A Message to Parents
Before I get into the details of why Girl Scout Camp is so great and why you have nothing to worry about, I want to tell you that I am not a parent yet. But I am a camp counselor/craft director at a Girl Scout Camp and I see parents struggle with the decision of taking their daughter back home or giving her some freedom. Even my own mother, leader of our Girl Scout Troop when I was younger, struggled the same way as they did.
Even though I do not know the feeling of being a parent, I have dealt with many conflicted parents and I can imagine what they're going through. This article breaks down why camp is so good for your daughter and why it's good for you.
Girl Scout Camp for Your Daughter
Imagine: Summer is coming and your daughter is soon to be out of school for about 2 to 3 months. It's exciting yet nerve-wrecking. How will you entertain her when you still have to work? Day camps are nice...Yes. And Girl Scouts offers those as well. But why not give your daughter an experience she'll never forget?
At the age of seven (for most camps) girls can go to overnight camps. Overnight camp enriches a young girl's mind and soul, giving her the freedom to do what she wants (with supervision of course). At the start of the week the counselors ask each girl what they want to do or accomplish and we try to make it happen in that week.
This is the reason why girls go to overnight camp the first week, and then convince their parents to let them go back each week. Rarely is a girl ever homesick because throughout the week we're doing activities that they love. And the home cooked, delicious meals are a plus.
We don't just spoil the girls though. We actually teach them things, useful things that they will always apply to their lives. Each day brings something new along with routine, like; putting up and taking down the flag each day, saying grace before meals, and sticking to the buddy system. And by involving the girls in activities such as; outdoor cooking, nature activities, crafts, and boating, your daughter will have so much to tell you at the end of the week.
If you or your daughter is worried about bullies, Girl Scout Camp has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and counselors are trained to notice signs of the bullies and victims, in which case the girls are talked to in full confidentiality unless parent intervention is necessary.
If you or your daughter is worried about homesickness, then we also have that under control. Parents are allowed to send letters or even give us a stack of letters when you drop off your daughter so that we can give them out as the week goes on, making the week go by faster for your daughter. She can also write messages to you and we will help her mail the letter. Counselors are trained to notice signs of homesickness and everyone helps to make a girl feel better without gaining the attention of other campers.
Girl Scout Camp is the best way for a girl to learn new skills and values and feel some freedom away from home. Girls that go to camp are stronger and their minds are more rich with knowledge. The best part is that your daughter doesn't have to be a Girl Scout upon signing up for camp, she'll be registered as one when she goes to camp and it's up to her if she wants to continuing earning badges independently or join a troop where she'll make friends that will last a lifetime. Those same friends can be made at camp as well.
The Girl Scout Law
Parents: Take a Breath
As I said before, summers can be tough when you are still working but your child is out of school. Camp is the best thing for your daughter, but it's also good for you. If summer stresses you, then your daughter might notice and this could upset both of you. If you need a week when you know she's happy and having fun, then you might as well know she's safe as well.
At camp, almost every counselor is trained in CPR and First Aid, and we have a nurse on hand with a walkie talkie at her side. A camp nurse is practically Superman, she stores and disperses prescribed medications and will give your daughter the medications she needs as long as it's approved by the parent. And every Girl Scout camp has the number for the hospital and fire department that can be to the camp as fast as possible, but that's in very, extremely rare circumstances.
Camp isn't expensive and it includes everything, like most out of camp trips and all meals and snacks. Research the closet Girl Scout council in your area and ask to be emailed or mailed a brochure of programs, usually it comes out sometime around March or April. Plan early and then start packing! Council should give you a basic list of what to pack, remember not to go crazy with things she may not need, call council if you have any questions. If money is tight then you might want to consider contacting council about a discounted program or camp "scholarships", you may need to provide proof.
So if you need a week to relax and unwind before balancing work and your daughter, then give Girl Scout camp a chance. It's easy to find a camp that's close to you and a program that suit your daughter!
Girl Scout Camp Summed Up
A Quick Recap
- Girl Scout Camp is a fun and safe place.
- Your daughter can go to overnight camp at age 7.
- Your daughter will learn lifelong skills.
- Camp helps your daughter grow up strong.
- Camp also helps you to unwind for a bit.
- You don't have to be a Girl Scout to go.
- Camp includes fun activities and routine in the average day.
- Out of camp trips are fun and usually included.
- Camp isn't expensive and there can be extra assistance.
- Meals and snacks are included.
- Also included is the best experience your daughter will ever have.
Great Gifts For Camp
If you are considering or have already decided to send your daughter to a Girl Scout Camp, below are some great gift ideas that you can get for a holiday, birthday, or just to excite your daughter about camp!
The Tale of Girl Scouts
Girl Scout Barbie
johndwilliams from Essex England on December 03, 2014:
Great Hub! Love the detail and your writing... keep it up and write more please. Your Amazon cluster at the end looks too instense though - just saying :)