Camp Ehawee Winter Expedition

By Media Girls Eloise Czerwonka, Brea Flint, and Megan Scholz

January 25-26, 2020

Don’t you love to camp at Ehawee?  The adventure, the wildlife, the trees? What if Ehawee was buried in nearly a foot of snow?  Would you still dare to stay the weekend?  That’s what 35 of Girl Scouts challenged themselves to do this weekend, along with parents, troop leaders, and super-awesome camp counselors!  At 35°F and no wind, Saturday was a GREAT day to play in the snow.   Megan Scholz, Brea Flint, and Eloise Czerwonka wanted to report the adventures that they encountered this weekend.

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Arriving at camp was interesting. There was snow everywhere. Normally, you show up at Ehawee surrounded by a green landscape. Well, not this time. We had nearly a foot of white, fluffy, pack-y snow, topped off just that morning. WILD!

After everyone moved into Bertha and Nakomis Lodges, they arranged themselves into groups and started an adventure. Eloise, Brea, and Megan navigated from constructing snow shelters to tracking animals, building fires in the snow, creating wildlife habitats, studying winter first aid, and making a blizzard in Hope Lodge.

image 2On their hike to find signs of wildlife, they didn’t see many tracks to begin with, so they made a few of our own.  Megan playfully drew a large bird print in the snow when the others weren’t looking.  “Look what I found!” she shouted to the group.  The girls debated about what it could possibly be.  A gigantic prehistoric bird perhaps?  Later in the day, when the girls returned to Hope Lodge, they saw the Hippogriff nest and came to the unanimous conclusion that the huge prints must have been from a Hippogriff.

 

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By the end of their 30 minute hike through the snow (it went almost all the way to their knees!), they had identified dog, raccoon, deer, and rabbit tracks.  Interestingly, the rabbit tracks were pretty shallow while the deer prints were deeper into the snow.

Next they made a snow shelter in the Minihaha Unit.  They had to start with a stick no larger than their wrist, add more sticks to it, then add vines or more sticks and packed snow on top (pancake style, not too heavy).  The bottom was lined with big branches to anchor the wall.  When they finished, all four of them could fit into the shelter (well, sort of).  It was surprisingly warm and comfortable inside even though it was made of icy cold snow.  When they climbed out, their leaders said it looked like they were climbing out of a clown car!

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After lunch, the girls wanted nothing more than to just play outside.  They hiked to Marinuka Unit where they had thought about fire building, but instead found a world of untouched snow.  They rolled a snowball that got bigger and bigger and took 10 girls to roll.  Working together, they constructed a snow mom that was bigger than all of the girls building it and turned it into their own personal climbing and play structure.

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Eventually, the girls did get to build campfires with camp counselor Cypher.  The fires were build in the parking lot on top of cardboard.  Cypher put them out with her boot before they got very big.  Did you know that air flow is important for getting fires started and keeping them going?  Since fires need oxygen, it’s important to make sure to build the base with space for the air to go.  The girls used a mixture of small twigs and pine needles (kindling) and bigger twigs and sticks to keep it going.  They all worked as a team to create a fire that lit well.  It was super exciting to see that they could start a fire in the snow.

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The last big Saturday activity was a snow creation competition.   Eloise, Brea, and Megan decided to make a friendship circle of snow girls and used snow paint made with food coloring and water to add different colored sashes/vests for each of the snow girls.  Snow painting was new to them and since the colored water was warmer than the snow it melted into the snow people leaving indentations.   There were all sorts of creative snow engineering going on.  There were castles, forts, Ms.snow-punzel, a hippopotamus, and even a snow woman in a bikini.  The winning structure was a snowman with a kitty because it had stick structures in it for support.   Although Eloise, Brea, and Megan didn’t win, but they sure had fun working as a team and creating 12 unique snow girls and their fearless leader.

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Eloise can’t wait to come back next year, and hopefully the abominable snowman appears this time so we can see it! The skits the counselors put on were amazing and funny — cool! The best one was the skit about camping and trolls. A special thanks to Panara bread for donating bagels and other kinds of bread for breakfast before our journey back home. She’ll just need to remember to bring a backup set of mittens next year!

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Brea had just moved to Badgerland Council this September, she was born and raised in Southern California, so this was her first winter with real snow (and her 1st time at Ehawee). She loved seeing the snow covered trees and paths—and loved that the weather conditions were just perfect—plenty of packing snow for building creative creations—such as spontaneous snow cats complete with twig whiskers.  She also is beginning to grasp the difference between packing snow and a nice dusting of powder—and can now understand why Eskimos have over 50 words for snow.  She was also glad she learned about frostbite — and hypothermia (something she didn’t have to worry about much in Southern California where temperatures rarely dipped below 60 degrees.  She learned about many of the summer traditions (creek hopping, swimming, and getting TeePeed) at Ehawee and can’t wait to see what camp is like in warmer weather.  Brea, only ever having tried Little Brownie Baker cookies, really loved the thanks-a-lot S’mores—they had the perfect amount of chocolate and cookie—making the most delicious S’mores she’s had yet!   She’s definitely going to ask mom to stick up on these cookies this cookie season—as they won’t be available next year.

image 9Megan’s favorite part of camp was hanging out with new friends.  Like when a group of girls spontaneously built a gigantic snowman that was so big, they used it as a slide.  She also discovered her new favorite tea!  Celestial Green tea with White Tea for smooth taste.  Who knew?  Megan can’t wait to go back and make even more magical memories.

 

Eloise, Brea, and Megan want to wish everyone a spectacular day and hope that you have the opportunity to join them at the next Ehawee Expedition.  Until then, adventure on!

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