Tag Archives: #NOVA

Camp Like An Egyptian (#100DaysofScouting, Days 11-14)


Sorry to disappear for several days there, but I’ve been incommunicado.  I wasn’t abandoning my 100 Days of Scouting efforts, I was immersed in a totally new (to me) Scouting environment:  Girl Scout encampments.

I’ve stopped counting how many bag nights I’ve had camping as a Scout leader since getting back into the movement in 2006, but I’m sure I’m well over 100 by now.  But all of them had been with either Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts.  My oldest has been a Girl Scout since Kindergarten and other than writing the checks for fees to camp and other events each year, I hadn’t been very involved with her program.  I always felt a little bad about that considering how much time I put into BSA programs with Jon in all the roles I do at the pack level and above.

So when Brandi (former Cubmaster for the pack, was my program director for 2008 Cub Twilight Camp in Springboro and is currently the Service Unit Manager for NOVA 449 of the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio) asked me to take a position as part of the service unit team as “Camping Coordinator” I agreed.  That was about six 8 months ago.  I helped with a campout last summer that ended up being about 10 people total, and then I helped give the CSA a presentation on Campfire Program Planning (I used the same course materials I taught at University of Scouting).  I also showed up to a couple of meetings and helped teach knots to some of the girls.  Overall, it wasn’t too much work but I was glad to help.

The first big event that I was drafted to assist with was the winter campout.  This is a pretty big deal, one of the larger events the Service Unit pulls off each year.  In 2010 there were about 85 total people there (campers, program aide’s [PA’s] and adults).  This year our attendance went up and we had 118 people registered (several no show’ed on us, I think about 113-115 actually showed up).

We held the event at Camp Stonybrook over on Route 73 near Waynesville.  It was the first time I had spent more than a few minutes at that camp, and it was very nice!  We had the dining hall and the two lodges that are grouped nearby (Pinetree and Ittman), as well as the Director’s Cabin nearby down the hill.  There were girls aged from 5 (Kindergarten) to 17 (High School).  They were divided up based on age and program level.  Daisies had one side of Pinetree and were one group.  The Brownies were broken into two groups (pink and yellow) and all stayed on the other side of Pinetree.  The juniors were also broken into two groups (Red and Aqua) and took half of Ittman, while the other half of Ittman were our PA’s and PA’s in training (Cadette and older).  The most experienced and mostly the oldest of the PA’s, our Leader PA’s (LPA’s) were in the Director’s Cabin.  Each area separate sleeping areas for youth and adults and there were adult leaders with them.  Being the only male in the entire camp, I got the entire dining hall to myself.  I also got my own special bathroom.

We started the event on Friday about 6:00 PM and ended about 3:00 PM on Sunday.  The camp-in (called a camp-in because they were sleeping in lodges not tents) was themed “Camp Like an Egyptian” and most activities were based around that theme.

I was really impressed with the whole experience.  And honestly, it wasn’t too much different than running a Cub Scout camping event for about the same amount of people, at least from the standpoint in what I was doing as Camp Director.  The biggest differences I noticed:

  • Camp names.  We use nicknames in my den, but each leader and PA had their own camp name that was used solely in place of their regular name.
  • Songs – Not that there aren’t songs at Cub Scout camp, far from it.  They were just different songs.  And some of them are STUCK. IN. MY. HEAD. three days after camp!

I personally had a great experience and was really glad to have been able to go and help out (or at least I hope I helped out).  The girls were great!  And the LPA’s really were on the ball with being in front to get done what needed to get done, if Brandi or I needed something we told one of them and they made it happen.  And everyone seemed to be okay with having a (big hairy) man there, and letting me throw in a couple of things I thought would be neat to do, like introducing the girls to the Order of the Fork!

So now that I’m recuperated from that event (being up dealing with issues until 2:30 – 4:30 each night will make you kind of tired), we are working on an online survey for the parents to take to use as feedback for next year’s event.

And then, after I get through Blue & Gold this weekend, we start planning the Service Unit spring camp-out (at Camp Hook in May).  And then the Pack campout in the summer as well.  I think I’m going to be criss-crossing ideas and ways of doing things back and forth, kind of using the best of both worlds.

This should be fun!

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Bye-Bye Gurlz!


“No girls!  For a whole week!  Oh yeah!”  That’s what my son (Webelos II, 90% done with Arrow of Light and slacking hard) has been saying, anyway.

Because this morning I dropped off my daughter (Jr. Girl Scout, Bronze Award recipient) and my wife (Juliette Coordinator for the NOVA Service Unit of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and Secretary for Cub Scout Pack 19) at Brandi’s house.  Brandi is Pack 19’s former Cubmaster, the Crew Advisor for Crew 1 and the Service Unit Manager for NOVA Service Unit, in addition to running her daughter’s Girl Scout Troops.  A service unit is the GS-USA equivalent to a BSA district, though usually a bit smaller.  NOVA covers all of Middletown and Monroe, and supposedly Madison will be joining the fold soon from what I hear.

Anyway, the girls are probably just getting into Tennessee at this point as they make their way to Savannah Georgia on a Girl Scout pilgrimage of sorts.  Savannah is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA.  I’m sure they’ll have a great time!  Their departure makes our houndmutt Buckeye the lone female of the house.  Naturally, she is in charge.

While the girls are gone, Jon and I will be trying to knock out those last few requirements to put him over the top for his AOL.  The only one we cannot complete is to be an active Webelos for six months after completing 4th grade or turning 10 years old.  Sadly, I have not mastered time travel just yet (that would be an interesting Craftsman/Scientist/Engineer activity badge crossover project I think), so we’ll have to finish up everything else and wait until late September to mark off that final checkpoint.

Hopefully my wife can enjoy the trip and not worry about the state of the house so much.  It was mostly clean when they left, and she’s convinced that when they get back the property will be unrecognizable as a livable human habitat.  Like we’re just a bunch of dirty messy smelly boys or something?  Go figure.

We’ll let you know just how high you can stack pizza boxes once they’re empty.  And build a pyramid out of root beer cans.  That counts towards engineering or something I bet.

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