Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Week 8

Here we are in our last week of camp. We've just bid farewell to several troops who were here enjoying camp as part of our Troops and Trails program. They packed a ton into their short 2 days here and left pleasantly exhausted.

Yesterday we danced the night away with all the hit camp favorites including the Cha Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, Electric Slide, and Cotton Eyed Joe to name a few. Perhaps your camper can share some of her new moves with you when she returns home!

Tonight we will be having a skit night, "Who's Line is it Anyway" style. Girls will be given a few items, some crazy costume pieces, and the use of their counselors to create a skit. It should be very entertaining.

So far we've had clear blue skies, and the watermelon bugs have been fairly shy about coming out to play. It's a good week at camp.

Week 7

Howdy. Before we make a post about week 8 (our current week) we must take a moment to apologize for not updating during week 7. It was a fun week and we had our share of excitement.

We did have a few monsoon storms but they were not nearly as bad or frequent as they typically are this time of year. Luckily with the lack of rain we've been able to do most of our regularly scheduled program and so far we're still allowed to have campfires, although last week we had them in the lodge with a cozy fire in the rock fireplace.

We had a great group of CIT's and WIT's who had the fortunate opportunity to visit Shadow Rim Ranch and participate in the Oxford Leadership Youth Program. They also spent time at Maripai getting to know the behind the scenes pieces of camp and learning how to work with younger girls.

On Thursday afternoon our Iron Chefs were busy in the kitchen preparing a feast for our evening banquet. The meal was a huge success and the girls were glowing with pride from having prepared and served a meal to the entire camp!

We also enjoyed an all-camp dance party and a movie night. It was a great week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Most parents expect their children to experience a little homesickness while they are away at camp. It is a completely normal part of the process through which healthy independence is gained. However, many parents are surprised to hear that there is another similar ailment that can affect campers after they leave.... Campsickness.

Posted below is a link to a great article regarding the "End of camp Blues" that was recently posted on the American Camping Association website. Because campsickness is a real ailment for some campers after their camp experience we hope you will find the article helpful in helping your child settle back into home.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Week 6 - International

Hola! Shalom! G'day!

It's international week and we kicked it off on Sunday night with a campfire hosted by our 6 international staff. We have staff at Maripai from Malaysia, Israel, Slovenia, Australia, and Columbia. Our weather has had perfect timing so far this week. It rained just after check-in yesterday as the groups were settling into their cabins and then the sun peeked out between the dark clouds for the evening flag ceremony and an attempt to dry off the benches at our fire circle.

Today the skies are blue with the lovely white clouds that provide refreshing moments of shade. The girls have been enjoying their activities and I overheard one little camper at lunch saying that the food (wings, fries, salad, cottage cheese, and fruit salad) was the best ever! That's what we like to hear!

Our Iron Chefs have started preparing for their big challenge of making dinner for the camp on Thursday. They watched a food safety video this morning and were introducted to an industrial sized kitchen and our kitchen staff. They are brimming with excitement.

Well that's about it for now. I think its time for me to head out of this office and join some campers in some fun!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Monsoon & Week 4 Program

For the last couple of days we've had thunder and lightening but the skies have only spit at us. Last night we finally had the refreshing monsoon rains. It was exciting and this morning everything looks so green - perfect for "eco" (ecology) week!

Due to the weather some of our horseback riding sessions have been cancelled but despite thundering skies we've been doing a lot of fun activities. Here is Mufasa, our program director to tell you some of the fun things we've been up to this week:

The week has been going great! We kicked it off with a dance Monday night, always a ton of fun. Tuesday night we really got into our "eco" week with a trash hunt! It was definitely more fun than it sounds. Counselors hid with their "trash" - slips of paper with pictures of trash since we didn't want to litter our own camp - and girls had to find them! Definitely very fun and exciting.

Wednesday afternoon was an outdoor skills training. Girls learned first aid, safety in Arizona's hot climate, and learned proper fire safety...by getting into a water fight with their counselors. Everyone had a great time, there were lots of fun games and activities, and definitely lots of laughter. We've been having a fun, fantastic week at camp, and we can't wait for more!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Family Camp

We've packed our cabins full of families and as today wears on we are tiring them out one satisfied camper at a time! Families have been able to choose from activities ranging from gardening, butter making, churning ice cream the old fashioned way, hikes, crafts, and of course riding just to name a few things. At lunch I saw a number of kids and adults alike sporting newly made button bracelets. The days are finally heating up so we've left our high energy sports to the mornings and the afternoons are prime time for low key activities, water games, and other beat the heat ideas. Tonight we'll set up our projector near the backstop on the field and watch a movie under the stars!

Tomorrow we welcome in our 4th week of campers and the staff are looking forward to it. We've got some fun groups coming up including the new Iron Chef program who will be creating a feast under the guidance of our kitchen staff for the entire camp next Thursday! We've also got our first group of the brave little Pioneers, our 6 day program for 2-3 graders.

Our CIT II's (Counselors-In-Training) will be interning in units this coming week, which is their 3rd and final week of the CIT program. They have been such a big help to camp and the younger girls really connect well with them. We'll be sad to see them go at the end of next week but excited that they will have the opportunity to come back as part of our staff next summer!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nature & Garden with Poco

In the garden we are doing great! The girls are having so much fun and the plants are starting to grow from all the love they are getting. We are growing things that we can eat and that will help out in the kitchen including vegetables and herbs, we are also growing some some flowers. The girls love taking care of the plants and helping them grow. When girls come to the garden they first learn how to be in a garden without hurting themselves or the plants growing there. Then they help either with planting things or watering what we have already planted. Soon the garden will be big and wonderful and we will be able to start using what we are growing! The girls are also learning about hiking and different things in nature. We also go on nature walks and play around looking at the creek and all the different life that is in our camp.

Poco, Nature & Garden Instructor

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trail Rides!

This week has been great! Cookout was very successful last night, all of the units had Tacos, Burritos, Taco Salad, or something along those lines. We didn't have our sleepout because of how cold it has been up here. It is summer right? June? Ok, just checking. The cooler days have been great though!

Last night I played elbow tag and then stargazed with the Greenwood campers. Today I enjoyed Parachute games and learned some Kung Fu with the Hiker Chic's in Frontier. The Trailblazers were busy blazing their first trail this morning, followed by Jr Equestrian, Hoofbeats, Saddle Up, and Horsin' Around. I also saw some crazy looking counselors at lunch today that the campers had dressed for our "Dress Your Counselor" lunch. I don't see too many of our campers with bright future careers as fashion designers!!

Tomorrow we're saying farewell to our one-week groups, many who have bravely conquered homesickness and hopefully had as much fun as it appears. Our two-week campers are gearing up for a weekend full of hikes, trail rides, a color wars all-camp, scouts own, and more!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Week One!

Our first week of camp is off to a great start. The staff are thrilled to finally have campers after about a week and a half of training. Everything is going smoothly, better than we had even hoped for! Dinner on our first night was efficient, taking only about 40 minutes (it usually takes an entire hour!) Everyone was full of spaghetti, happy, and ready for a campfire... minus the fire.

Yesterday, after having a tasty oatmeal cookie snack, we had my choice, where the girls were able to choose to participate in activities including face painting, a creek walk, games on the field, or a dance party in our lodge. During this time Creekside was scheduled at the barn, steering their noble steeds around the riding arenas.

Last night all of the units slept out on our field under the stars. The night was clear and the stars were bright. The crickets sang the girls to sleep as a gentle breeze rustled through the trees. After waking up with the sun at 6am (and waking the counselors up at 6am) the girls all enjoyed a "jungle breakfast". We'll let them tell you all about it!

Yes all is well in our first week of camp. The girls are having fun, the counselors feel filled with purpose and responsibility, and hopefully there will be many exciting tales to tell when campers return home on Friday!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Are You Ready For Camp?!

Dear Parents,

Phoenix is heating up and we continue to prepare to make Girl Scout Summer Camp 2009 a positive experience for every camper that will be joining us this year. We know that as we prepare, you and your daughter are also getting ready. Whether this is a first time camp experience or your camper is a seasoned professional there are a few things our camp team would like to share with you. While some of this information is included elsewhere in your parent information packet our camp team identified the items on the following list as being the most helpful to communicate to parents as camp approaches.

If you haven't received a confirmation packet please e-mail Tracie Smith at traciesmith@girlscoutsaz.org

Parent information packets (and forms) may be accessed at: http://www.girlscoutsaz.org/public-events/summer-camp/summer-camp-parent-information/

And we'd like to share with you a few things counselors wish parents knew:

  • Mail can be dropped off at check-in. This way, your daughter gets a letter every day.
  • If you pack with your child, she knows what she has, and where it is. Also, please understand that your daughter will be re-packing herself.
  • Please don’t send your daughter to camp with a suitcase that is extremely heavy. The counselors are glad to help, but are probably not as strong as Dad.
  • Please let your unit counselors know if your child regularly wets the bed. This way, they can be prepared to change the sheets and wash bedding/night clothes in the morning while the girls are at breakfast. They can do this very discreetly, so the other girls in the tent or cabin won’t know about it.
  • Please send pre-addressed and stamped envelopes with your daughter to write home.
  • The average trading post allowance is $10 - $20 per week
  • Sisters do not necessarily make the best buddies.
  • Girls need a backpack or day bag to carry their gear for the daily activities.
  • Please try not to make any major medication changes just before your daughter comes to camp.
  • Letters to your daughter should be upbeat – writing about how much you miss her, or writing with bad news can make her very homesick.
  • Please don’t tell your daughter she can call if she gets homesick. We will give you a call if camp becomes something more than she can handle.
  • Put your daughters name on everything! Put your daughters name on everything!
  • Socks need to cover the ankles.
  • Please, please, please do not send cell phones with your campers. Thank you.
  • Girls will be expected to help clean up after themselves. Please let them practice at home with simple chores such as sweeping, setting the table, and helping with dishes.
  • Many girls like to wear flip-flops as “shower shoes” but this is the only time flip-flops are allowed. Rocks at camp bite bare toes!
  • Our camps do not have air conditioning in the sleeping areas.
  • Please make sure your medication instructions match those on the bottle.
  • Practice letting your daughter shower herself and wash/brush her own hair before coming to camp.
  • Please do not bring pets to check in or check out. Pets must remain in vehicles at all times.
  • Parents – please wear comfortable walking shoes to check in and check out.
  • Encourage your girls to talk to their counselors about ANYTHING that is bothering them. We can not help if we don’t know what’s going on.
  • Horses are only at Maripai, the climbing tower and canoeing are only at Shadow Rim and the ropes course is only at Willow Springs.
  • Bunk Replies are new this year and there will probably be a few hiccups so please work with us.
  • If you have any questions or concerns please call us. We are glad to help you so that this is a positive experience for everyone involved.
  • Be prepared to have Girl Scout songs sung to you over and over again after you pick up your daughter from camp or the bus stop.

    Thank you for listening and we’ll see you this summer!!!