Camping with Mercer Island Girl Scouts
- VIRTUAL: Fall 2020 Encamporee, Oct. 9-11, 2020 (was at Camp River Ranch)
- VIRTUAL: Spring 2021 Encamporee, April 16-18, 2021 (was at Camp Lyle McLeod)
Keep this for Future In Person Encamporees
TO DO LIST
1. Register for housing and activities
3. Send forms
4. Sign up
5. Collect forms and plan with your own troop: ITEMS YOU NEED TO COLLECT FROM YOUR TROOP AND KEEP ON YOU AT CAMP AT ALL TIMES
- Girl Permissions & Health History You'll need one form for each girl. This is the form that each parent completes and signs at the beginning of each year and you as troop leader take it everywhere you go with your troop. Only section 1 and 2 are needed for meetings or encamporees less than 3 days. Sections 3-4 are for extended travel (3+ days). This form that contains important medical and emergency contact information for each girl. Make sure you have these forms at every meeting and with you at camp!
- Adult Health History Form for every adult coming to camp (just section 1).
- Driving to camp? Complete a Transportation Card.
- Here is a helpful Camp Packing List
- Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade troops will generally get an indoor unit, with indoor bathrooms and kitchens. 3rd graders and above will generally be assigned an "outdoor unit," which is a rustic structure with a roof, 3 walls, and open entrance. Bathrooms are in a separate area. It can be cold at night so you'll want blankets both under and over your sleeping bag. You'll also want to sleep with a hat on your head and have easy shoes to put on in case you have to use the bathroom in the night.
- We will have one group dinner on Saturday night in the main lodge. Other food should be prepared in the kitchen facilities of your unit.
- We will have archery and boating sessions available on Saturday for girls 4th grade and up.
- We will have other programming around the theme during the day on Saturday.
The following are camping tips leaders have shared at meetings. Below are printable documents that can help leaders plan and prepare for camping.
- All Brownies should be able to light matches. They should light so many matches they don't care if they ever light another match. Spring is the perfect time of year to practice.
- On each camp-out, pick one or two things per trip to focus on and have the girls really focus n it. Like meal planning/cooking, fire-building/tending, a Journey, whatever. IT's better to learn one thing well, than to do many and not really learn any of them.
- For meals, pre-cook all meat at home so you don't have to worry about under cooking.
- Eat on your way to camp the first night. You don't want to cook after dark. OR, get take out (like Subway) or a Papa Murphy's pizza to cook in a box oven.
- Don't forget dunk line and clothes pins for hanging dunk bags!
- Don't forget a net or strainer for dumping waste dishwater into the drain.
- Try to give each girl a chance to be the expert on something and/or a leader at something.
- Create a Group Agreement before leaving for camp.
- Bring an extra sleeping bag and extra wan girl-sized clothes, just in case.
- Foil meals are great because there's not a lot of cleanup.
- For breakfast try pancakes and bacon. Get the big pre-cooked bacon from Costco and let each girl cook her own pancakes. You can pre-make pancake batter, put it in ziploc bags, and then just snip the bag end an pipe it into the pan when your're ready to cook.
- Have girls create paper place-mats before the camp-out, laminate them, and then use them to arrange or mix up the seating at meal time.
- Agree on and post camp Kapers in the camp area so girls don't have to as an adult what to do.
- Make EASY meals - hot dogs, mac n cheese. You might be sharing a camp area with one or two other troops and need to share the site's cooking facilities.
- Let girls pick the cooking method - pie irons, stick, box, pot, dutch ovens - and the leader can help find a suitable recipe.
- Don't plan every minute. Girls remember the time they spend hanging out. They easily think of their own things to do. But bring an easy 'back up' plan - cards, string for friendship bracelets, twine for lashing fairy houses, etc.
- Make sure girls get lots of exercise. Encourage them to hike and explore the area. Letterboxing is a great way to entice them onto the trails.
- Have girls pack their cloths in gallon size ziplock bags - one complete outfit (socks, undies, shirt, pants) in each bag. Label each bag: Saturday clothes, pajamas, rain clothes, extra warm clothes, etc. This will help them from having to dig through their bag to find socks, etc.
- For meals, 'Make Your Own Whatever" is a great way to handle picky eaters and allergies. Baked potatoes, tacos, burritos, omelette in a bag, all work well. Girls pick ingredients/toppings they want.
- When you make Friendship Trail Mix, give the girls some parameters or it can become inedible! When each girl gets their bag let her know it's her snack for the entire camp out and let her practice portioning it out.
- Make a small 'memory pillow' from a regular pillowcase on one side and t-shirt material on the other. Girls can decorate the t-shirt side with signatures from her camp bunk-mates, a drawing from each camp, or write a memory from that camp. After a few years she'll have a lovely souvenir.
- Girls WANT to help (even with clean-up!) Just give them jobs and watch them go.
- Outdoor Program Activities for various ages that focus on Discover, Connect, Take Action. This chart shows what girls are capable of at all levels of Girl
- Girl Scout Camping: Janet Piehl's Suggestions from the Field
- Staying Warm and Dry Outdoors at Camp
PACKING LIST IDEAS:
- Check off what you take and bring home.
- Customize-able Packing List
- Another packing list example
- Sample Parent Packing Letter for Daisies and Brownie
- Sample Junior Packing List
- What should be in your Camp Kitchen Box
- Meal Planning Template
- Example of a Meal Kaper Chart
- Sample Camping Weekend Menu Plan
- Example of a Camp Schedule - post multiple copies around your camp so the girls aren't asking you what's next.
- Camp Chores Kaper Chart
- Sample Girl Scout Camping Contract
- Sample Pre and Post Camp Kapers for Girls and Adults
EQUIPMENT FOR BORROW
- From our Mercer Island Service Unit - all in the storage unit!
- From the GSWW office in Bellevue (Contact Irene Miller to reserve)
Dutch Oven Gorilla Bread
Hillbilly Camping Breakfast Hash
Zip Lock Bag Omelettes
Pie Iron Pizza_
Milk Carton Quesadillas
Campsite Pasta Italiano
Dutch Oven Chicken Enchiladas
Dutch Oven Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
Dutch Oven Coconut Cake