Sunday, July 3, 2016

VIP Day at Camp Darden

On June 29, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast hosted local community leaders for VIP Day at Camp Darden near Franklin. CEO Tracy Keller led guests on a tour of the camp and shared information about Girl Scout outdoor initiatives. After the tour of the property, campers and guests gathered in the camp field for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the new archery range, which was made possible by a generous donation by Carol and Thurston Watkins of Virginia Beach.

Carol, a Girl Scout volunteer, and Thurston attended the VIP Day to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony. Carol was a Girl Scout leader for many years until her daughter graduated from high school in 2014 and would bring girls on camping trips to Darden. After cutting the ribbon, Carol, Thurston and other guests shot some arrows to test out the new range.

“I remember how hot it was standing out here in the field, under the sun,” Carol said. “It is nice to be able to have some shade for the girls.”

Following the ceremony, guests joined campers in the dining hall for a Western-themed lunch, complete with songs and games, including potato sack races and pin the tail on the donkey. By the time rest hour rolled around for the campers, it was clear to the camp guests that Girl Scouts are building more than campfires at Camp Darden. They’re learning new things and developing leadership skills that will last them well beyond the summer.

Guests at the VIP Day included: Sammara Bailey with Franklin Parks and Rec; Bonnie Roblin, branch manager of the Franklin Library; Trish Tsitera, Holly Ledbetter and Sion Carr with Franklin-Southampton Area United Way; and John Fields, son-in-law of Colgate Darden, the former Virginia governor who gave the Camp Darden property to Boy Scouts, who used the property before giving it to Girl Scouts in the 1970s.

Registration is still open for girls to attend summer camp with Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast at either Camp Skimino in Williamsburg, Camp Outback in Chesapeake or Camp Apasus in Norfolk. For more information, visit