I know I do a ton of searching online for camp theme ideas when we begin planning our day camp, so I thought I would share what we did this year and maybe inspire some other camps to try this theme next summer.
Super Scouts: Using our Girl Scout powers to be every day heroes who make the world a better place. We wanted this to be about girl empowerment, not commercial super heroes, so we specifically emphasized that our focus would be on finding your OWN super power, such as kindness, encouragement, empathy, courage, enthusiasm, leadership, etc. No laser beam bolts of lightning coming out of your eyes and definitely no guns or weapons. This was all about finding your special strength and celebrating that this is what makes you unique. Probably one of our best themes, and the adults got into it just as much as the girls!
Each girl made a cape and was able to decorate it with fabric makers and felt shapes. We used the disposable fabric called “Smart-Fab” from http://www.enasco.com. This is basically interfacing in a variety of colors, and you can cut any shape, no fraying edges, and it’s very lightweight (good on a hot day). Instead of adding either ties or velcro closure around the neck, we decided to just safety pin the corners to the girls should through her t-shirt. Much more comfortable and no risk of the choking hazard if the cape gets caught on something.
I purchased all of our graphics on Dreamstime, a very reasonable stock photography/illustration site. We used the girl image for our flyer , website header, and patch design. She is not overly “endowed” like many superhero illustrations and was perfect to modify for our uses. Then I purchased some of the comic “sound effect” bubbles and added our own text words to the images, reproduced them on indoor poster stock with grommets and hung these around camp. See images below. These will be great to use for our recruiting events this Fall too. I included a link to a PDF of each poster that has “Courage”, “Confidence” and “Character” printed on them (these are about 36″ wide x 22″ tall) in case you want to print your own.
On Tues, Wed and Thurs mornings, we invited some everyday super heroes to our morning flag ceremony. I tried to find some female role models in non-traditional service careers and found an Army Sergeant at our local recruiting office, a CHP Officer, and two fire fighters, one career and one volunteer. I loved that we were able to showcase the volunteer firefighter by saying that she was a restaurant owner by day and her “alter ego” was as a firefighter by night! There are lots of other careers that you can showcase who serve the community, but I was really looking for roles that most girls don’t even consider when thinking about careers. Just want them to know that anything is possible! It was actually the older CIT’s (our high school girls) that came up to me after meeting our super hero visitors and said “that was cool”! If they thought it was cool, then it was totally worth it.
Female CHP officer visiting our Day Camp, one of our everyday “super heroes”.
Activities were pretty traditional for camp this year, trying to get back to the “skills” that girls should be learning when they come to camp: Archery, Knots & Lashing, Arts & Crafts, Newsletter, Performing Arts (skits), Woodworking, Fun with Foods, and Rocket Science (more on this one in another post). Everyone went to Archery and Arts & Crafts, then the girls were allowed to choose two additional camptivities to add to their schedule. I highly recommend (if you can get your program choices completed ahead of time) to have the girls choose their camptivities choices during registration. I spent many hours on Monday night trying to assign girls to their top choices and keep everything balanced. Quite a challenge.
Sharpie tie-dye on white tennis shoes in Arts & Crafts
What else can I share about camp? Come up with some fun Super Hero themed cheers, and modify some of your songs to meet the theme as well. We challenged our CIT’s to come up with new songs and games that were super hero themed for them to teach the girls. They did an amazing job! If you have more questions, or want further detail on how we organize our day camp, we would be happy to share with anyone else wanting to start a Girl Scout Day Camp. I have 5 years worth of experience with fine tuning our planning calendar so that everything gets done in about 7 months time. So the time to start planning for Summer 2016 is now!
If you want to see more about how our camp is organized, you can see our “prezi” training for new volunteers here: Sonoma Day Camp New Volunteer Online Training.
Comment or contact me if you have any questions, we’d love to share everything that we have learned about running a day camp over the last 5 years.