Posts Tagged ‘camp’


5 Fantastic Things To Do at Girl Scout Summer camp

February 12, 2018

Summer camp counselor, Megan, shares her top five favorite things to do at Girl Scout summer camp! Girl Scout resident camp registration is now open! 

Close your eyes and picture yourself at summer camp.  What are you doing?  What kind of activities do you imagine? Archery? Swimming? Boating? Tie Dye? Those are all things that we do at camp, but there is so much more.  As a camper for ten years and a staff member for two, here’s my top five favorite things to do in a single week at Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines resident camp.

1 – Playing in the water

The water has so much to offer.  Whether you are swimming for the first time, or a swim team star, camp has a place for you. All three resident camps offer different depths for you to play and swim with your camp buddies. Splashing around in the shallow end, playing marco-polo in the middle, or holding hands as you take the plunge into the deep section.

2 – Guessing your counselors’ real name

One thing I have found that makes Girl Scout camp unique is the counselor’s names.  All camp staffers go by camp names. This creates a fun game for the campers.  I always tried to guess my counselors real names. As a camper, you know the counselors won’t tell you their real names whether you guess it right or not. As a counselor, your learn that you must look like a Sara or a Julie because that’s what everyone guesses.

3 – Friendship bracelets

If you’ve never made a friendship bracelet, there are plenty of people at Girl Scout camp who are willing to teach you. Friendship bracelets are awesome to trade and heartwarming to receive. If you give one away you are almost always going to receive one back. They are things to wear home to remember all your camp friends. Most campers come home with interesting tan lines on their arm from wearing multiple friendship bracelets.

4 – Making new best friends

I run into people from camp all over the place. One day, as a junior in high school, I was walking down the street in Chapel Hill with a group of friends. A girl about our age was walking towards us calling me by name. I didn’t recognize her at first, but she reminded me  we were tent mates at Camp Graham when we were in fourth grade. It all came back to me in an instant; we were best friends that week. We exchanged phone numbers on the street and now we talk and reminisce about our week at camp. As I got older I ran into camp friends at band competitions and sporting events.  It’s always exciting to run into a camp friend.  I find it amazing how close you can get to someone in just one week.

5 – Learning new skills

From cooking to canoeing to cleaning, I learned lots of life skills at camp. Cookout night is always fun including teaching girls knife safety so they can properly cut a watermelon or learn how to start a camp stove or build a fire. My first ever week of camp, I learned how to clean a toilet. Now that I’m in college, I use that skill all the time and my roommate is rather thankful. When my friends want to go spend a weekend at the lake I think back to my second year at summer camp when I mastered the art of canoeing. Camp has provided me with many life skills that I continue to use everyday.

These are just my top five, but when you attend Girl Scout summer camp you’ll walk away with your top five (or more!) reasons why you love summer camp just as much as I do!


Growing Confidence with Girl Scouts Outdoor Experiences

October 30, 2017

Camp Graham (18)

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

“All Girl Scouts like the out-of-doors and most of them enjoy it still more if they know something about the things they find there.” — From the Girl Scouts Handbook for the Intermediate Program, October 1940

“…camping is living in the out-of-doors, not just visiting it.”  Worlds to Explore Handbook for Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts, 1977


I was never what anyone would call an “outdoorsy” kid growing up.  And if I ever saw a bug, lizard, snake or other crawling thing, I would gasp and run away at warp speed.

Now, after working in the Girl Scout program for a few years, I am a different person.

For example, one evening as I saw something slither across my porch my only thought was, “Is that a lizard or a salamander?”  while I turned my key in the front door.

THAT, my friends, is the power of Girl Scouting.

Not only do we help prepare girls to take on the world as future leaders, we build girls who can be comfortable with the outdoors and have fun experiences even if they hadn’t been a fan of nature before.  We also help build adults’ outdoor confidence as well!

Take, for instance, a day at the office when we needed to set up a bunch of rain-soaked tents out in the sun to dry and asked our co-workers for some help.   As we congratulated ourselves on a big task made easier by many generous hands, one staff member said she felt more accomplished having just learned how easy it is to put up a tent – something she might not have ever learned how to do had she not worked for Girl Scouts.

“It’s the magic of our movement,” I tell people.  Just a few experiences have the power to transform everyone, because of our program’s emphasis on adventure and fun.  There’s just something about this Girl Scout game of ours that makes people want to step out of their comfort zone and try something new, and we find ourselves better for it.  It’s been going on for more than 100 years.

The early handbooks provide guidance on introducing girls to nature by prescribing skill development such as: knowing the flowers and growing a garden, learning what lives in fresh water and in the sea, identifying rocks and minerals, identifying land animals, birds and insects; to identifying stars and other objects in the sky.

In “The Out of Doors” instructions are provided for traveling by foot, what to wear and where to go, what to carry, taking the Girl Scout Law with you, reading trails and signs, making maps without a compass, and eating on the trail, with recipes.

And so it goes today.  Our legacy Naturalist badges in the Girl’s Guide To Girl Scouting include:  Bugs, Flowers, Trees and Sky (Girl Scout Brownie – Senior levels).  The activities for these badges are virtually the same as in the early handbooks.   And to help get troops started on these experiences, we connect them to events such as the Brownie Bug Out to get girls used to insects and other crawling things.  Those events typically happen at museums and gardens throughout our 41-counties.  Check our council event guide and program provider resource for opportunities near you.

Want to see more?  There’s a Badge Explorer online at our national web site:

Here, you’ll be able search by topic and preview the activities for accomplishing all our Outdoor Education and Nature-themed badges.   And soon, more Girls’ Choice badges will be added to include camping adventure activities and scientific exploration of the outdoors!

Transform your Girl Scouts and yourself, by taking a walk outside and trying some of these badges!  And then share your stories with using the Story Submissions link!

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