Results tagged “Summer Camp” from GSSA Leader Blog: The Virtual Volunteer

liz_brent.jpgWhy send my daughter to summer camp?   That's a great question, and one we're often asked.

There seem to be a couple of schools of thought in our Girl Scout family.   One is that all children should be sent to camp.   It provides skill development, enhances independence from parents, and builds confidence.   This is the traditional thought about camp -- that being outdoors, away from parents and siblings teaches kids to develop skills.   And it does.

The other school of thought is the prevailing one of more cautious parents.   They either didn't have a good camp experience or no camp experience, so they aren't comfortable allowing their daughter to attend camp without them.   They also worry she won't have a good time.   And because we don't allow cell phones, there isn't any contact, which may heighten their anxiety and worry.   I ask lots of girls whether they are going to camp.   I hear plenty of them respond because their parents don't want them to.

We have created a day program for those whose parents aren't comfortable with them being away from home with the day camps.   We take girls up to camp in the morning and return them each evening.   This proved to be a good experience for the girls who tried it last summer.   We learned some things through this experience, so we plan on that being a great opportunity for them.   We also have the shortened session for those younger girls who want to give camp a try, but a week is just too long.   Look for the Brownie Sampler as the one for your daughter who wants to give it a try.

Each summer I'm fortunate to watch girls learn how to ride a horse, learn to swim, hike on trails and identify parts of their world, and giggle and have a great time.   There's the occasional moment of homesickness, but we work to keep the girls busy so they don't have time for that.

Girls have fun at camp.   They learn they can do things they didn't believe they could, whether that is sleep in a tent or cabin, confront a spider, put their face in a murky lake, or navigate to the bath house after dark.   Girls build confidence at camp.   I watch it every year, whether that happens at the swim dock, on a zip line or in a tent it is simply amazing to watch.

Girls spend lots of time at camp talking to one another, making new friends, learning songs, and some days just being silly.   Because they don't have access to electronics they learn to savor the silence, listen to the sounds of the outdoors, and understand who they are without their parents readily available.   I'm always gratified and amazed to watch even the meekest girl exhibit the character she possesses in this context.   Last year one of the smallest of the girls I watched one day was the most intrepid.

It takes courage to send your daughter to camp and for her to go.   Last year we had a number of girls who had so much fun their first week that they returned for more, or went from Camp Scoutshire Woods to Kamp Kiwanis for another week in a different location.   Most earned badges and patches.   Many made some great crafts.   Almost all learned more about swimming and canoeing or tried a stand up paddle board.   Some mastered horsemanship, while others learned to survive in the woods.   I was at camp every day last summer, and it was only occasionally that I witnessed a girl not having a good time or homesick.

As you consider what you want your daughter to learn, offer her an opportunity to learn what happens in the great outdoors. It is simply amazing!


We have been working during the cookie program on summer camp planning and are making some changes as a result of the camper comments and suggestions made at the end of last summer.  In order to ensure every girl can experience what camp has to offer, there was a need to dramatically cut the number of programs offered.  This suggestion was heard repeatedly last year from both camps.   For example, not everyone got to run the zip lines or ride the banana boat, so this year we will be certain if the boat that tows the banana boat is working, everyone that wants to ride the banana boat will.

Focus will be continued on Girl Scout badge work in every program offered but we are going with a few broad themes so camp planning is less complex.  As a parent it will be easier to select a camp.   Don't worry, there will be plenty of new and fun things to do!  We are offering a distinct, skill-building badge program for each age based on each week's theme.  The theme for the first week of Scoutshire Woods and the first week of Kamp Kiwanis will be "Kamp Katniss", based on the popular movie The Hunger Games, which focuses on outdoor skills, adventure games and archery.   The second week of Scoutshire Woods is "Pioneer Girl" which goes nicely with building traditional camp skills.  For the last week of Kamp Kiwanis, we have "Experimental Explorers", a week full of scientific exploration and experimentation.   And as always at Camp Scoutshire Woods, we will offering the horse program.

This year our council is adding a very convenient and exciting day camp option.   As we discuss camp with parents, many don't want their girl away from home at night or camp competes with soccer and softball.   In an effort to provide a great camp experience there will be day camp options at Camp Scoutshire Woods and Kamp Kiwanis.   Planning with transportation companies to transport girls to both properties daily is in the works.   Campers need to be dropped off at the Mobile Service Center between 7-8 a.m. and will return between 5-6 p.m. for the Camp Scoutshire Woods session.   The same will be the case for Kamp Kiwanis, as we are working on transportation from the Montgomery Service Center. If there is sufficient interest from Auburn then a location will be determined. The day camp option will be $250 per week or 785 boxes of cookies with a cash deposit of $50 to attend.

Since day campers will be on the property, rather than turtle time after lunch, we are working to bring in local experts on a variety of topics.   Hopefully, there will be some herps come to camp during that time, as well as some raptors and other great fun, learning experiences.

Still in the planning stages, is a great opportunity for an older girls' camp at the Wehle Conservation Center.   This will be a resident camp that we can take full advantage of the resources available there.  In addition to the wonderful resources, they also have an air-conditioned dormitory.   The plan is to work with those older girls interested in this opportunity to shape the program they desire with a focus on leadership skills.

Sailing camp is still part of the mix and we are in the process of setting the dates.   There has been interest in sailing 1 camp and sailing 2 camp, but we will need enough girls to make that work, otherwise we will continue with the mixed skill levels.

If you have questions or a specific interest in summer resident camps or day camps, please contact Amy Farrar, at