Thursday, April 17, 2014

Camp 101: have s'more fun at camp this summer!

Did you know our Council offers girls of every level resident camp (summer/sleep away camp) AND day/twilight camp options? Now is the time to sign up for these opportunities. Whether your daughter wants to sleep under the stars in Goody's Treehouses at resident camp or sleep in her own bed after a day of fun at day camp, we have the perfect camp option for her!

Camp 101
Do you know the difference between resident camp and day or twilight camp? What are the benefits of attending camp? What, most importantly, what activities can your daughter participate in at camp? Whether you're the parent of a potential first-time camper or a seasoned pro, read on to learn more about all of our Council's camp options.

Resident Camp
What is resident camp & where is it located?
Resident camp is GSSJC's week-long summer camp option for girls. Campers come to one of our three camp locations - Camps Agnes Arnold and Misty Meadows in Conroe or Camp Casa Mare in Seabrook - and spend a week enjoying traditional camp activities like swimming, arts and crafts and more. Girls are dropped off Sunday afternoon and picked up Friday evening. Members and non-members can attend resident camp, and all three camps are accredited by the American Camping Association.

Have a Daisy or a first-time Brownie camper? They can sign up for a two-night session to get a taste of camping, available at Camp Agnes Arnold. First-time Junior campers can try a two-night session at Camp Misty Meadows. These sessions run Sunday-Tuesday and Wednesday-Friday. See the Resident Camp website for more details!

What do girls do at resident camp?
When registering for resident camp, girls are required to choose a camp session. Girls will spend 2-3 hours per day participating in activities related to this session and, depending on the session, may complete some or all requirements for a badge. Camp sessions focus on special interests, such as horseback riding or robotics, as well as fun activities like water games and art. There's a perfect option just waiting for your daughter! To review camp session descriptions, see the 2014 Resident Camp Guide.

To fill her schedule for the rest of the week, after dinner Sunday night your daughter will sign up for additional activities, like dance, archery or arts and crafts to attend once per day. If your daughter signed up for resident camp with a buddy, they will attend their camp session together, but whether they attend the rest of their activities together is up to them.

All campers have one swim session per day where they will learn new swimming strokes and have the opportunity to advance their swim card level. In the evenings, girls gather to sing camp songs immediately following dinner and then participate in their unit's evening activity, such as games, free play or an extra swim session.

What kind of accommodations are at camp?
Girls are assigned to a unit based on the camp session they have selected, and they will receive their lodging assignment at check-in. If your daughter signed up with a buddy for the same camp session, they will be in the same unit.

At Camp Casa Mare, girls will sleep in dorms. These units include showering facilities and a camp bed for each girl. At Camp Misty Meadows, girls may be placed in a dorm or a screened-in cabin, and both will have a camp bed for each girl. Dorms include showering facilities whiles cabins will have an adjacent shower house. At Camp Agnes Arnold, girls may be placed in a variety of units including platform tents, cabins or screened-in treehouse cabins, and each includes a camp bed for each girl. Bathroom facilities are located adjacent to the unit. At all camps, campers enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in the camp's air-conditioned lodge. Water is available to campers at every session during the day, so it is important for your daughter to pack a cup or water bottle.

Day Camp
What is day/twilight camp & where does it take place?
Day and twilight camps are week-long camp sessions that girls attend only during the day or in the evening. They are created and run by Council-trained directors, located in communities all over the Council and can be held at community centers, churches or even at Council facilities like Program Place. For day camp, girls are dropped off in the morning and picked up in the mid- to late afternoon (approximately 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.). For twilight camp, girls are dropped off in the early evening and picked up shortly after sunset (approximately 6 - 9 p.m.).

What do girls do at day/twilight camp?
Girls are assigned a unit based on their Girl Scout level. Each day or evening they rotate through that day's activities. One day a girl may enjoy archery, arts and crafts and learning about STEM careers from a guest speaker. The next day she might learn to canoe, make a snack and play soccer. Every day and twilight camp's activities are unique, so there is no limit to the activities your daughter will try! For more information on the day or twilight camp in your community, find listings in the March/April 2014 Golden Link.

Where are day and twilight camps held & what do girls eat? 
Day and twilight camps are typically held at facilities like community centers, churches and sometimes GSSJC properties, like an available camp or Program Place. Girls attending day camp may be served lunch daily or they may need to bring a sack lunch - check your local day camp listings for details. Girls attending twilight camp are typically served a snack but should eat dinner before arriving at camp for an evening of fun.

Benefits of Camp
Few things are as memorable for a girl as going away to camp for the summer. While she may not remember exactly how this rite of passage made her more responsible and independent or how it gave her an appreciation for nature, she'll know it did. And she'll remember sleeping under the stars, making s'mores around the fire and singing silly camp songs in the warm breeze for years to come.

The camp experience is critical to the development of the well-rounded child. Girl Scout camp offers girls an opportunity to enjoy just being girls in a safe social setting without the distractions of modern day life. Girls can connect with others without smartphones. They can play sports instead of on a TV. And instead of learning life's sometimes harsh lessons, they can learn how to prevent them and cope - away from boys and the social pressures of school.

In addition, camp helps youth reduce stress, learn new skills and engage in a more active lifestyle through hikes, exercise, swimming and play. Our children need this now more than ever to combat rising obesity rates and diminishing opportunities for outdoor play in safe environments.

Childhood and adolescence is a time of great change, and with social and economic stressors affecting children more and more each day, there is a growing need for the camp experience and the sense of achievement it gives each child. Girl Scout resident camp and day/twilight camp programs offer girls that and more, year after year.

Register now!
Already know what camp session you want to attend? Awesome - register today to claim your spot!

To register for resident camp, visit the registration page of the Resident Camp website.

To register for day and twilight camps, review the listings for your area and follow registration instructions. Each camp has its own registration process.