Monday, July 22, 2013

Guest Post: My Girl Scout Camp Experience - Camp Casa Mare RCBS

This summer, former GSSJC Girl Scout Michelle Sheena has joined our department as an intern to see what marketing and communications is all about. As part of her duties, Michelle has been assigned to be a guest blogger for the summer and is sharing her experiences at our resident camps. You can read her first post on Camp Agnes Arnold right here. In this week's post, Michelle shares how she overcame the challenge of becoming certified to sail at Camp Casa Mare and what that experience taught her.

By Michelle Sheena
Former Girl Scout, MarComm intern

All of the RCBSers and I rigged the sunfishes,
carried them to the water and finally set sail!
The first time I went to Camp Casa Mare I went with my best friend Dana for the Taste of Sailing session. We were both mildly interested in sailing and figured we would give it a shot. We spent the first few days learning about the .history of sailing, the types of sailboats and, of course, safety precautions. We practiced swimming with all of our clothes on, treading water for way too long and putting on a life jacket while in the water. All of the girls in our session spent hours studying various rules and regulations together in preparation for that pivotal moment: the day we finally got to go out on a boat.

Experienced sailors helped us sail on Sunfishes: small, two to three person sailboats. As soon as my skipper and I had wind in our sail I was in love. The smell of the bay didn't even bother me – I was so absorbed in the horizon and my new-found freedom. That was the moment I knew I wanted to come back and get my certifications.

Unfortunately Dana (though she loved the experience) could not return with me, so I enlisted the company of my younger sister Brittney. I lured her to Camp Casa Mare with anecdotes full of excitement and passion, and we soon embarked on our journey to get Red Cross Basic Sailing certified.

After working hard to complete various requirements, the other
girls and I let loose by rolling around on a giant ball.
This time around, however, the weather was far less accommodating than the year before. For much of the session all of the RCBSers, those of us working towards certification, would rig all of the boats, get on the water and then hear a crack of thunder – forcing us to take the boats back in until the weather cleared.

There were many good days, but both Brittney and I failed to complete all of the requirements by the time the session was over. This did not stop either of us though, and we returned with more fervor the next summer. We were more than ready to get back on the water and enjoyed attempting to re-complete our requirements.

Finally, years after the first time I sailed in a Sunfish, I earned my Red Cross Basic Sailing certification. I even went on to become a Girl Scout Mariner and have the ability to sail wherever the opportunity presents itself. If it weren't for Girl Scouts, I would not have had the option to learn how to sail and I am so glad I did.

Stay tuned - Michelle has one more camp experience post coming next week on Camp Agnes Arnold and why it holds a special place in her - and her former troop member's - heart.