Archive for the ‘Camp’ Category


“Girl Scout camp is my life!”

April 28, 2015

Camp Mary Atkinson Girl Scouts North Carolina NC Coastal Pines

By Deanna Ludwick, Senior Camp & Outdoor Program Director      

This year not only marks my eighth year at Camp Mary Atkinson, but my 20th summer at Girl Scout camp. Yes, that’s right – 20! 20 extraordinary summers filled with girls canoeing and kayaking in lakes, trying their hand at archery, challenging their fears, learning to swim, spending the night away from home the first time, singing silly camp songs, eating gooey S’mores, making new friends… the list goes on and on.

It truly has been 20 FUN years! Seeing campers return year after year and seeing many become counselors and camp staff, means I’m not the only one having a great time at camp! One of our former campers and now camp staff truly says it best – “a world without summer camp is just not as great.” And here’s more about what camp has meant to her:

Camp has had and continues to have such a profound impact on who I am and who I strive to be. Camp is the most amazing place where you can gain the most valuable experiences and lessons you need in the real world.

It was at camp where I first learned how to be independent from my parents and friends. I learned how important it is to make decisions for myself, but also how to cooperate and work together in groups. I learned how to love and appreciate all of nature, I learned the importance of being kind to everyone no matter what, and most importantly I learned how important it is to be unapologetically myself and to be comfortable with whom I am.

Both as a camper and as a staff member I have made timeless friendships with people from all different walks of life, and the most amazing part of camp friendships is that no matter how long it has been since you saw each other last, it seems like no time apart has passed at all. I can, without a doubt in my mind, say that without Girl Scout camp I do not know who I would be today, and honestly I am very proud of whom I have become. Girl Scout camp is my life!

As this story highlights, camp provides an opportunity for girls to build confidence, learn real-world lessons, and become a part of a supportive community of friends and mentors. In addition, spending time in the outdoors helps girls explore leadership, build skills, and develop an appreciation for nature. And we can’t forget about the FUN – girls greatly enjoy the outdoor experiences they have in Girl Scouts!

So why wait? Extend your Girl Scout experience this summer at Camp Mary Atkinson. Not only we will celebrate a new summer at Girl Scout Camp, we will celebrate our campers as they grow and learn, try new things in a safe environment, make new friends, and have FUN!

Did you know, more than 90 girls will be spending a week at Camp Mary Atkinson at little or no cost to them because of support of people like you? Tax-deductible donations to the Campership Fund help us send hundreds of girls to camp every summer who might not otherwise be able to afford to go. And now through June 1st, your gift is worth DOUBLE because of five generous community members who have pledged to match your gift dollar-for-dollar until we reach our fundraising goal. Make your gift today!

Meet the Rangers: Lon Everett, Camp Hardee

March 24, 2015

Camp Ranger Lon

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

This is the first in a series of interviews with our Camp RangersStay tuned to get to know each ranger at all of our camps!

Think about the last time you visited one of our Council camps. Maybe you hiked the trails, made s’mores over a campfire or enjoyed a meal or activity in our dining hall. You may not realize it, but there is someone who makes all those adventures possible for Girl Scouts, someone who works behind the scenes to ensure our campers have everything they need.

At Camp Hardee, that someone is Lon Everett. Known to most campers as “Mr. Bluejeans,” he is the camp ranger responsible for keeping the property in tip-top shape.   In addition to sprucing up the Rotary Lodge this past winter, Lon has helped establish new trails, re-open abandoned trails and re-discover trail markers. Always ready with a smile and a joke, Lon works tirelessly to provide a fantastic experience for Camp Hardee’s visitors. Recently, he took a break from his rounds to answer a couple of questions for our Girl Talk blog.

Q:  How did you get started being a camp ranger?

A: About 25 years ago, I was referred to a church camp site in my home state of New Jersey as a facilities manager. I started working there and learned a lot of stuff on the job.


Q: How long have you worked with Girl Scouts and our council?

A: This has been the first Girl Scout council for me– eight years this July. Seems like yesterday!


Q: What’s a fun fact about Camp Hardee?

A: As I sit along the Pamlico river seeing the brightly colored cabins – I am watching the eagles fly. Just saw two young eagles flying with an adult eagle – the first time I’ve ever seen that! They were right on top of us.


Q: What do you love best about being a camp ranger?

A: Watching campers grow up to be adults and have children who come to camp and then become campers – watching that progression.


Q: What’s the ONE thing you do around camp that no one would expect that you do?

A: Wash dishes! I help out in the kitchen in the summer sometimes with that.


Q: If you could teach someone something about your job, what would it be?

A: The proper way to use a chain saw. It becomes part of the job as a ranger to get firewood.

Q: What do you do in the winter?

A: Cut up trees, get firewood ready for the upcoming year, get the buildings ready for the winter, pick up leaves. All that stuff that needs doing when no one’s around. Mostly inside work. Last year is when I did all the electrical work and floors in the rotary lodge. The work on the trails is easier with no leaves. This year I’ll be cutting the kudzu out with a bush hog and tractor.   That way people can see the woods and not just kudzu this summer!


Q: What do you like best about Girl Scouts?

A: The comradery and how everyone works together. Seeing people from all walks of life, all over the state, getting to hear the stories of where people are from.


Q: Do you have a favorite camping tip or story related to Girl Scouts?

A: Funny story. Two summers ago a camper came up to me who was eight or nine years old. “Mr. Bluejeans, I have a project I want to do for you!” She wanted to put pads on the screen doors at the point where they hit the frame so no one would wake up at night. She was as serious as can be. She really wanted to do that kind of work. I told her I thought it was a great idea.


Q: What’s your earliest memory of camping as a kid?

A: In high school, I went camping with my church youth fellowship. We sold pumpkin bread all through the winter to go to Florida for a week to Disneyworld (which had only been open two years at the time). We were up for two nights straight over the weekend baking pumpkin bread. It helped save the cost big time. There were about 30 of us. We spent a whole week camping out, plus we went to Disney World and Cypress Gardens.


Girl Scouts visiting Camp Hardee have a great friend in Mr. Bluejeans. Next time you see him, please be sure to thank him for the firewood, the fun trail hike, the lovely Rotary Lodge or the Kudzu-free view of the woods! And if you have a question for our rangers, please be sure to leave one in the comments!



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