This is a great time of year if you work for Girl Scouts, because you have the opportunity to get outdoors and ready for camp. It is always the highlight of my year, as I get to spend time working on things to enrich the girls' summer camp experience. Some of the projects are in the early stages, others are not quite underway, but we'll get there.
At this time of year, I like to check with the rangers to see what wildlife we have on our properties. So far this year, we have had three rattlesnakes on three of the four camps. The only camp we haven't seen a rattler on yet is Kamp Kiwanis.
Last year Kamp Kiwanis had a rattlesnake, which is fairly unusual and likely the result of their habitat being destroyed with the tornado. A few years ago, when we timbered Camp Humming Hills, the guys working on the timber project said they saw a jaguar with two cubs. Recently, Wanda Smith, the ranger's wife was on the property and saw two jaguars. They are incredibly elusive, to see them would be a tremendous gift, as their range is huge.
In an effort to document our wildlife, we will be putting in some trophy cameras. They take photos of movement, even at night. They do that with an infrared flash, so they don't spook the wildlife. I'm hoping we will have some fun and education about what lives at the camps when we aren't around.
We have one zip line installed at Kamp Kiwanis, and some of the board members took their fiduciary responsibility seriously and tried it the afternoon before the annual meeting. We are intentionally installing the zip lines at girl level, and if they enjoy them, then we will look at putting more in higher places. Right now, we have the test line in, and once we figure out how that works, we will install a few at Camp Scoutshire Woods. For girls waiting to use the zip lines, since there's always a line at such things, we have a slack line, much like a balance beam made of a narrow tape between two trees. It's the new hot thing on college campuses.
Paul Wright, the ranger at Kamp Kiwanis spent a large chunk of his time this winter clearing out the trees between the Pioneer Unit bathhouse and the lake to build a beautiful new dock for the sailing program. This will keep the sailboat traffic and canoe traffic separate. We also have more stand-up paddle boards headed to both Kamp Kiwanis and Camp Scoutshire Woods.