Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Girl Scout Summer Camp: Memories in the Making!

Camp Choee Report from Camp Director, Miriam “Sugar Cookie” Nor:

The girls and staff at Camp Choee are having a great summer! Thus far “Fantasy Fest” was our most popular week. The girls were able to express themselves by dressing up as fairies and princesses. When three of their favorite Disney princesses came into camp, all of the girls gravitated towards them. The girls loved how the characters they all watched on the big screen and read about in books instantly came to life. Singing, dancing and face painting made these girls dreams come true.

Along with having fun, girls have been growing as leaders. Virginia “Musi” DeOvin-Berenguer (a two-year Choee camper) exhibited courage at our Junior Olympic size pool by teaching herself to swim under the careful supervision of our lifeguards. Virginia “Marshmallow” Snyder-Pendergrass (a four-year veteran Choee camper) exhibited great character as she welcomed a first time camper into the Wacky Monkey (Brownie) unit, showing that every girl is a sister to every camper at Girl Scout camp. Finally, Sydney “Dora” Gilmore (a first time Choee camper) exhibited confidence as she learned to hula hoop for the first time at camp. Everyday Dora struggled with the task of watching the other campers effortlessly twirl the hoop around their waist. Determined not to be defeated, after one week Dora had achieved her goal.

One challenge our camp has faced this summer was losing one of our valued counselors Heather “Gumdrop” Hope due to unforeseen family hardships. Gumdrop was a great asset to Camp Choee and is truly missed. The staff all worked together to ensure the girls morale remained high after her unexpected departure. Camp Choee has now welcomed Claudia “Tigger” Sequera on board for the remaining of the summer. Speaking of our awesome summer camp staff, one of our most popular staff members this summer is our Arts & Crafts Director/Cook Stephanie “Frisky” Brown. She always encourages the girls to be leaders by allowing them to be independent in all forms of artistry and to take ownership of their own enjoyment at camp; Frisky truly provides a great example of the “Girl-Led” focus of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.  

Camp Mahachee Report from Camp Director, Sarah "Sunshine" Wach

All girls, staff and the many peacocks at Camp Mahachee agree that it has been a very special summer this year. Our most popular week has been "What's Up, Cupcake?”. The girls have loved learning about different cooking techniques and have taken pride in being able to cook something for the whole camp!  Another highlight of camp this summer has been “Girl Talk.” Our youngest group of girls participated in this open conversation facilitated, but not led, by the counselors. All the girls take a chance at talk about various topics of interest. At the beginning of one camp week, one young Girl Scout was hesitant to share and would rather just listen. However, by Thursday the other girls had created such a warm, open environment, the girl was able to confidently share her thoughts without fear of judgment!

As a new camp director, with a young (although experienced) staff, we have had to prove that we are capable of running a camp that is both exciting and safe. By having girl led activities and teaching new skills (such as cooking) through a learning by doing method, they have created an environment in which girls feel accepted and engaged every day. Sunflower is one of our most popular staff members who encourages girls to have confidence in their individuality and strengths, which in turn causes them to be leaders in different aspects of their lives. In one recent evaluation, a 9 year-old camper from Unit 2 wrote, “I like Camp Mahachee because we get to go outside and make new friends.” The Girl Scout tradition to “make new friends, but keep the old” flourishes at our camp as we build leaders of the future. 

Camp Little House Report from Camp Director Susan "Sizzle" Beaudoin

As always, Camp Little House was the first Girl Scout camp to fill to capacity and develop a waiting list…way back in March! This summer has been yet another epic experience for the Girl Scouts that are lucky enough to attend Camp Little House. Summer at Camp Little House kicked off with “Let the Memories Begin” week which set the tone for the summer by getting the girls excited about creating lasting memories. 

As Camp Little House staff we are small, we are strong, and we work as one. Each staff member contributes a different quality of leadership and together we make camp happen! Camp Little House staff sets the stage to let Girl Scouts shine as leaders. During our "Be Presidential" week, one of our campers, Daisy, was voted "Camp Director for the Day." She was passionate in accepting the responsibilities that came with the title and demonstrated strong leadership skills well beyond her years.

We also value Cooperative Learning so we wanted to involve the parents of our campers in our camp activities. As a result, Camp United was created: a program that invites our campers, their families and friends, former campers, former staff, and Girl Scouts who have used South Miami Little House in the past for programs or meetings, to share a memorable night of campfire songs, skits, s'mores and ending with a traditional flag retirement. It was an amazing event for all 97 in attendance.   

If you joined the fun at Summer Camp 2012, imagine how much more fun you can be having throughout the year! Check out our new 
 2012-2013 Program Book for all of the cool events happening this year!

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