, Marianne & Roger Staubach Sports Field, the Boone Family Foundation Courtyard, a high and low ropes course as well as other buildings and amenities.

Current donors include:

  • The Perot Foundation
  • The Rees-Jones Foundation
  • The Moody Foundation
  • The Harold Simmons Foundation
  • Crystal Charity Ball
  • The Hillcrest Foundation
  • The Hoglund Foundation
  • The Mabee Foundation
  • Lyda Hill
  • The George & Fay Young Foundation
  • The Boone Family Foundation
  • Millie and Allan Bradley
  • The Hoblitzelle Foundation
  • Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation
  • Microsoft
  • Oncor
  • Community Impact Fund of the Dallas Foundation
  • The Real Estate Council Foundation
  • Marianne & Roger Staubach
  • Elizabeth A. Schartz
  • Mary and Richard Templeton
  • The Katherine C. Carmody Charitable Trust
  • Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation
  • The NBC Universal Foundation
  • Gene Jones
  • Stephanie and Hunter Hunt
  • Donna and Jim Epps
  • Kit and Frank Addleman
  • The CoServ Charitable Foundation
  • The Ross Avenue Baptist Church Foundation
  • Lynne Mabry
  • Lufkin Creosoting
  • Martha Ross
  • Carol and Elliott Short
  • Jennifer K. Bartkowski
  • Elizabeth W. Bull
  • Trisha Cunningham
  • Debra and Steve Leven
  • Erle Nye
  • Christopher and Julie Vogel
  • Colleen Walker and Felipe Gumucio

For more information about Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, visit

One thought on “GSNETX Unveils Phase One of the STEM Center of Excellence Campus with Ribbon Unknotting

  1. This is just amazing! Look at all those donors who see the value of STEM in our girls’ lives. Proud to be part of this forward thinking organization.

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