Meet the Camp Director

Bonnie Griswold-Camp DirectorBonnie Griswold is the dynamo directing camps this summer. Now retired from a stellar career in aquatics leadership and education, Bonnie’s impressive resume includes serving as Aquatics Director at UW-Madison Recreational Sports. So what drew her out of retirement to take charge of Girl Scout camp? “I want a retirement with purpose – to give back to those who helped me along the way. I worked on the waterfront at Girl Scout camps all four years of college, which gave me a strong foundation for my career. I’m elated to have the opportunity to give back to the organization that helped me so much.”

As camp director, a key responsibility is building the camp team – the counselors who work directly with the girls. Bonnie has lots of experience creating effective teams and says her Girl Scout crew will be strong. “My camp staff will be focused on helping the girls build their own confidence and independence, and that’s why the counselors will be selfless, positive role models with tons of creativity and initiative.”

Resident camps this year are all themed with activities that girls will experience on top of the traditional camp fun. Bonnie, who grew up an active Girl Scout, says her favorite things are teaching girls all the traditions, including Girl Scout songs around the campfire, swimming, hiking and canoeing.

Sign your girl up today for the adventure of a lifetime at summer camp.

Camper Confident: Introducing a Badgerland Camper

Camper Confident-AlexaSome girls are natural campers. But most don’t realize their love for the outdoors until they try it for the first time. Just like Alexa P.

A fourth grader, Alexa says she’s the kind of girl who would spend every waking moment hiking through the woods, paddling around in a canoe or gathering around a campfire.

Her love of camping was ignited when she was a Daisy Girl Scout and introduced to camping – she went to ‘Me & My Gal’ (a family camp) with her mom. “It was scary at first because it was my first time sleeping outdoors, even though I was in a cabin,” Alexa said. “But it was OK because my mom was with me.”

Alexa says she was a bit nervous to return the next year, on her own but was so glad she found the courage to do so. Because once she started… she couldn’t stop! Just last summer, Alexa packed in three Girl Scout camps including CampHERO, Horse Lovers Adventure, and her all-time favorite – Camp Confidence. “We got to climb on this big pole and then jump off with a harness on!” she recalled, adding that she would “definitely” do it again.

Lucky for her, she’s attending NinjaGIRL at Camp Ehawee this summer where she’ll do lots of adventure activities, along with ninja challenges and warrior trainings.

But that’s not all she’s up to in summer 2018. Alexa will be onsite at spring Camporee and will be traveling to Camp Ehawee for two more camps – RiverQuest and Hogwarts: An Intro to Magic.

While the different weekly themes make camp extra fun each time she goes, Alexa says the best things about camp stay the same. “It’s really fun and you get to make new friends,” she said. “And you get to learn how to work as a team.”

Alexa’s mom, Ann, couldn’t be happier that her daughter fell in love with Girl Scout camp. “I went to camp as a Girl Scout when I was younger, and I really liked the experience,” Ann said. “I did things at camp I wouldn’t have done anywhere else.” She agrees with Alexa that camp is the perfect opportunity to make new friends, while simultaneously gaining confidence and independence.

Along with camp, Girl Scouts has provided other opportunities for the two of them. As a co-leader of Troop 2446, Ann motivates girls and their families to attend programs, sell cookies and serve their community.

But for Alexa – nothing is better than a week at Girl Scout camp.

Why I Send My Girls to Girl Scout Camp

What Send Girls to Camp

By: Peggy Duellman, Badgerland Girl Scout Mom, Volunteer, and Alum

It’s so important for girls to try new things, and that’s exactly what Girl Scout camp is about – stepping outside their comfort zone and taking risks – all while surrounded by peers and adults who are rooting for them to succeed.

Not only have my girls tried outdoor activities they might not have if it weren’t for camp (archery, water sports, and ropes courses) but they’re building confidence and character while doing it.

I see growth in my girls every time they come home from camp. Even after the post-camp excitement wears off, the fun they had, challenges they overcame and the friends they made come up in conversations almost daily.

Just hearing them talk about camp brings back memories of my Girl Scout years at Camp Black Hawk. I can appreciate their passion for it, and it means so much to hear them talk so fondly about something that was important to me as a girl.

Another big reason I chose to send my girls to camp is my confidence in the staff and the safety precautions and protocols they follow. Having been a member of the camp staff before, I can attest to the level and thoroughness of trainings, and as a parent, I’m assured my girls will be safe.

By allowing them to try new things in a fun, supportive environment, camp has helped Kate, Elizabeth, Suzanne, and Hilary discover their strengths. And the Girl Scouts organization has empowered the girls to use these traits to create positive change within themselves, their school and in the community.

Experiencing Sangam World Centre

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Hailey Morey
Lifetime Girl Scout

Hello Fellow Badgerland Girl Scouts!

I’ve recently made a big move from Our Chalet in Switzerland to the Sangam World Centre in India, where I’m working as a Long Term Monsoon Volunteer.

Volunteers, like me, work onsite with guest participants while Tare Program volunteers (Tare means Star in Hindi) are assigned a community partner and go offsite to work with that partner every day.

Both programs are excellent! Sangam works with various community partners such as local schools, environmental organizations, orphanages, homes for the mentally ill, and so more. Begin a part of the Sangam staff means you’re truly a part of the greater good!

My volunteer work focuses on women empowerment. I lead Stop the Violence programs, Free Being Me sessions and lots of different community service projects. I also get lead groups into the heart of downtown Pune and provide a full Indian cultural immersion; participants experience traditional life, dress, dancing, and food.

To say life is different on this side of the world is an understatement. People are always hustling and bustling, rickshaw drivers are weaving through the streets, traditional music is constantly playing, and rice is a part of every meal. I would love to see a Wisconsin troop come and open their mind up to this whole new world!

One of my favorite experiences so far was the Arts4Change festival, where participants from over 20 countries traveled to share their local art forms and explored how the arts can be a tool for change. I’ve also conquered hikes in the deserted Indian hill country, experienced the craziness of the Ganesh festival, and I will never forget the day India beat Pakistan in the cricket tournament. It was such a celebration!

Within the past four months, I have grown TREMENDOUSLY. Without this experience, I would not have the dreams and aspirations I do today. Working and living in an international setting with international coworkers has made me stronger, independent and overall FIERCE.

Go and take on the world Badgerland!

Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Girl Scouts Take on England

Last July, after two long years of planning and fundraising, Badgerland Girl Scout Troops 4279 and 4483 were finally off. Two girls from each troop, plus two chaperones, were headed to Great Britain, ready to spend nearly two weeks touring the famous countryside and landmark-filled cities. It was a trip of a lifetime.

After landing in Manchester, they hopped on a train for York – an hour and a half ride. Then they checked out the city’s market near the train station and headed to the hostel – but only after their first “wrong way down the street” car ride.

Once they got over the jet lag, they spent the next day touring York, visiting attractions like the Chocolate Story and the York Minster. Then, they were off to Poacher Jamboree 2017 – a week-long gathering of more than 5,500 scouts and guides from across the world.

When their bus arrived at the grounds in Lincoln, U.K., they headed to their campsite, where about 30 people were already set up. Their camp-mates were happy to “show them the ropes.” The next week was filled with wood burning, friendship bracelets, bungee trampolines and so much more.

Then, it was time to move on once again. The girls packed up and were London-bound. But they had one stop to make along the way.

They spent a day touring and volunteering at Green Britain, a wind farm in Newark. Lunch included all-natural vegetables grown right there on the property!

They made it to London just in time to see Madame Tussauds wax museum and take a bus tour through the city. Then, like true Girl Scouts, they gathered at the hotel to plan out the next day.

They woke up bright and early to visit the London Eye, where they could see almost every major attraction in the city from a distance. Next, they had to see them
close-up. They headed toward Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Bridge.

At the end of their long day of sightseeing, it was time to pack up for home. After nearly two weeks of stepping out of their comfort zone and into a world, they’ve never known, the trip was coming to an end.

The group wasn’t even back to the continent before they were tossing out ideas for the next trip. The memories they made really will last a lifetime.

There are lots of opportunities for Girl Scouts to travel by themselves or with their troop. Check out Girl Scout Destinations, Getaways, and international events.

GET Girls in England

Pop-Up Programs

We’re so excited to introduce new pop-up program! You won’t find these unique program experiences anywhere by Badgerland.

How do pop-up programs work?
These are short, drop-in programs. We keep the date and time a secret until a few days before the event, then reveal it on our social media accounts and via email. The day of the program, you just stop in anytime and have some Girl Scout fun!

Keep connected to find out the location of the next pop-up program in your area!
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The G.I.R.L. Bucket List

CampHERO CarBy Eliza Zimmerman, Program Manager – Girl Leadership

Have you ever gotten tired of doing the same thing over and over? I’ve talked to lots of troops and I know that you do. Maybe it’s doing community service at the same place all the time, or always going to the waterpark as your end of the year party. While it’s nice to have yearly traditions, sometime we need help coming up with new ideas.

Enter the G.I.R.L. Bucket List – 175 ideas of things you can do in Girl Scouts!
Browse the list to spark some new, adventurous, and unique ideas for you and your troop.

Girls can try new activities and be a Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker and Leader (G.I.R.L.) at the same time. Be a bold and learn about being a published author. Get innovative by inventing something. Be gutsy and try indoor sky diving, or take the lead and help coach a sports team. See these ideas and so much more on the bucket list. No matter what you choose to explore, have fun with it! Share this list with the girls and see what sort of adventures and new ideas they can come up with.

If you have a new idea or something exciting that you’ve done with your troop, we would love to hear about it. We are also always looking for more ideas to add to the list, and we love seeing photos of your exciting adventures. You can contact us at 800.236.2710 or send us stories and photos by email.