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.

2017 Girls’ Choice Badges

Troop Camping Badges

By Cody Huston, Customer Service Associate

The girls have spoken and the winning Girls’ Choice badge topic for 2017 is Troop Camping!

The requirements for these badges are now available to download. What a great way to start the summer! Incorporate the badge into your summer outdoor adventures, and you will be ready when the badges arrive in the shops in August.

If that wasn’t enough excitement, Daisies can join the outdoor fun with their first Girls’ Choice badge.

Troop Camping badges offer a progression through camping and outdoor education:

  • Daisy – Buddy Camper
  • Brownie – Cabin Camper
  • Junior – Eco Camper
  • Cadette – Primitive Camper
  • Senior – Adventure Camper
  • Ambassador – Survival Camper

At each level, girls help plan a camping trip and explore new camp skills, while learning how to “Leave No Trace,” because a Girl Scout always leaves a place better than she found it.

Download the requirements and start planning your camping adventure today. Don’t forget, Badgerland has a variety of program kits and troop supplies you can borrow to help in your camping adventures, like marshmallow sticks, pudgie pie irons, compasses, binoculars, a geocaching kit and more. Contact your local Shop for more information.

Remember, camp life is the best life!

Tales of a 10-Year Summer Camper

By Colleen (Domino) McGuire, Ambassador Troop 2561
Youth Leadership Council member

As a graduating senior, when I look back there has been one constant in my life that I attribute to discovering Me: Camp.

I started attending Camp Black Hawk when I was eight years old and Camp Ehawee about five years ago. Now, 10 years later, I continue to go to both camps knowing exactly what I will find there: Home.

I have a loving family, but there is the undeniable pull of your camp family; the family that took you in and that you found. Camp is my happy place and my camp family is the group of people I can tell anything to. They are the people I think about when someone asks who I look up to…who I admire. It’s my camp family!

But I remember just how scary it was going the first time. I was so nervous. I didn’t think there was any part of me that was ready to go off to camp on my own. But the moment I got there, the staff made me feel safe and even happy to be there. Ever since that first year, my camp experiences have been ones of excitement, adventure and love.

Beyond the feeling of home, camp offers a plethora of amazing experiences and opportunities for girls. I grew at camp learning valuable skills like survival, making friends, leadership and courage, as well as a ton of other cool things. At camp you have amazing role models leading and interacting with the girls, and I know the support I got from the staff was priceless in helping me grow into a strong and confident leader.

One of the things I love is the variety of camps they have, and the themed weeks. There are camps focused on science, nature, art and even one or two geared towards pop culture! The themes have ranged from wizarding, to time travel, to Olympics, to color wars, and every week there are more fun games to play and more fun themed events. There’s never a dull moment at camp, and although you are having so much fun with all these great people, you’re still learning something new every step of the way!

As a camper I loved the horses and archery. As a leadership camper, I loved helping the other campers and learning how to take care of people.

This summer, will be very different for me as I take my place on staff.
And I can’t wait to make that first-year, nervous camper who is so scared feel as safe and happy as I did once I got to camp! And I can’t wait to learn what else I can love about these two places and the people who go there.

As a part of the Youth Leadership Council, I have the pleasure of knowing girls from across the council, and almost all of them place camp as one of the most important things that they have experienced through Girl Scouts.

Camp is home to me, and no part of the experience has been negative! Even if you just try it once, this is an experience you can’t pass up!

Register for summer camp.