Words like 'rustic' and 'back to basics' are often used when talking about Girl Scout camps, but really these don't sum up the philosophy of this camp type.
Generally the focus of Girl Scout camps is outdoor living and this forms the basis of all the sessions, which means you'll most likely be living in platform tents for the entire summer. Okay, before you panic, platform tents aren't as scary as they sound - they're raised wooden platforms with a canvas tent-like covering that generally house 6 to 8 bunks. Typically 3 or 4 platform tents will be situated together around the camp. You'll also find that on many camps, there may be no electricity in the sleeping areas - which means you'll become a dab-hand with a kerosene lamp!
The activities also focus on the outdoors, with hiking, waterfront and teambuilding activities playing a central role, and of course after a fun-filled day, counsellors and campers alike cook their evening meal over a campfire before gathering round it for before bed for some campfire activities and songs!
Obviously Girl Scout camps are 'girls-only' zones, and many find this environment, along with the support given by camp staff, key in helping young girls develop their confidence and skills. It's also one of the main reasons behind the incredibly strong sense of community that you find on a Girl Scout camp. And don't worry - there's plenty of time to meet guys on your travels!
One such Girl Scout camp we work with is Skylark Ranch, which is associated with the Girl Scouts of Northern California and is set in a fantastic location in, you guessed it, California! The camp has been around for 60 years overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Due to the location the camp offers unusual camp activities such sea kayaking, beach exploration and scuba diving!
Skylark Ranch features nine living units. Six of these consist of a group of platform tents that sleep 4 people per tent on cots and mattresses. The remainder are “primitive units” where campers can build their own beds before sleeping in them! Their circular dining hall can fit up to 200 staff and campers in one sitting!