CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Black Diamond Girl Scouts have a new center that mixes the great outdoors and the luxuries of home.
"It's the first time that we've actually had a facility that is girl-centered," said Black Diamond Council CEO Beth Casey. "Girls are going to be able to come in from all of our 61-county area and have a safe, enjoyable place to stay in Charleston."
The Black Diamond Council kicked off its capital campaign to fund the new 24,600-square-foot Girl Scouts and Volunteer Resource Center, located at 321 Virginia St. W., on Charleston's West Side.
Summit Bank provided initial funding for the project, which will serve roughly 15,000 Scouts from the Mountain State, Virginia, Maryland and Ohio.
Casey said Friday launched the largest and most important fundraising effort in the council's history. So far, $1.4 million has been raised toward the $6.2 million needed for the facility.
Beth Walker works as an attorney in Morgantown and serves as chairwoman of the council's board. She attributes the majority of her success in life to being a Girl Scout.
She stayed in the organization throughout her high school career.
"Girl Scouts didn't teach me what I should think but that I should have the courage of my convictions, whatever they may be," Walker said.
Walker recalls a troop meeting during junior high school where the girls passed around a college magazine featuring majors and programs to choose from.
"I just remember going through and everyone reading off -- 'Well I could be this or I could be an engineer or I could be a lawyer,'" Walker said. "There was just no limit to it. We knew we could make it happen."
Walker made her seventh-grade conviction a reality later in her professional life, when she became an attorney.
"This is going to continue to be an incredible opportunity for our council," Walker said.
The facility features rooms with free space, lodging rooms filled with bunk beds and a shower area, a Girl Zone with a flat-screen television and double kitchen, and an outside fire pit and green space. The facility also houses a gift shop.
"I don't know if you have hung around kids very much," Case said, "but they get a little rambunctious at times, and they need some space to run around and be."
The council's old location, at 210 Hale St. downtown, is a four-story building.