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.

6 Visionary Volunteers Honored at Annual Meeting

2017 Annual Meeting HonoreesOn September 16 the Performing Arts Center at Sun Prairie High School was packed with parents, volunteers, Girl Scouts, board members, delegates, donors and more coming together for the largest crowd ever to attend the Annual Meeting. This year, six amazing adult volunteers were in the spotlight for the incredible work they do building girls of courage, confidence and character.

Three volunteers were honored with the Volunteer of Excellence Award. This award is given to volunteers that demonstrate outstanding service while partnering directly with girls, in any pathway, to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. It is also given in recognition of exceptional service in support of the council’s mission.

Sadie Nerswick is a go-getter troop co-leader with Brownies and Juniors in Columbus. She is beloved by her girls for being fun and kind and compassionate – a trait she’s instilling in her girls. For example, last year she went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that all her girls could attend an event recognizing a girl in their troop, a cancer survivor. That Girl Scout felt so special having her troop sisters go out of their way to support her. That’s the Girl Scout way, and that’s Sadie Nerswick’s way!

Lisa Schmitt has been leading and mentoring Girl Scouts for five years in Platteville. And to say her troop is thriving is an understatement. Today, there are 17 fifth graders flourishing under the leadership of Lisa. She encourages her girls and instills in them her own positive, can-do-attitude. She is determined to give each girl the knowledge that they can succeed at anything they set out to do.

Jaren Shaw helps lead three troops at three different levels, Daisies, Brownies and Seniors, in Tomah. It takes an audacious woman to step up to that challenge and that describes Jaren. She has been a leader for four years and is well respected in her community for always going over, above and beyond for the girls. Jaren is patient, welcoming and she is persevering. She will do what it takes to make sure her Girl Scouts walk away from each experience a better person.

Two outstanding volunteers were awarded the Girl Scout Appreciation Pin. This award is bestowed for outstanding service in support of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience beyond their local community.

Jessica Huntamer leads more than 20 Juniors and Cadettes in Richland Center and is a volunteer member of the Badgerland Council Delegates. The girls in Jessica’s troop say the first time you meet Jessica you see her positivity and commitment. She is an amazing mentor…leader…and, in the words of girls…“truly a best friend for all of us.”

Maranda Oliver has lead Junior Troop 4234 and since they were Daisies, these girls have been working hard to make their hometown of Westby a better place. As kindergartners, they adopted a local park and have been making ongoing improvements for years, and they’re only in 4th grade. Maranda is always innovative and seeking ideas to help her girls learn new things in fun ways. She did a STEM activity with the girls by having them make homemade ice cream – needless to say that forever endeared her to the girls!

We also honored an amazing woman that has provided 60 years of Girl Scout volunteer service, Nancy Hansen-Bennett. When Nancy first became a Girl Scout volunteer, Dwight Eisenhower was president, in 1957! And she has continued to be an advocate for hundreds of girls in the greater Janesville area. In fact, Nancy’s final act as a co-leader was to send a letter to the editor of the local newspaper challenging retirees to step-up and be a Girl Scout volunteer and make a difference to girls, just like she has all these years. Nancy also received a notable membership pin, she’s been a Girl Scout for 70 years.

Badgerland is lucky to have amazing volunteers like the women above. Learn how you can help girls unleash their inner leader here.