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'The Summer We Camped At Home': Girl Scout camp reimagined

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Mon, Jun 15th 2020 01:35 pm

Girl Scouts offers new virtual indoor & outdoor camp opportunities for girls to partake in with their families

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) on Monday launched its new reimagined Girl Scout summer camp with “The Summer We Camped At Home” virtual summer camp experience. This new form of summer camp allows girls and their families a variety of ways to stay connected and get outdoors given the limited camp and outdoor options due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Summer We Camped At Home” is for girls ages 5 years old (or entering kindergarten in the fall) up to 17 years of age (or a high school senior). Virtual camp will be held from July 6 through Aug. 15, with six weekly themes offered and led by camp counselors: July 6-10: Earth; July 13-17: arts; July 20-24: adventure; July 27-31: friendships; Aug. 3-7: exploring; and Aug. 10-14: action.

Girls who attend will receive a special summer of 2020 camp patch. For added engagement, similar to a subscription box service, GSWNY will deliver six weekly-themed, age-appropriate camp activity kits to each camper’s home via mail.

Weekly camp activity kits will include: materials for three themed activities and invitations for three live virtual sessions (M/W/F) to go through the activities with camp counselors and the other girls in their group. An invitation to a virtual “dining hall” experience on Tuesdays focuses on the traditional camp dining hall experience, which is filled with songs and laughter. Girls will be able to pull up a chair and join in on the fun. There will be automatic invitations to the live virtual campfires on Thursday nights with a mini song book (new songs every week).

Younger girls will have the opportunity to write “pen-pal” letters to GSWNY camp mascots (Molly the Whale, Rosie the Rabbit and Bernadette the Turtle). Junior Girl Scouts and up will have facilitated virtual bunk chats to help girls stay connected with their camp friends. There will also be instructions for self-led activities including: three outdoor activities, a weekly camp tradition and outdoor cooking recipe.

And no camp experience would be complete without a friendship bracelet!

“Girl Scout summer camp is an important part of the Girl Scout experience and we are happy to offer summer camp reimaged for girls and their families this summer,” said Girl Scouts of Western New York CEO Alison Wilcox. “Girl Scout ‘Camp At Home’ allows us the ability to put the safety of girls, families, volunteers and staff first, while still providing some fun alternatives to in-person camping.”

GSWNY made the decision in May to cancel in-person day and resident camps this summer due to safety concerns about the COVID-19 virus.

Other virtual events will include virtual campfires at 7 p.m. every Thursday from July 9 through Aug. 13; the “Family Outdoor Challenge” each Monday from July 6-Aug. 10; the virtual sleepout on Aug. 15; and three national GSUSA virtual events in June, July and August on topics surrounding: engaging responsibility in the outdoors in collaboration with The North Face, “Space Exploration: Mars to the Stars,” in collaboration with subject matter experts from the NASA-funded “Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts” program; and a virtual campout at the Girl Scout birthplace.

Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts ages 5-17 can register for virtual Girl Scout summer camp. The weekly cost including the home-delivered camp activity kit is $60. Non-Girl Scouts will need to enroll in Girl Scouts at the time of camp registration for $25. Financial aid is available. To learn more or to register, visit www.gswny.org or call 1-888-837-6410.

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) serves nearly 15,000 girls and over 6,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction, including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The council’s administrative service centers are located in Batavia, Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Rochester.

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