Category Archives: Camping

Annual Family Camping Trip – FIRESIDE

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It’s time to finish with our camping “series”. Today we take it home with our FIRESIDE activities!

We pride ourselves on being a troop full of tradition. We start our meetings with the promise and law and we end with a friendship circle. We celebrate Juliette Gordon Low’s (the founder of Girl Scouts) birthday every year and end our year with a bridging ceremony and court of awards. So, needless to say we also always, always, always retire a flag honorably during our camping trip.

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“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” (The United States Flag Code)

It is a quiet event, where every girl has a chance to participate.
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We also, of course, use our fire pit for FUN…What’s a camp out without S’mores?!?! We enjoyed the super yummy treats with several types of marshmallows and different candy bars! Have you ever had a toasted coconut marshmallow with salted caramel chocolate square? How about a PB&J with strawberry marshmallows and Reeces Peanut Butter Cups? We suggest you branch outside of old faithful on occasion and mix it up!!
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This year’s s’mores were so gourmet even the parents had to dig in!!
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All in all a super great camping event! Looking forward to next summer!

Annual Family Camping Trip – Fish Hatchery

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Still going on our camping trip. Today we will chit chat a bit about our tour of the FISH HATCHERY!

Again, thanks to troop dad Frank, we were able to tour the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery run by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. We were given a personal tour of the inside of the facility, not usually open to the public, as well as a chance to feed the “big” fish outside. It was a rainy day, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. It was a really great afternoon!

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This is our “tour guide”, Matt, giving us a bit of history about the hatchery and why he loves his job!

Then we moved inside. Each of these basins are FULL of tens of thousands of fish each. As they get bigger, they are moved from trough to trough before being big enough to put outside. Matt talked to us about how they are measured/counted, how they are fed and how they are transported.

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Once outside they are fed until they are big enough to stock the local lakes. We got to feed them outside. Matt also explained to us how they don’t feed them right before they are transported so they have empty bellies and won’t “foul” (thus basically asphyxiating themselves) in their transport tank on the way to their final home. Ever wonder why the fishing is REALLY good on the day a lake is stocked?!?!? 🙂
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As an added bit of excitement, in the mountain side just above the hatchery a couple of Golden Eagles had made their nest. They had just hatched a few babies and were coming down to “fish” in the outside troughs. They got REALLY close to us…it was incredible!
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THANK YOU MATT for a GREAT day!
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Thanks also to the Division of Wildlife and Frank for allowing us to have this experience. It was a treat!
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Annual Family Camping trip – COOKING

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And we continue on….today is COOKING!

As mentioned before, we jam pack our camping trip with fun patch and badge activity work. It’s an opportunity to spend several hours on something that we would otherwise be limited with in our regular meeting space. This includes all cooking type activities. We took the badge work requirements for the Brownie Snacks badge and the Junior Simple Meals badge to create our menu for the trip. All levels help out, so even if they aren’t earning a badge, per se, they are earning an equivalent patch. Working together, the girls made all the meals! They each took turns working through age-appropriate skills…such as knife safety (told ya there was a good reason we did it over and over again!)

Yummy meals included customized personal omelets made in a bag, yummy sandwich wraps stuffed with delicious fresh veggies, and a Mexican dinner feast complete with homemade borracho beans, guacamole and salsa. The girls each also made their own personalized trail mix, to take hiking, jammed packed with hi-energy, low-sugar tidbits like nuts, dried fruits, etc.

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YUMMY!! DELICIOSO!

Annual Family Camping Trip – LEARNED SKILLS

Continuing with our camping trip…today we share our LEARNED SKILLS.

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Every year we use this opportunity to teach the girls knots and knife safety. Some years we add in first aid. This year we opted out of that and instead replaced it with fire starting. Our leader hubbies (aka “silent” leaders) were VOLUNTOLD to help out and they did great! We love it when a plan comes together…hahaha

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A few years ago our Co-Leader WM made a bunch of “swiss army” knives from cardboard and brads so we would have enough for everyone to have something to practice on. At the time our troop was made up of just younger girls. We now have Juniors and Cadettes in our troop, as we have bridged up a few times, in addition to the younger girls. So, last year we purchased a bunch of cheap knives to keep in our troop supplies box. So, our younger girls (and anyone whose parents aren’t comfortable with them practicing on sharp knives) have the cardboard knives and the older girls have the real knives. Some girls even own their own camping knives so practiced on those. As we do this activity every year, it might seem boring to the girls at times, but we truly do feel it is an important activity to continue to reaffirm year after year and even the cardboard knives are NOT TOYS!!

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And not sure how it happened but we only managed to get one shot of the fire starting activity….bummer! But, a great learned skill nonetheless!!

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Hope you are following the whole series…more to come tomorrow!

Annual Family Camping trip – ARCHERY

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Our camping trip is a pretty big event. We spend 2 nights somewhere and work on several badges and fun patches. Our troop is so big that we decided a long time ago that our camping trip is a family trip 1. so we have enough help and 2. so families can share in the experience of one of the Girl Scouts’ activities during the year (it also helps at bedtime when a parent is there to work with their own kids! hahaha).

We do jam pack the days and nights with activities and we tend to get a ton of photos. So, in an effort to showcase as many as possible, this year we decided to blog each badge/fun patch as it’s own post. Today is ARCHERY!

One of our troop dad’s works for the Department of Wildlife and he always helps us out with “learned skills” such as knives and knots. Last year he brought up a mobile archery range so the girls could have an opportunity to try it out. It was such a huge hit that he brought it back again this year. We are very fortunate to have these resources at our disposal. Thanks Frank!!!

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SAFETY IS ALWAYS FIRST!!!

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GREAT FORM GIRLS!!!

Special thanks to all our troop dads who helped out too! Especially the “silent” leaders…the leader husbands who gracefully get VOLUNTOLD to do things 🙂 Gerald G. and Dave S.!!!

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Annual Family Camping trip at Vega State Park
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We have tried a different place each year for our camping trip baring in mind several factors. After this trip, many declared it a great place for our camping trip based on distance from home and the beatiful scenery. It is also nice in that the lake is very close to the campsites so anyone, who wanted, could fish during down/free time. The wildflowers are gorgeous and the deer bouncing through camp at dusk is pretty special. At an elevation of 8,000 feet, Vega State Park’s high-mountain lake sits in a beautiful montane meadow on the northeast edge of Grand Mesa National Forest. We are fortunate in that this lovely location is about an hour from our home.
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A special thanks goes out to two troop dads, Frank and Dave, who put in a lot of extra effort to ensure our camping experience was above and beyond! The leaders, parents and especially the girls had a great time thanks to their added efforts and assitance!



Archery was COOL! – E.G, Junior
Frank did an awesome archery lesson – A.L, Parent
I had a lot of fun camping. My favorite part was learning how to shoot a bow and arrow – C.W, Junior

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We always do a flag retirement ceremony over our campfire. This is a great opportunity to show reverance to our flag while teaching the girls one of the ways to respectfully dispose of the flag.
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Badgework and fun!! We try to do badgework while on our camping trip as it is the only opportunity during our time with the troop where we have them for more than an hour and a half at a time. This year the Juniors and Brownies worked on First Aid and Girl Scout Way legacy badges and the Brownies also worked on their Snacks badge. For these badges the girls made first aid kits, learned how to read nutrition labels and made healthy snacks, did a nature scavenger hunt, played some “lift the spirit” games and had a chat with a couple of the leaders about Girl Scouts Then and Now. Learned Skills (knives, knots and “Leave No Trace”) and Art To Wear are fun patches we always work on. We take the opportunity during this weekend experience to re-emphasize proper knife handling and safety and always make a camp t-shirt and piece of jewelry for the girls to keep as a memento. Archery was an additional fun patch this year thanks to Frank offering to teach safety and bringing up supplies. And….of course….we enjoy a s’more or two!
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My favorite activity was the t-shirts. I also liked doing the button bracelet. – B.G, Junior
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B burst into tears on the way home from our Girl Scout camping weekend, at the thought of missing all her friends. It was sad, but also sweet… knowing we are helping to build wonderful lifetime memories! She and I really love this troop, they are SUPER fun! – C.M, Leader

It really is an awesome troop! I feel so fortunate to be a part of it! – D.S, Leader

I second that! K and all of us had a great weekend! – L.W, Parent

We had a great weekend! Thank you to all of you for really making this such an amazing weekend and an amazing year! – K.F, Parent

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