Girl Scouts return to Camp Archbald

Girl Scouts from all over Pennsylvania have been flocking to Camp Archbald for their residential and event camp programs this summer, and many from Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties are among them.

Theme programs are available every week, and Girl Scouts from Brownies up through high school seniors are taking part in activities that included horseback riding, bike trekking, water sports and swimming, cooking, arts and crafts, and more.
Counselors swept up piles of sparking glitter in the Tree Tops cabin, where two groups of Brownies ages 7 and 8 had awakened for a sighting of fairies in the woods below. Outside, the girls were playing games like “Brownie Brownie Girl Scout,” a version of “Duck Duck Goose,” as their week of camp was wrapping up Friday morning.
Older girl scouts in the Senior or Cadet category relaxed on the docks, recalling a fun but challenging 15 mile bike hike to Hop Bottom on winding back roads. “It was uphill both ways,” several girls pointed out.
Brownie troop member Emily Dudock, of Mehoopany, attended the Summer Sizzle program last week.
Campers in the program were able to customize their camp activities and participated in a scavenger hunt, nature hike, arts and crafts and even baked cupcakes.
Baking was Dudock’s favorite camp activity but some of her fellow campmates said the scavenger hunt was the best activity.
Dudock, who is entering third grade, said her unit planned to look for shooting stars in the night sky on the last night at camp “if it stops raining.”
Maura Warner, of Montrose, spent last week at Camp Archbald preparing for a 80-mile canoe trip down the Susquehanna River.
As a member of a unit known as the River Rats, Warner honed her canoeing skills on Ely Lake in the canoe at 6:30 a.m. each day.
Traveling in two-person canoes, the group embarked on their journey in Sayre. They plan to make six stops along the route to their Tunkhannock area destination.
Warner, an incoming junior at Montrose Area High School, will be a Girl Scout Ambassador when the fall scouting season begins.
Counselor Holly Woodhouse of Melbourne, Australia, said the girls did five mile jaunts around the camp in preparation for the big bike hike. She is among 22 international employees working for the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania camps this summer.
April Larkin, camp director, pointed out several houseboats on Lake Ely that are available for camp housing for cadets and senior girl scouts. Girls able to attain green cap status after being tested by a swimming instructor are allowed to swim the lake, and kayaks and canoes are also available.
The Camp Archbald stables house 12 horses for riding lessons, all of which are geldings. “They’re the boys at girl scout camp,” joked Natalie Larson, as she took Ace outside on a lead rope. .
For residential camp, Brownies can attend starting in the summer before second grade, while Daisy scouts going into kindergarten and first grade can do Troop Adventure Camp.
Senior Girl Scouts Veronica Head of Springville, Ingrid Ritchie of Carbon County, Brittany Cunfer of Summit Hill, and Allie Schiavone of East Stroudsburg were mulching a memorial garden they had just planted Friday, in memory of Girl Scout Camp Pocono in Tannersville, which closed this year. Amidst the peonies and petunias, they incorporated a cast iron bell from the day camp.
Camp Archbald is the second oldest girl scout camp in the United States.
Although there are photos in the lodge showing girl scouts on the site in 1917, the camp was officially dedicated in 1920.
Staff writer Staci Wilson also contributed to this story.