Camp Agnes Arnold’s history is full of legends just waiting to greet new Girl Scout campers every year: Hipper the Hippo lays eggs for resident campers that taste suspiciously like watermelons; The Magic Elf has a special house deep in the woods and sometimes drops by campfires to say hello – but never stays long; and rumor has it if you want to make it rain at camp, just walk over Indian Joe’s grave.
Now, thanks to a Bronze Award project completed by Troop #15231, Camp Arnold has one more legend Girl Scouts can enjoy learning about: Thumper’s House.
Members of Troop #15231 built, painted and installed Thumper’s House, which is located at Thumper’s Pond, but this was just a piece of their Bronze Award project. The 11 Girl Scouts also built bird houses and bat boxes that were installed at the Nature Center and spent a weekend at camp working hard to clear the trails around Thumper’s Pond so they would be more accessible to camp visitors. This task was no easy feat! Most of the trails had not been completely cleared following Hurricane Ike in 2008 and then the drought in 2011, so there was plenty of hard work and sweat that went into their project.
It was an impressive and ambitious project for a group of then-fifth graders! But perhaps the achievement that was the most fun for these Girl Scouts was writing the story of how Thumper’s House came to be a part of Camp Arnold:
Thumper is a cute little bunny with huge feet who is quite helpful to everyone he meets. He grew up near this pond. His favorite saying is, “If you caint say summin’ nice, don’t say nuttin’ at all.”
One day, while Thumper was having his daily drink water at this very site, he noticed large waves coming from one side of the pond. It was Hipper! She was caught in seaweed! Thumper quickly called his neighbor, the Magic Elf (who was not magical at the time), to help him pull Hipper out. Although he was brave and responsibly acted fast, Thumper and the Magic Elf were not strong enough. Then at that very moment, they saw two Girl Scouts walking along the trail. Although the girls were not sure they could do it because they were little and scared, Thumper said, “Being brave is eeeeasy. I can teach you. Watch this.” The Girl Scouts considerately and quickly jumped in to help. Because they worked together and respected one another, Hipper was pulled to safety. Thumper said, “You just found your inner strength!”
GSSJC tried to give Thumper a medal for his part in the rescue, but he honestly and fairly reported that he had help. The pond was named after Thumper in his honor, because he acted so bravely. Then, because he was considerate and caring, he recommended that GSSJC give the Girl Scouts candy for their courtesy while helping and a patch for the water rescue. Because of her kindness, the Magic Elf was granted her magical ability. Hipper agreed that everyone involved in the rescue was friendly and helpful.
After that, the special friends decided to continue to improve our camp to be a place where all girls could have fun and learn what it is like to show kindness and generosity to others. In that way, Thumper and his friends used these natural resources wisely and make the world better by teaching Girl Scouts how to be sisters to each other and everyone they meet.
By Troop 15231, April 2013, Bronze Award Project
Victoria, Raini, Vanessa, Skylar, Caitlin, Brandi, Sienna, Bella, Cierra, Laine and Taylor
Congratulations to Troop #15231 on completing their Bronze Award!
Want to see your troop's activity, service project or camping adventure featured on the GSSJC blog? We will be pulling photos and stories from Golden Link Scrapbook submissions. To submit, send high-res photos and a short caption to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your troop number in the subject!