DayCampArchery1Is there anything more fun than Girl Scout Camp?  I don’t think so!  Even for the adults (we are all just kids in disguise anyway!).  I have been the camp director for our local Day Camp for the last 3 years.  We are heading into year 4 with a solid core of volunteers and we finally have the girls aware of camp so they encourage their families to sign up fast when registration opens.  We are at about 120 girls, 25 C.I.T.’s (counselors in training) and around 40 volunteers, at least 20 of which are full time volunteers, spending the whole week at camp with us.

DayCamp201318Our C.I.T.’s spend the night, so it’s really a resident camp for them.  Cadettes spend 2 nights (wed & thurs) at camp and Juniors spend 1 night.  Little ones only come during the day.  We have built in a very clear progression for activities and privileges to keep the girls excited to come back the next year with new activities as they move up to the next level.

We operate on a rotation basis, with each unit grouped by age and then rotating to stations for activities.  Stations have been:  archery, outdoor cooking, science, nature, and arts & crafts.  We then add in something that pertains to our theme for the week, last year we were the Western Roundup and had a petting zoo of farm animals one day, panning for gold on another day, etc.  This year we are doing “Under the Big Top” and we are hoping to have something fun in the way of acrobatics added to our camp fun!

DayCamp201311Are you thinking about starting a Day Camp program in your area?  Contact your CDD or local Leader Support Manager and find out what the process is for starting a camp.  There will be a few trainings that will be needed (Event Manager and Day Camp Director for sure), but you’ll also want to gather a team of women (or men) that you enjoy working with and can share the workload with you.  The first year is the hardest, then each year after that is SO much easier and everything falls into place pretty easily.

Be prepared for a lot of work!  But with lots of work, comes huge reward.  Not the monetary kind, but the type of reward you receive when a camper gives you a hug, or when she sees you in the grocery store and asks “when does camp start this year?”.  Their excitement is contagious.  What really surprised me in the way of “rewards” was how many good friends I would gain through the other adult volunteers.  We have a great time spending the week together, enjoying the outdoors and being silly with the girls, but those friendships have also continued long past the week of camp.  I am truly blessed to be working with some amazing women.

So what are you waiting for?  Start a new camp, or maybe volunteer at another camp first and get an idea on how the behind the scenes operations work.  Camp does not have to be for a full week.  Plan a mini-camporee for two days.  Girls love getting outdoors and if your area does not have accessible options for the girls in your area, then start planning!  I promise you won’t regret it.

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