Posts Tagged ‘Girl Scout Camp’

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Why I Became a Girl Scout Summer Camp Counselor

August 25, 2013

By Victoria D., GSNCCP Girl Board Member

IMG_2959Hi everyone! My name is Victoria and I’m one of the six Girl Scout Girl Board Members! I’m excited to be blogging for the council and sharing my experiences as a Girl Scout.

Summer is one of my favorite seasons as it usually consists of lots of time by the pool and attending my favorite Girl Scout camps! However, this summer that all changed. I had the pleasure of going from a camper to a camp counselor at Camp Mary Atkinson, a beautiful resident camp owned by Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines.

A Girl Scout summer camp attendee for almost a decade, I had always dreamed of becoming a counselor and helping other girls create memorable camp experiences. I vividly remember, at seven years old, being dropped off for my first Girl Scout camp session, “Here Comes the Sun.” I was nervous and scared, but my camp counselors put me right at ease. One week later when my parents came to pick me up, the first words out of my mouth were “When can I come back?” Girl Scout camp became everything and more to me!

I wanted to create these same kinds of experiences for fellow Girl Scout campers, which is why I enrolled in the CIT (Counselor-In-Training) sessions that would prepare me for a counselor role at summer camp. These three weeks of training were awesome! Everyone in my training group instantly gelled and I knew it was going to be a great summer.

After training I was hired as Staff-In-Training or SIT, which is the title used for counselors under eighteen. As I prepared to greet the first wave of campers for the summer I took a moment to remember what I had loved most about my camp counselors when I was young.  All my former counselors had been enthusiastic and ready for anything and everything. They were energetic, fun, and made me feel right at home. They were a big part of why my camp experience was so great and I knew I wanted to embody those traits as well.

By the end of the summer I had achieved these goals and more. Not only had I helped girls have a great time at summer camp, but I realized that I had also pushed myself out of my comfort zone and even gotten over my fear of spiders! I learned to listen to others more and learned my strengths as a leader. However, the two most important things I learned this summer is that patience is truly a virtue and that learning how to adapt to new ways and ideas is a really useful skill!

This summer was one of the best of my life and I highly recommend Girl Scout camp as a camper and a counselor. Both experiences help you strengthen your leadership skills while having a blast and also help you discover things you never knew about yourself!

What have you learned by attending Girl Scout summer camp? Any young campers out there want to become counselors one day?

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Day Camp Boosts Confidence for Girls & Volunteers

August 5, 2013

By Stacy Nechyba, Durham Girl Scout Day Camp Program Director

Durham Day Camp 1If you are looking for the ultimate confidence-booster, look no further.  You can find it at a Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines’ Day Camp.  For the first time this summer, I co-directed the Girl Scout Day Camp in Durham County and want to report that it was enjoyable from beginning to end.

There were many highlights, not least of which were the advantages of working with another fantastic volunteer Camp Director, Chip Reinhardt, and an experienced, organized and helpful team of support at the council.  Without these strong working relationships, it would not have had the same experience.  Chip and I aimed for and achieved an ambitious program.

Rewarding milestones included finding a good location after an involved search of area facilities and parks; writing a final camp program after endless drafts; designing a logo – which I’d never done before – and seeing it made into shirts and patches; meeting and working with a team of adult and youth volunteers; and finally seeing the children learn, play and have fun.

Our particular Girl Scout program included swimming, archery, arts & crafts, outdoor games, making UV bracelets and survival bracelets, camp journals, time in the kitchen making Girl Scout milkshakes and ice cream sandwiches, STEM badge work for each age group, and off -site activities at the Museum of Life and Science and Duke University. To cap it off, we hosted a Friday night potluck dinner and graduation ceremony for the girls.

Durham Day Camp PatchTaking Girl Scout Daisies, Juniors and Cadettes off-site proved to be a tremendous success. Our Girl Scout Daisies studied butterflies at day camp and had the reward of going to the Museum of Life and Science Butterfly House.  Our Girl Scout Juniors earned their Entertainment Technology Badge which included working on an MIT program in a technology lab at Duke University’s Social Sciences Research Institute. Our Girl Scout Cadettes earned their Entrepreneur Badge and finished it off by spending a day at Duke University, which included sharing their product and business plan with a group of Professors in the Economics Department Chairman’s Conference Room.

I truly enjoyed every minute of planning, including the challenges and hurdles I worked to overcome.  Most rewarding of all has been the notes and emails I have received from campers, parents and leaders brimming with thanks and praise.

It is my wish to encourage others to do the same and take advantage of an unparalleled personal growth opportunity while unlocking potential and strength in our girls by giving them an authentic Girl Scout experience.

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