Camp Out Like a Girl Scout
This is a story after my own heart. I was camp director at Camp Crossed Arrows for three years and have seen the benefits Girl Scouts gain from camping and experiencing the outdoors. I am thrilled to hear stories from troops about their camping adventures!
This post comes from tenured-troop leader Laurie Galeski from St. Margaret Mary’s elementary school in Omaha. Laurie is a fantastic leader – and shared her troop’s experience of progressive camping. I can just imagine the amount of laughter and all the memories these girls have made together. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!
Girl Scout Troop 42202
The girls of troop 42202 from St. Margaret Mary are now seventh-graders. I have been their troop leader since they were Daisies in kindergarten. We have been doing an annual camping trip since they were third-graders. Each year I’ve told them that we will “rough it” a little more.
Our first year, we went to Camp Crossed Arrows near Fremont and stayed in the lodge. The second year, we visited Camp Maha where we stayed in the platform tents. The next year, we stayed at Camp Catron’s Sky Camp. Last year, we decided to embark on a two-night, three-day excursion at Smith Falls State Park near Valentine. We canoed down the Niobrara, went horseback riding and experienced spectacular views of the River. The girls enjoyed this so much we decided to return again this year; this time tubing down a different section of the Niobrara. We again spent two nights and three days, increasing the horseback riding to a two-hour ride. The girls set up their own tents and helped with the chores of camping out.
We rented a 15-passenger van, since this trip included 12 Cadettes and three moms. I pulled a trailer behind the van, so we were quite a sight! I never did get the hang of backing up, so I told the girls that we were going to go forward for 700 miles, returning to their school parking lot, and somehow we managed to do that!
Sunday morning we planned to have a quick breakfast, so that we could all pack up camp and get to Ainsworth for Sunday mass by 10:30. I had made some scones and we were planning on having them with fruit. The girls were looking forward to this the whole trip. My motto is, “Everything tastes better in the great outdoors!” But it was not to be, at least not in its entirety. We had not secured the bin containing the scones well enough and we awoke to see that some type of critter had devoured 11 of the 16 scones and a loaf of almond bread that my co-leader had brought! We discovered that this probable raccoon must not like zucchini bread because that loaf was untouched. I emphasize to the girls that, when camping, we need to be flexible, so we divided the remaining scones among us and I quickly cooked up some pancakes so we didn’t starve that morning!
The girls had a wonderful time experiencing the beauty of nature and learning some valuable life lessons along the way. My wish is that each girl be exposed to some new experience, something she might not otherwise encounter. Now that this trip is over, I’m already brainstorming what our 8th grade trip will be…