Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Memory of Girl Scout Camp

I'm writing this because my memory was jogged by another blogger - Thanks Cindy!

My Girl Scout Camp adventure began when I was around 10 years old (1946). I was a first Girl Scout Brownie for a few years but I went to Camp Mogisca in Sparta, NJ as an older Girl Scout for just one year. I remember it well; mostly for the "incidents."

I also remember being involved in the making of a Girl Scout promotional movie in a historic place called Jockey Hollow. I felt honored that I was only one of three girls to be selected to make the movie. It was a big deal. I went there several times on one-day camps. The annual weekly camp of Camp Mogisca for my troop was just too expensive for my parents. I would have had a big tantrum if they thought I was going again to that camp anyway! I understand this camp was sold in 2010. 

Well, back to my one week for one year at Girl Scout camping. I first remember being dropped off and then registered in. I was assigned a tent and tentmates. There was a camp orientation session soon after and we were told when and where things would be happening. I think we were also told to look at the posted maps to find every place we needed to be and when we were to appear there. So off to my tent and to meet three other girls I went.

Now you must be made aware that I never had much of a structured daily routine when at home. I just got up, ate breakfast, went out to play, and came home for lunch when the fire whistle blew the noontime siren. The same activity was repeated for the rest of the day after lunch. Also, I'm now and was then, pretty much a loner preferring my own company over others, especially groups. Maybe that's why I was sent to camp. My parents were most likely hoping that I would become more social. 

I never did fit into the structured sessions. But the "incidents" were fun for all  others except me.

#1:  The smelly wooden outhouse was just down and around the corner from my tent so my brand-new green Girl Scout flashlight was put to use to find my way in the dark. Wouldn't you know it rolled into the hole when I put it down to pull down my pants. I had to find my way back for evermore with no light!

I found it on the web. EXACT Light!! (Eveready Circa 1940's) Whooppee! 
#2:  I couldn't swim so I was put in the beginner's group. When it was our turn, I refused to put my face in the water and was sent back to the bank to watch the others. Every day it was the same. I never got to go in the water!

#3:  I had no idea (because I probably wasn't paying attention when told) that we had daily assigned tasks. One night when I climbed into my bed I couldn't get my feet to go down under the blanket and my bed was wet! Then I discovered that there was a heap of corn husks in my bed. It seemed that I was supposed to go to the dining hall that afternoon and help shuck corn. After everyone stopped laughing they told me why they had put the husks into my bed - as punishment for not helping. 

#4:  Someone stole my brand new Girl Scout knife. I reported it to the counselor in charge of our tent and she wouldn't believe me. She kept telling me that I must have lost it. I didn't loose it!! I DIDN'T. See??

 Found on web.

#5:  I skinned my knee quite badly when I tripped over a tree root on the way to my leathercraft workshop. The nurse made me stay in her care throughout the whole time, and then when the workshop was finished for the day, she let me loose; with only a bandaid over my knee! I hadn't even cried.

I never did tell my parents that I lost both of the items because I knew they had sacrificed to buy them when they were listed as necessary to bring. I never told them that camp was a bad week for me.

The only things I liked about that camp was being able to have "free time." We had to stay in the tent and I would lie on my bed, pulling the mosquito netting all around me and then read. I liked the campfire at night with singing. 

Oh, by the way, I don't remember taking a shower or brushing my teeth or even combing my hair. I wonder where I did that????


  1. I didn't ever go to the latrines at night. I was too terrified. I think I only took one shower....too embarrassed to be showering in front of the other girls. Not even a shower curtain to hide behind....just faucets jutting out of a board with us standing under them. It was terrible. I enjoyed other things about camp, but not the cleanliness part. I don't remember brushing my teeth, but I surely did! Surely the counselor made sure we brushed nightly! ugh!

  2. It's camp. Who cares if you brush your teeth or shower. I went to camp once for a week through the school. I loved being in a country/mountain/woodsy setting being a city boy. They are fun memories though aren't they.