Friday, May 27, 2016

Camp Skimino Miniature

A simple cabin nestled in the woods— marshmallows toasting over a campfire out front, a lantern sitting on a nearby picnic table. It’s a scene right out of Williamsburg’s Girl Scout Camp Skimino— with a twist. For two years, the eight members of the Peninsula Heritage Miniature Society, based in Newport News, have been building a one-inch scale model depicting a scene from their memories of Camp Skimino. On May 23, the group presented the miniature to Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast to place on display at their Peninsula Service Center in Newport News.

For Patti Delimpaltadakis and Ina Wapples, two members of the Peninsula Heritage Miniature Society, creating a scale model of Camp Skimino brought back a wave of fond memories. While both spent time as a Girl Scout while growing up, it was the time that they spent as volunteer leaders on the Peninsula that had the biggest impact on their lives. During these years, they helped girls earn badges, mentored them as they earned the highest awards in Girl Scouting and introduced them to the great outdoors, which included trips to Camp Skimino. A favorite memory that Delimpaltadakis and Wapples share took place on a cold November weekend in the 1990s when they attended an outdoor training at Camp Skimino.

“At the end of the first day, everyone else headed off to a hotel for the night, but we wanted the true camp experience,” Delimpaltadakis recalled. “We were layered in all of our clothes and tucked in tight to our sleeping bags. Much to our dismay, we ended up discovering that the warmest place at camp was under the 100-watt bulb in the rustic latrine.”

For Delimpaltadakis and Wapples, Girl Scouting has been a big part of their lives and the lives of their daughters, which is why they chose Camp Skimino for their subject of their “Over the Hill Retreat” project, a theme chosen by the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (NAME). During the presentation of the miniature to the Girl Scouts, they talked about how Girl Scouts influenced their lives and how mentoring girls helped them find their own voice and confidence.

“Believe it or not, I used to be shy,” Delimpaltadakis shared with a laugh. “But, as a Girl Scout leader, I learned that I had leadership potential.”

Delimpaltadakis and Wapples continue to work with local Girl Scouts by sharing their skills and passion for creating miniatures with the girls. They recalled visiting a troop and using recycled objects to make miniatures—one project was creating a table out of discarded single-serve coffee pods. Delimpaltadakis and Wapples are also able to integrate a lesson in mathematics into the fun when they work with Girl Scouts, as the girls measure objects and calculate the measurements of their scale models.

With the Camp Skimino miniature complete, the members of the Peninsula Heritage Miniature Society still have a myriad of other projects that they are working on. They also hope to continue working with Girl Scouts, and they connected with some new Girl Scout leaders to partner with at the presentation of their Camp Skimino miniature.