Monday, June 16, 2014

Girl Scout Troop 294's First Camping Trip

A group of 20 Girl Scouts from Troop 294 in Norfolk recently packed their bags for their first outdoor camping adventure. The girls, led by Girl Scout volunteer Candice George, headed to Camp Apasus, a Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast property in Norfolk, for a weekend of fun and new experiences.

During the weekend, the girls had the opportunity to experience all of the great things that camp has to offer. They sang songs, played games and made crafts. With the help of Corporal Fawn Faulks from the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, who also volunteers with Girl Scouts, the girls had the chance to canoe on Mason Creek during the afternoon. As they got the feel for balancing in the boat and synchronizing their paddling efforts, they also learned a lot about teamwork skills. They also honed their outdoor cooking skills as they learned how to build a campfire and roasted hot dogs. For dessert, they roasted marshmallows and made s’mores—a first time experience for many of the girls.

Members of Girl Scout Troop 294 prepare for their first canoeing experience.

Each of the girls in Troop 294 are students at Coleman Place Elementary School and joined Girl Scouts for the first time last fall, thanks to a grant through the United Way of South Hampton Roads, funded by Regent University. During the past year in Girl Scouts, the girls have improved their financial literacy skills through their participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, learned about being good citizens with a visit to the local fire station, developed friendships with their fellow Girl Scouts and more.

Girl Scouts has a long, storied and successful history of getting girls outdoors. In fact, in a recent study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 49 percent of the nearly 2,000 girls surveyed described camping trips as one of the most positive aspects of their Girl Scout experiences—ranking just behind fun and friendships. Through outdoor experiences, girls build self-esteem, try new things and develop a sense of discovery. These experiences help girls, including those in Troop 294, to build leadership skills that will last them well beyond their time at camp.

After learning how to build a campfire, the girls roasted hot dogs. 
The girls learn about how to enter and exit a canoe before hitting the water.