Residents collect campaign signs to raise money for camp purchase

Mintahama group needs 300 thousand for camp down payment.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Mike Parson, and Nicole Galloway signs were all loaded into the same car — a blank canvas for their next use.

“They’re just going in someone’s garbage can. So, why not just reuse them? It just makes sense to us,” says Robin Standridge, a volunteer with Mintahama.

The non-profit group Mintahama is trying to raise 300 thousand dollars for a down payment on Camp Mintahama, the Newton County Girl Scouts camp that was closed in 2018.

“Many of us have been at Camp Mintahama as girls, as councilors, just absolutely love the area. So, we got together and said, hey, are we gonna take this lying down?” says Standridge.

So now, they are collecting political signs to use for a marketing campaign.

“We’re just gonna start sprinkling those all around town, of course with permission. We’re gonna find out… just teach people what Mintahama really means,” says Standridge.

SWMO Democrats donated dozens of unneeded signs as did Newton County Republicans.

“We’re really glad that the bulk of these signs are going to Camp Mintahama because it’s really nice that they’re gonna be able to re-use them and repurpose them,” says Krista Stark with SWMO Democrats.

The group decided to use political signs to make sure they were helping the environment at the same time.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, plastic can take anywhere from 20 years to 500 years to decompose in landfills.

And while it’s better to recycle signs than put them in landfills, recycling them also presents challenges.

“They are recyclable, but they have to be separated from any other type of recyclable. The vinyl signs are recyclable, but it’s really hard to find someone that’ll take them,” says Jerry Babcock with the SEK Recycling Center.

The signs hold no value, according to Babcock, so it costs recycling centers like SEK to even get rid of them.

So even after the signs collected by Mintahama complete their second term, they plan to give to someone else who needs them to prolong their life as much as possible.

“Like good Girl Scouters, we are gonna recycle and re-use,” says Standridge.

If you want to donate signs to the group, they can be dropped off during normal business hours Monday through Friday at 403 W. 5th Street in Joplin.