Camp Tongawood: A Powerful Place to Empower Today’s G.I.R.L.s

In preparation for our 2017 Alumnae Reunion Weekend and Lifetime Member Picnic (Sept 23 – 24), we’ve been taking a look at the histories and folklore that make our Girl Scout camps so special. At Camp Daisy Hindman we learned about a community that came together to support girls through volunteerism and philanthropy. At Camp Prairie Schooner, we learned how Girl Scout volunteers fought for the camp and proved to everyone that G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)TM can do anything. The story of the Oakledge Ish-ki-ti-ni showed us the power of the Girl Scout camping experience and the lasting legacy alumnae leave on camps.  Today, we’ll explore the third camp in our Council – Camp Tongawood – and how it is empowering the G.I.R.L.s of today through unparalleled leadership experiences during those awesome day camps.

Camp Tongawood is a special, outdoor sanctuary in Tonganoxie, KS where girls can zipline, fish and create memories that last a lifetime. In addition to awesome programming on site, Camp Tongawood serves as home to day camps throughout the summer. These camps offer incredible leadership experiences for teens. Most day camps allow teens to have innovative leadership experiences for their younger Girl Scout sisters and the creativity is always inspiring. For some teens, it’s the first time they are taking on a leadership role.

As a Day Camp Teen Leader, older Girl Scouts get to transition into a role of leadership and learn the basics of planning and running a large event. Considering some Day Camps have hundreds of attendees, these are impressive events that Girl Scout teens put on! With the support of their leaders, they plan events, coordinate volunteers and help run the operations. At Camp Tongawood, girls are able to offer fishing, STEM activities, crafts, fire camp bonding, ziplining and a wide variety of other opportunities.

What’s especially beautiful about Camp Tongawood is the wide variety of multifunction spaces (both inside and outside) that allow girls to come up with unique experiences in the outdoors. Have a space-themed Day Camp? Girl Scouts planned a slime STEM activity that helped younger Girl Scout learn about mixing ingredients to create something gooey! Ready to take a leap? Day Camps are able to offer ziplining that help build confidence for girls.

In a world where girls are getting less and less time outdoors, Day Camps often offer Girl Scouts a chance to just be girls in the outdoors. As Alumnae, Elizabeth Bourquin (aka “Weebles”) said, “I think it’s really important for girls, especially in society right now, to learn outdoor stuff because we are becoming an indoor society. Girls have to know they can do whatever they want – it’s not man’s world anymore, it’s a woman’s world.” Day Camps help girls push their limits in ways that being indoors just simply doesn’t allow.

Camp Tongawood has also been home to some really amazing STEM experiences. From stargazing to geocaching, girls have had the chance to explore this property using science. Where else are there outdoor places completely dedicated to empowering G.I.R.L.s except for Girl Scout camps? We can’t think of any!

Thank you to all the alumnae, volunteers, teens and staff that have made Camp Tongawood an extra special place for today’s girl. Your dedication to Girl Scout programming make Day Camp leadership experiences possible for teen girls. If you’ve had a Day Camp at Tongawood, we’d love to hear your camp experiences in the comments below! Share with us how this property inspired your own G.I.R.L.s (or your own experience).

Don’t forget to join us Sept 23 – 24 for our GSKSMO Alumnae Reunion Weekend and Lifetime Member Picnic! Registration is now closed, but contact VirginiaPennington@gsksmo.org to see if any spots are still available. Visit www.gsksmo.org/reunion for more information.

 

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