Readers — I’ve got sons, so I have not been privy to what’s happening to Girl Scouts. This letter, in response to the blog post about Iowa Girl Scouts selling four of its rustic camps for being TOO rustic, has me dismayed. – L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: I co-led a troop from 1st grade-6th grade. Girl Scout regulations made it so complicated to go even “cabin camping” that we never got into tents. Full-day training to even stay overnight in a cabin and one of us had to be re-certified for CPR every year even though there was a permanent caretaker staff at the camp. There was a lake but the girls who couldn’t pass a swimming test had to stay behind a rope in water not even knee-deep, although there were two lifeguards in this tiny artificial lake. We couldn’t go canoeing in the waist-high “lake” on the property because neither of us had time to take the day-long canoeing training and they didn’t make trained staff available to do this activity (we checked to see if we could pay a fee and they said no).
We went cabin camping three times and despite all the heavy regulation, I had to fax in our request on January 2 (the first day they accepted reservations) because most of the cabins were booked for the summer that first week.
After three summers of cabin camping we asked the girls if they wanted to go tent camping and all but one said no — maybe because we hadn’t been allowed to be more adventurous when we stayed in the cabins.
So – there was no lack of demand for the camping facilities (evidenced by the rush for reservations), but the onerous regulations made it a pain in the rear end.
Our troop disbanded due to lack of interest when the girls were in 6th grade. Now my daughter is impatient to turn 14 next summer and join Venturing.
This news is too sad. I went to day camp at Camp L Kee Tah in Des Moines county when I was a squirt. — Unhappy Camper