Posts Tagged ‘Camp Graham’

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Meet the Rangers: Larry Ludwick, Camp Graham

July 13, 2015

Camp Ranger Larry

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

What do you remember about your last visit to a Girl Scout camp? Whether you splashed in the waterfront, had a sock hop in the dining hall, or sang songs around a campfire, there was someone who worked behind the scenes to make all those adventures possible for Girl Scouts by ensuring our campers have everything they need.

At Camp Graham, you’ll see Ranger Larry on his rounds, delivering firewood and water, making repairs and helping out wherever needed. His knowledge about the wildlife around the property make him a great resource for troops who want to learn more about life on our corner of Kerr Lake! He will also be the first to tell you how a rainy day at camp can make the best camping memories. Recently, he took a break from his winter activities to answer a couple of questions for our Girl Talk blog.

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

A: The opportunity came out of the blue. Having been around Girl Scouts for a while, I understood the job and the basics and I thought, “I would enjoy doing that job.”

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

A:   I’ve been with the council for a little over three years as a ranger. I’ve also helped out with programs such as NC Sparkle Day for several years. In Ohio, our daughter got involved as a Daisy, where my wife was a leader and volunteer, and I helped there with events. In total, probably about 20 years, with volunteer/parent experience.

Q: What’s a fun fact about the camp you manage?

A: Something that surprised me is the amount of birds and wildlife I’ve seen on the camp properties, especially the waterfowl. In our cove we have loons, which is a northern bird. They come down here in winter. They get here in November and stay until April. I was working down here and heard that familiar call and wondered “what is that?” And I walked down to the waterfront and found them. We have a lot of owls on the property, including barn, bard, great horned, and screech.

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

A: There’s always something different every day. It’s never boring. I love being outside. I don’t mind working in the weather. I like working with my hands and all the people. I enjoy interacting with young people and the summer resident staff and the folks that come from overseas talking about what they like to do in their home country and cultures. The kids are always great.

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

A: One day we had a large group, so I helped set up the salad bar, grabbed dishes, and refilled the water pitchers at lunch. If someone needs some help with something, I’ll pitch in.

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

A: The most important thing would be how to interact with all the different people on the camp property and do the best you can to make their experience a memorable one. And plumbing!

Q: What do you do in the winter?

A: I spend a good deal of it clearing of underbrush, trimming trees, cutting down dead trees, cutting firewood, getting rid of discarded or broken materials, doing little projects inside, some paneling, repairing holes in walls. Cleaning the staff house stove and oven, countertops and shelves and cleaning out the light fixtures.  Thinking about next season and spring – what I’d like to do to improve the grounds and program spaces.

Q: What do you like best about Girl Scouts?

A: How all-inclusive it is. Everyone is welcomed. You meet all different types of kids and everyone is made to feel important.

Q: Do you have a favorite Girl Scout camping tip/story?

A:   My best camping memories are when it was raining. A rainy day is never a bad day camping. We had many of those experiences with Scouts and with the family and those are the ones our kids remember, too.

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

A: My parents were not campers, but my earliest memory is taking a blanket and a couple of tomato stakes and mom’s clothesline and making a tent and sleeping in the backyard. I was probably seven or eight years old. Today my favorite camping spot is in the mountains, whether it’s the Appalachians, the Foothills or the Allegheny mountains in the Eastern U.S. I like the beach, too. Anywhere near water, such as a river, lake, or stream.

Girl Scouts visiting Camp Graham have a great friend in Ranger Larry. Next time you see him, please be sure to thank him for the landscaping, the firewood and all the little things he does to make your visit a good one. Have a plumbing question for Ranger Larry? (We’re sure he wouldn’t mind.) Leave one in the comments!

 

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The Magic of Camp Graham

March 17, 2015

Summer Resident Camp - Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines

Nephitearya Bailey, Camp and Outdoor Program Director

Greetings from Kerr Lake! Did you know Camp Graham sits on 155 acres of lake frontage, open areas, and woodlands? Campers have a blast as they swim, canoe, kayak, paddle board, sail, and slide down the ten foot water fall of summer fun!

Camp is a place where a girl can simply be herself as she tries new things and makes new friends. No matter her learning style, she will find success in our experiential programs. Spending at week at camp helps girls grow in self-confidence, build and explore leadership skills, and develop a deep appreciation of nature. And most importantly, camp is all about having FUN!

“From the moment you pass through the wooded gate, you instantly leave all worries and cares behind. Camp Graham is nothing less than magic; for campers, Leaders, and staff alike. No matter the time of day, you can always hear silly songs and laughter. It’s the little things that happen at Graham that mean the most and bring out what really makes it unique,” shared one camp staff member.

Some of those unique little things we are proud of at Camp Graham include:

  • Our Camp Fairies respond to every letter they receive from the campers;
  • We have a theme night dinner, where everyone dresses to impress in homemade costumes;
  • Every camper can expect to visit our Tie-Dye hut and make their own wearable camp memory;
  • Camp Kaleidoscope! Camp Graham proudly offers the opportunity to camp to the children and staff of Duke Children’s Hospital. When the campers join one another, it’s as if every illness and homesick heart is gone. Camp K holds a great history with us at Graham, one that we couldn’t be more moved by!

One of the most special times at Camp Graham is the Thursday night closing campfire at summer resident camp. “As the sky darkens and the stars start to shine, you can find the campers creating their wish boats, all different and unique. Each child will close their eyes, make their wish and light the candle before setting it out to sail in the lake, reflecting on all the wonderful times shared during the past week,” added Amberley R., camp unit leader.

Entering my third year as camp director, I am excited welcome your camper to Camp Graham! From canoes to paddle boards, archery and a low ropes course, we have something for everyone. And don’t forget about our beautiful, new Cloverfield tree house unit!

Join us on the shores of Kerr Lake this summer and find out first-hand why Camp Graham is a magical place that feels like home to so many past and present campers! Register prior to March 31, 2015 and receive Early Bird discount pricing!

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