Camp Like a Girl Scout

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Spotlight on CIT II Olivia Aractingi aka “Puffy”

When Girl Scout Ambassador Olivia Aractingi went to summer camp for the first time in 2007, she left feeling empowered.

Empowered to embrace her unique qualities.

Empowered to believe in herself.

Empowered to make friends wherever she went.

“Even at 8 years old I knew. I met tons of different people and I loved the diversity between us. That experience made me who I am,” Olivia said.

Camping has long been an aspect of Girl Scouting. Girl Scout Camp is where every G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)™ will lead like a Girl Scout, like Olivia.

Over the past nine years, she has been to three different camps, participated in a variety of programs and formed countless friendships with campers and counselors. Through her experiences at camp, Olivia has found her passions and challenged herself.

One summer her mom signed her up for a horse program. “I tried something new, realized that I didn’t like to ride horses, but I like to help out with them. The beauty of camp is that its challenge by choice,” she explained. “Camp shows yourself your boundaries. You explore what you do and don’t like – it’s perfect because if you don’t want to do one thing, there’s always something else.”

As Olivia has grown through camp each summer, so have her leadership skills. She’s earned both her Counselor-in-Training (CIT) I & II pins and works to ensure that younger campers have an experience as memorable as her first one was.

“My goal every summer is to get to know everybody at camp – learn one thing about every person. That does great things for building friendships!”

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Olivia knows that her experiences and skills she builds at camp stay with her even when she’s not there. During the school year she her camp experiences and recruits girls of all ages to join Girl Scouts to join her the next summer!

“Going to camp has helped me communicate with people in the real world. It has turned me into a leader and a problem solver,” Olivia said.

Because she camped like a Girl Scout, Olivia is empowered for life.

What program will empower your G.I.R.L. this summer?! Our 2017 Summer Camp Guide is now live and registration opens on January 5, 2017 at 9:00 am!

Camp Daisy Program Staff

Get to know some of our summer camp program staff!

Megan Martin, Program Manager

Camp Name: Sheriff – A former camp colleague from Australia gave her the name because she is from Texas!

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Megan has more than five years’ experience working at Girl Scout camps across the country and is a proud Girl Scout alumna!

Favorite Memory as a Camper: All of her cool counselors!

Favorite Place at Camp Daisy:  Pioneers Ridge

Favorite Camp Activity: Tempera Twister

Favorite Girl Scout Song: Princess Pat

Favorite thing to get in the mail: Camper mail!

Favorite Camp Snack/Food: Sloppy Joes

To the caregiver/parent:  When your Girl Scout comes home, she will be a new and more excited Girl Scout!

What she’s most looking forward to: Working at Camp Daisy! My Dad worked at the Kaw Valley Council and Camp Daisy in the early 1980’s!

Why she became a camp counselor: I had AMAZING counselors when I was a camper. I want every girl to have the same positive, uplifting and inspiring experiences that I had.

 

Savannah Coffey, Lifeguard

Camp Name: Beenie – When she was a CIT, she wore a beanie every day.

Hometown: Neosho, Missouri

Savannah was a camper for 10 years at Camp Mintahama in Joplin, Mo. and a staff member for 1 year at Camp Finbrooke in Rogersville, Mo. This is her first year on staff at Camp Daisy Hindman!

Favorite Memory as a Camper: Spending time at waterfront

Favorite Place at Camp Daisy: On the dock listening to all the bullfrogs

Favorite Camp Activity: Campfire on the last night of camp

Favorite Girl Scout Song: Linger

Favorite thing to get in the mail: Letters from my little sister

Favorite Camp Snack: Banana boats

To the caregiver/parent:  Going to camp is an amazing experience that every girl should have.

What she’s most looking forward to: Watching all the campers get into a canoe for the first time!

 

Kaitlyn Edwards, STEM Specialist

Camp Name: Roo – From the kangaroo from Winnie The Pooh.

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

School Attending: Saint Louis University

Kaitlyn is a Girl Scout alumna, participated in the CIT program as a camper and helped lead her service unit day camp.

Favorite Memory as a Camper: Resident camp in the canoe trek program.

Favorite Place at Camp Daisy:  Top of the hill

Favorite Camp Activity: Stargazing

Favorite Girl Scout Song: Chocolate Chip Cookies Song

Favorite thing to get in the mail: Fun stickers

Favorite Camp Snack/Food: Spaghetti

To the caregiver/parent:  Camp is a safe place where girls can practice being independent and have a say in what they do.

What she’s most looking forward to: Helping campers become excited about STEM and allowing them to choose what they want to learn about at camp.

What she wants you to know about her program area: STEM activities at camp are fun and allow girls to participate in hands on experiences in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

 

Morgan Wood, Riding Instructor

Camp Name:  Slugger – She is a former softball player and that was a nickname that stuck with her!

Hometown: Maryville, Missouri

School Attending: Northwest Missouri State University

This is Morgan’s first summer ever at Girl Scout camp! She is working at camp as part of her field experience for her corporate recreation degree!

Favorite Place at Camp Daisy:  Horse Barn & Chandler House

Favorite Camp Activity: Campfires

Favorite Girl Scout Song: Lion Hunting

Favorite Camp Snack/Food: Taco Salad

To the caregiver/parent:  We have a caring staff here at camp that are all well trained and experienced in their area. This opportunity is a great experience for your girl to learn and grow.

What she’s most looking forward to: Spending a majority of my time with the horses and riding with the kids!

What she wants you to know about her program area: Horses are a great therapy for girls and they get so excited to be on horseback for an hour out of their day!

 

Emily Budzowski, Riding Instructor

Camp Name:  Bandana – She has a small collection of 45 bandanas and wears one daily.

Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas

School Attending: Truman State University

Emily has participated in programs at all 5 of our camp properties and is a Girl Scout alumna!

Favorite Memory as a Camper:  My last year as a camper I was able to keep some ashes from my last campfire.

Favorite Place at Camp Daisy:  Barn and Lake Odonata

Favorite Camp Activity:  Archery

Favorite Girl Scout Song: Magic

Favorite thing to get in the mail: Letters

Favorite Camp Snack/Food: Taco Salad and Gooey Balls

To the caregiver/parent:  Your child will learn different skills that aren’t available in everyday situations. Also, she will make great friends and challenge herself.

What she’s most looking forward to: I’m excited to be a part of this staff. I’ve been waiting to work at camp since my first year as a camper and I finally get to work behind the scenes and make a difference in girls’ lives!

What she wants you to know about her program area: Horses area a wonderful activity that teaches you trust, confidence and self-empowerment. Our program is a challenge by choice, but it can push you out of your comfort zone and open you up to new experiences.

 

Curious about what a day at Resident Camp looks like for campers and staffers?! Social Media Day at Camp is on Wednesday! Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the inside scoop!

Or, you can meet these staffers in person when you drop your Girl Scout off at Resident Camp!  Sign her up today!

 

Top 10 Outdoor Adventures in Kansas and Missouri

Ever talked to someone who has never visited Kansas or Missouri? If you have, chances are good they thought you were from “boring” states. The following list is a surefire way to prove them wrong! It may be hard to believe we have so many beautiful outdoor treasures right here in our states. But after researching favorite tourist sites, some of which are a *bit* out of the way, we know we can entice anyone to explore these amazing places! Girl Scouts, are you ready to be adventurous this summer?!

Top Ten Outdoor Adventures in Kansas and Missouri

The Fugitive Beach – Rolla, Missouri

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Pack your swimsuits and sunscreen and get ready to make a splash at The Fugitive Beach in Rolla, Missouri! Located eight miles south of Rolla, this “beach” is actually an abandoned rock quarry. And at only $6 per person it is a real steal! You can relax on the beach, swim or go down a water slide. But if you’re feeling ready for adventure, check out the obstacle course training. All of their rules and regulations are located on their website so make sure to come prepared with what you need to enjoy a day of water fun!

Mark Twain State Park – Florida, Missouri

There is so much to see and do here we don’t have room to write it all! But rest assured there is something for every level of adventurer! Whether it be camping, hiking, boating or educational presentations, you’ll find it all at this versatile State Park. Native trees and soaring views are only some of the greatest attractions nestled in the middle of the Salt River Hills of North-Central Missouri.

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center – Topeka, Kansas

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The Discovery Center offers an exciting and safe place for families and children to explore and discover nature within 4.5 wooded acres in Topeka’s Gage Park. You’ll find obstacle courses, hiking trails and bike paths. It’s okay to get dirty here, girls! Go on and build a fort, make a mud pie or scale rocks! Adventure is the name of the game here! And even better, they are one of our community partners!

Onondaga Cave State Park – Leasburg, Missouri

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Come see why Missouri is often called “The Cave State!” You’ll be mesmerized by stalagmites, stalactites, and active flowstones. Visitors can descend into the depths of the caves with a guided tour. If you’d rather stay at the surface, the park’s Vilander Bluff Natural Area provides a panoramic view of the Meramec River.

Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure – Salina, Kansas

Rolling Hills Zoo is home to 100+ species of animals located in a beautifully landscaped 60 acre park. Ride the tram, feed the giraffes or listen to one of the many zookeeper talks! The onsite museum provides plenty of hands-on, interactive ways to explore and learn about animals!

Flint Hills Discovery Center – Manhattan, Kansas

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This outdoor treat turns out to be an unexpected beauty for those who have never made the trip. The Flint Hills of Kansas, which are some of the last tallgrass prairies in North America, are currently endangered. The mission of the Discovery Center is to inspire people to celebrate, explore and care for the Flint Hills. We are so honored that Flint Hills Discovery Center is one of our community partners!

Monument Rock National Landmark – Oakley, Kansas

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If you really want to go off the beaten path, you’ll find an amazing sight at Monument Rock – but it will take you some time and patience to get there. This adventure is more suited for older Girl Scouts as you will have to drive on a dirt road, 25 miles south of Oakley, Kansas. When you arrive you will definitely know it! You can spot the chalk formations that rise 100 feet into the air as if from out of nowhere. These rocks, or “pyramids” as locals call them, attract many visitors every year. These are located on private property but visitors are welcome to drive up to the structures and photos are welcome.

Powell Gardens – Kingsville, Missouri

It’s time to come smell the roses (and many other flowers) at Kansas City’s botanical garden. Book a group tour to experience the sights, sounds and smells of this beautifully landscaped attraction. You can’t go wrong when nature and STEM come together! Now through September 7th, explore 27 all new LEGO sculptures, which represent how all living things connect on Earth.

Bennett Spring State Park – Lebanon, Missouri

Get your fishing poles ready! Located in southwest Missouri, Bennett Spring is best known for its fish hatchery with excellent trout fishing opportunities! This state park also provides camping, cabins, trails, a nature center, restaurant, store, picnic tables, and a playground. Take a tour of the hatchery or spend the day canoeing down the scenic Niangua River.

Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park – Manhattan, Kansas

Want a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Flint Hills? Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park is where it’s at! Scheduled to open on June 25th, this brand new zip line park has seven zip lines with trails. Children and adults can zip over treetops and ravines. You won’t see this in Kansas west of Manhattan!