Each girl has something that makes her unique. It can be her adventurous spirit or her affinity for sports or the outdoors, or even her passion for music. In society, there are people who like to tell young women how they should act or what they should wear. However, young women who are willing to challenge these expectations are exceptional, and many exceptional girls were attending this girls camp. Leah, a camp commissioner and social news reporter, met with many of these young women, some of whom felt like their love for the outdoors wasn’t always the” in” thing for girls their age. However, the Camp Maple Dell leaders all felt like it was. The camp and the outdoors are for everyone, not just boys.
During the two days of camping, the Maple Dell staff taught the girls:
- first aid
- fire building and starting techniques
- water purification
These and other wilderness survival skills are routinely taught at our camps. These skills are great to have in an emergency because they make people more self-sufficient.
During the weekend, the girls went swimming in the lake, climbing on the climbing wall, and flying down the zip line. The archery and rifle range was also open and busy all weekend. These youth all learned something new about themselves while doing these activities. One young woman spent her whole free time one day up at the shooting range. She’d discovered that she had a talent for shooting. Another young woman commented on how much she loved climbing and wanted to go with her family now.
Girls also participated in the COPE area. COPE stands for Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience. Playing group games and discovering the skills needed to accomplish the goal was eye-opening for them. “Watching these girls go through the various activities was not only fun, but [to] see the trust they had in each other grow was interesting,” wrote Leah. The girls had to trust each other and listen to their friends in order to accomplish the goal of the activity. They also had to trust that their buddy wouldn’t drop them in a trust fall. The last activity these ladies did was to work together to climb a twelve-foot wall. At first sight, the wall seems daunting and impossible, but by listening to the facilitator and planning with one another, they were able to accomplish the goal. They communicated, cheered each other on and never gave up on any girl. The young women learned the importance of supporting one another, not only physically, but spiritually. They grew as a group and realized how much they need each other.
Girls are tough. They can work hard, shoot guns, build fires and climb twelve-foot walls. Camp Maple Dell has many activities for young women to get involved in throughout the year. In the winter, there are times for girls to come up and go zip lining in the snow, shoot teddy bear archery and go snowshoeing. Girls can also come for the Klondike events in February. Girls just want to have fun and get involved.
If you’re interested in these and other activities, visit utahscouts.org.
Author: Nicole Balmforth | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council