RANDOLPH – Girl Scouts are gearing up to head back to camps across Western New York this summer, including Camp Timbercrest in Randolph.
Before opening, the camps have to hire the right staff, something that’s easier said than done.
“Right now we’re in the process of ordering our supplies and finalizing staffing, and just preparing and making sure we’ve got all of our paperwork and documentation and supplies needed and taking in registrations at the same time,” says Director of Camp Administration Janet DePetrillo.
Staff training begins at the end of June, with the first camping session beginning in July. Staffing, however, has become an issue at Girl Scout camps across the region.
“We are looking for staff, qualified individuals who want to work at camp this summer,” says DePetrillo. We’re looking for unit staff to work directly with the kids, we need kitchen staff, waterfront staff. And we will provide training and certification as well. 18 and up, we would like a six week commitment if at all possible, but there is flexibility.”
The Director is looking to hire between 40 to 50 individuals to work across three camps in the region. She says these roles are excellent for college students, especially those who are studying to work with children.
“Just like how it’s so beneficial for our kids, it’s beneficial for our staff too. They have an opportunity to meet and work with people across the world. We’re hiring international staff from all over, in different locations, so they’ll have an opportunity to not only engage but make lifelong lasting friendships with people from all over,” boasts DePetrillo.
Those interested in applying can head to gswny.org for a full list of open positions and their locations.
The Director and her staff are eager to return to a full camp this year, as last year’s camp was restricted by COVID guidelines.
“So this year we’ll still be following some of our COVID guidelines of course, but we’re able to take more kids, which we’re really excited about. We’re also happy that we’re bringing horseback riding back. Last year we had to make some really hard decisions in order to open up camp and one of them was to not offer the horseback riding,” explains DePetrillo.
The Scouts will also be taking wilderness trips to Ohio and the Allegheny Reservoir. However, the Director explained that you don’t need to be registered as a Girl Scout to attend any of the activities, and that financial aid is available.
“They can do a one week experience. They can do a mini experience, which is Sunday to Wednesday night. And we even have a leadership program that is four weeks,” says DePetrillo.
DePetrillo says watching the girls’ confidence grow during the week in each of their activities makes the staff excited for each new session.
New this year, a pilot day camp will be located in the Town of Ellicott at Horton Hill for all levels.