Girl Scout resident camp provides a safe environment for girls of any age to explore all they can do while developing important life skills. Although unnerving at times, more so for parents than their daughters, resident camp is a place for girls to build responsibility, independence, and strengthen skills in an environment free from external pressures.
At resident camp, girls learn to be responsible for their actions. Our guidance policy is based on conversation and problem solving together. We encourage our girls to talk it out and develop a solution together rather than just telling them to be nice. These critical thinking skills help our girls’ problem solve in their day to day lives after leaving camp. Girls also often leave camp with a better understanding of why mom or dad is always yelling to put things in their place. Experiences, like forgetting your poncho on a hike or leaving your water bottle behind after canoeing on the lake, help girls take responsibility for their belongings.
Girls will learn tremendous life skills as well. From the simple self-care tasks of brushing their teeth to using a compass and map to find their way to a location in camp, these girls will amaze themselves with what they are able to accomplish all on their own. Resident camp provides a safe place to fail which encourages girls to step out of their comfort zones and into roles they may not assume when parents or friends are watching. This leads them to develop new interests and explore nature in an empowering atmosphere.
Camp was important to me growing up because it gave me the opportunity to get outdoors and try new things. As I got older, it helped me grow into a better leader! I would not have been able to experience all that I have done if it wasn’t for Girl Scouts and camp.Jaleesa, Camp Alum, Gold Award Recipient and Lifetime Member
Resident camp provides a place where a girl can be who she really wants to be without any pressure from existing friendships or expectations. Being in a group of girls where they may not know anyone, allows that quiet, introverted girl to be the goofball and the class clown to take a step back and enjoy watching others be in the spotlight. The “girly” girl can get dirty and the athlete can try out acting in a skit. We even encourage the girls to come up with a camp name that reflects their camp personality or what they enjoy while exploring outdoors with us.
Being at camp outside of the troop structure also exposes your daughter to more diversity, in people and experiences, and helps them learn to make friends no matter where she goes. In our growing world, kindness is an important trait to instill in our girls. Even in just a few short days at camp, these girls can make a huge difference in each other’s lives.
I wouldn’t be who I am today without my years at Camp Welaka. I remember my first summer camp; I arrived a quiet, shy girl and I didn’t know anyone there. By the time I left, I had so many friends, a lot became lifelong, and I discovered a newfound confidence in myself! I found my voice at Welaka and my BEST FRIEND! That one summer is what has kept me drifting back to Welaka these 20+ years to share what I had with the next generations, including my own daughter!Boomer, Camp Alum and GSSEF Outdoor Crew Volunteer
This article was written by Kate “Squirrely” Goosey, Outdoor Program Manager at Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida. Kate was a Girl Scout in our council and even attended resident camp when she was younger! As an adult, Kate was involved with our organization as a volunteer before accepting the position as the Outdoor Program Manager. Now Kate is in charge of recreating what she loved so much about camp as a kid and creating new experiences for our Girl Scouts!
Interested in learning more about Girl Scout’s of Southeast Florida’s Resident Camp? Checkout our Summer Resident Camp website