Do you remember the first time you pitched a tent, or your first night sleeping among the stars? In this blog series, members of the Girl Scout family share their fondest camp memories and discuss why outdoor education is important for girls.
For Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital Board Member Natalie Givans, camping has always been a family affair. A First Class Girl Scout (now called the Girl Scout Gold Award), Natalie frequently camped with her parents, who were actively involved with her troop. In 2013, she backpacked across Maryland on the Appalachian Trail, an achievement she credits to her involvement in Girl Scouts.
I have a lot of favorite memories of camping but some that stand out revolved around my annual summer camp experience at Girl Scout Camp Menzies where I learned to juggle from one of the counselors (bowls of ice cream and knives were her specialty!). I recall backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains, sleeping under the stars, waking before everyone else and gathering wood to make the fire for morning hot chocolate, clean fresh air with the dusty smell of pine and eucalyptus during long hot day hikes, swimming and boating on the lake, and singing songs around the campfire.
The memories and the skills I learned have stayed with me for a lifetime, and I treasure them greatly. I believe that my love for the outdoors and care for nature and the planet come, in part, from my great experiences outdoors as a child and Girl Scout. I also believe that my experiences helped me to grow, to learn independence, to learn confidence, and to learn leadership skills in addition to practical camping skills.
It is important for all girls to have the opportunity to experience this as well – not all girls will love camping, backpacking and the outdoors as much as I do, but many or even most will.
Make this her best summer ever. Registration for Camp Winona & Camp Coles Trip begins January 28. Camp May Flather & Camp Potomac Woods registration begins January 30. Day and evening camp registration begins February 11. Visit our website for more information.