RANDOLPH – After over a year of being stuck indoors, the Girl Scouts of Western New York are gearing up to head back to camp this summer.
Preparations are already underway on the four programs slated to take place this summer, including in Randolph at Camp Timbercrest.
“We’re super excited we have the green light to move forward this summer. So it’s gonna be back to basics, really it’s like swimming, boating, arts and crafts, nature, hiking, archery, outdoor cooking, sleeping out, all those fun things, that girls have not been able to do for almost two years now,” said DePetrillo.
Though the girls had virtual programming last year, Director of Camp Administration Janet DePetrillo says feedback so far indicates they are excited to go back in person this summer.
“Just to receive some of the emails, I know one little girl responded ‘I don’t care what I have to wear, what I have to do, all I want to do is just be at camp this summer.’ so we’re just thrilled that we’re able to make this happen for them,” furthered DePetrillo.
Though it will look a little different this year at Camp Timbercrest, with public health precautions in place, girls can still look forward to night activities like glow-in-the-dark tag, hiking, and kitchen raids.
There are also canoeing and backpacking trips being offered near Allegany National Forest and the Allegany reservoir.
Camp Timbercrest encourages girls to utilize the newly installed archery range, earn outdoor badges, participate in cooking challenges, and even take part in a zombie survival program.
The organization has COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of those at the camps.
Programs that typically would take thirty, maybe fourty girls have been reduced to ten, some fifteen, so that we can simply be able to maintain social distancing,” explained DePetrillo. “Although girls have been used to traveling in patrols, is what we say, or in buddies, obviously this year we’re gonna be doing small cohorts or pods.” 4:36
The way parents visit the camp is also changing a bit this year.
“The biggest changes parents are gonna see is that all registration/drop off/ pick-up of their children will be done strictly in the parking lot,” furthered DePetrillo. “So one of the ways we’re trying to curtail and minimize that risk is that parents and guardians will not be allowed on property, all of that will take place in the parking lots.”
Enhanced cleaning procedures and hand washing stations have also been put in place, and the organization is also looking to hire cleaning specialists for this purpose.
Overnight camps will happen Sunday through Friday, with the first session starting July 4. To learn more, visit gswny.org.