Guest Author - Lisa Savarese
In today's fast-paced world of computers, DVDs, iPad's, iPod's and texting - a good old-fashioned camping trip may be just what a troop needs. Whether you are a first timer or a camping expert, there is always something new to discover at camp.Camping is a fun adventure for all ages from Daisies to Ambassadors. As long as the younger girls feel comfortable enough to be away from home,camping provides a great experience. If it is their first time, it may be best to find a camp that provides the many comforts of home. A Cadette or Senior scout could also join the trip and help the girls feel less nervous - having an older Girl Scout sister along will also inspire younger scouts to be more confident.
No matter what age, camps have so many miscellaneous activities to take part in and they also provide the opportunity to try new things. The girls get hands-on experience to build their skills, make new friends, inherit an appreciation of nature and make lasting memories. Fun activities such as horseback riding, canoeing, hiking, storytelling/nature lore, bird watching and various arts & crafts (such as woodworking) are also available. Each campsite's activities may vary, but no matter where you decide to go - there will be something to satisfy everyones diverse interests. Some of the different types of camps to choose from are resident, day, weekend, travel and minimal impact camps. Think of what the troop is ready for and that will help guide your decision.
When at camp, it is always a good idea to give each girl a job. They can plan meals, help prepare them and if they are old enough - assist with cooking the meals. The scouts can facilitate activities, set up and do dishes as well. When the girls are a part of everything, it becomes important to them and it becomes their own.
Girl Scout camping proves to be an invaluable experience for everyone. Girls get to try different things while surrounded by trained adults looking out for their health and safety. Leaders get to watch the expressions on the girls' faces when they do an activity for the first time and see their self-confidence grow. It is a place where the girls' limitless imagination can become a reality and where the noises of the outdoors are in natural high definition surround sound. It is a chance for the girls to be prepared for life in the real world, not just the virtual world.
"It is in the open, where they learn woodcraft and nature lore, that a girl gets the best opportunity to understand life in a sound and wholesome way."
Source: Juliette Gordon Low(founder of the USA Girl Scouts) in a speech given in 1924 at Mercer College in Macon, Georgia.