Monday, June 30, 2014

Day Camp at Burke's Mill Pond

Girl Scouts had the chance to learn archery
for the first time at Burke's Mill Pond this
During the week of June 23, nearly 75 Girl Scouts who live in the Gloucester area had the opportunity to experience Girl Scout camp during a volunteer-led day camp at the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Camp Burke’s Mill Pond. During the week, girls honed their observation skills as they earned a badge in the Investigation category for their age level. From code names to invisible ink, they practiced the art of detection, followed clues and put all five senses to the test. The girls also enjoyed all of the activities that camp has to offer, including canoeing, swimming, and for the first time this year, archery.

Each day at camp, the girls started the day with a flag ceremony, which is a tradition in Girl Scouting. They then rotated through activity stations, working on badge requirements in the lodge, taking to the lake to learn canoeing techniques and heading out to the field for archery and the swimming pool. Girls were guided through activities to earn badges by older Girl Scouts volunteering as Program Aides, a leadership program for Girl Scouts in middle school to share their interests and experiences with younger girls. Many of the Program Aides attended day camp at Burke’s Mill Pond when they were younger and were eager to serve in leadership roles this summer.

The camp was led by volunteer director Kelly Hall, who was the assistant director for this day camp last year. Hall, who has two daughters in Girl Scouts, has fond memories of camping at Burke’s Mill Pond while growing up.

Camp Director Kelly Hall
“I had so many great experiences here as a child, and I enjoy being able to continue to offer the camp experience for girls in Gloucester today,” Hall said.

In addition to the day camp experience, Hall arranged for the girls to be able to spend the night and camp out on Thursday so that girls could make s’mores, sing songs and share skits around the campfire, all traditional Girl Scout camp activities.

Shannon Williams, whose daughter is a Girl Scout Daisy, also volunteered her time at the day camp. Williams enjoys participating in Girl Scouts with her daughter because it is a way for them to experience new things together.

Girl Scout volunteer Shannon Williams, left, went canoeing for
the first time last week at Burke's Mill Pond.
“This week is the first time either of us have been canoeing, and we both love it,” Williams said. “My daughter thought swimming would be her favorite activity, but we have both enjoyed canoeing each day.”

Girl Scout camp offers an all-girl environment where girls develop self-confidence, try new things, learn to work as part of a team and gain social skills as they connect with their peers and the adult volunteers who serve as role models. Girls also gain a respect for nature as they unplug from technology and become more aware of their environmental surroundings.

Girl Scouts paddled out into the lake and learned self-rescue
skills during their time at day camp.