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Camp and Outdoor FAQ


Below are frequently asked questions about our camp and outdoor programs. If you have a question that is not answered here, contact Customer Care at 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347) or

Jump to the FAQ topics below


Accessibility & Accommodations

Registration & Payments


Day Camp

Resident Camp

Where do Campers Sleep?

Camp and Outdoor Jargon

General FAQ

Where can I find all the camp programs offered at GCNWI?

Our Camp Guide is the best resource to learn about all our program offerings. You can view and download it on our website.

How do I apply for a job at camp?

Browse jobs and apply online on our website.

I am interested in attending the Camp Open Houses.

The open houses are listed on our website. 

I’m not a Girl Scout. Can I go to camp?

Yes! If your girl is not currently registered, a $25 membership fee will be automatically charged during registration. The membership fee includes basic accident insurance coverage as a supplement to existing insurance coverage for all registered Girl Scouts.

How old do I have to be to go to summer camp?

For programs that occur prior to June 1, 2019, register your girl for the grade/age group that she is currently in.

For programs that occur on or after June 1, 2019, register your girl for the grade she will be entering in fall 2019.

Can my camper bring a buddy and be in the same tent or cabin?

All campers are assigned to tents or cabins (site specific) before their arrival at camp. If girls are signed up for the same camp program they will likely be bunking near each other. 

Every attempt is made to honor a camper’s request to be with a friend if both girls request each other on the application and both girls are in the same program during the same session. 

Please note that only two girls matched as buddies can be accommodated. Camp is all about meeting new friends from all over our council. Programs will take place to assist girls in meeting and getting to know the girls and staff at camp.

How is weather handled at camp?

Camp happens rain or shine! Part of Girl Scout camp life includes learning how to be prepared for the outdoors, including wearing cool clothing or rain gear, drinking water to stay hydrated, and wearing sunscreen and hats. 

At all camps, staff monitor the weather. If severe weather develops during the camp day or evening, appropriate measures will be taken. Indoor shelter is available for all campers and staff. Our first priority is the safety of all of our campers, so please be advised that staff may not be available to answer phone calls during this time. Phone lines need to remain open. Please do not come to camp to pick up your camper, campers will not be released until there is an official “all clear.”

What about lost and found?

Lost and left-behind items are collected each day and staff will do their best to reunite owners with their belongings daily. However, please understand that this is not always possible. Please write your camper’s full name on everything of importance—if it’s left behind, we’ll make every effort to contact you by phone or email. Lost and found items will be kept for 2 weeks. Any item not claimed by September 1, 2019 will be donated.

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is not responsible for loss, theft or damage to personal belongings, money, or items left at camp.

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Accessibility & Accommodations FAQ

Can you accommodate girls with accessibility or special needs?

Caregivers of girls with special needs—including those with disabilities or health concerns—should contact us prior to registration at or 855-ILOVEGS (456-8347)

This is to allow us the opportunity to provide accommodations and adequate support for her camp experience. Our staff can also help you choose the sessions that are the best fit for your girl. 

Can you accommodate special dietary needs or allergies?

Special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice. Contact us at

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Registration and Payment FAQ

Summer Day Camp Registration-at-a-Glance

Register online

Search by the five-digit numeric code for each program your girl wants to attend (e.g. 01234).

Returning users: sign in to your account with the log-in information you use for council programs and training.

New users: create a new account to sign in and register.

Full payment is due upon registration. Financial assistance may be available.

Next Steps after you Register for Day Camp

  1. Check your inbox for your confirmation email (don’t forget to check your spam/junk folders). This email includes an information packet, and links to complete your camper’s paperwork.
  2. Complete your camper’s paperwork 2 weeks before your program start date (or sooner) (LINK)--including a health history. Links to paperwork are included in your confirmation email, and on our website. 
  3. Two weeks prior to your camper’s program, watch for an email with unit assignments and transportation schedule.
Volunteer-led Day Camp Registration-at-a-Glance

Registration for volunteer-led day camp is handled by volunteers directing the programs and may vary. 

Summer Resident Camp Registration-at-a-Glance

Register online

Search by the program month and girl’s grade (the grade she will enter in fall 2019). Reference the listed alpha-numeric code to verify your program selection (e.g. AB-123)

Returning Resident Camp users: sign in to your account with the log-in information you used previously for resident camp registration.

New Resident Camp users: create a new account to sign in and register. 

Full payment or deposit is due upon registration. Final payment is due by June 1, 2019. Financial assistance may be available.

Next steps after you register for resident camp:

  1. Check your inbox for your confirmation email (don’t forget to check your spam/junk folders). This email includes an information packet, packing list, and links to complete your camper’s paperwork.
  2. By May 1, 2019, complete your camper’s paperwork, including a current physical. Resident camp paperwork link and physical form.
  3. Watch for follow-up emails from your girl’s camp director with specifics about her program.
How do I register for programs?
Summer Day Camp Payment

Summer day camp fees must be paid in full at the time of registration. Money will be refunded in cases of financial aid. 

There is a nonrefundable $25 processing fee included in the program fee. 

What do Day Camp Fees Cover?

Day camp registration fees cover a wide variety of camp activities, supervision provided by skilled and compassionate adult staff, a lunch cookout each week, and meals during an optional overnight 

Is transportation available to and from camp?

Transportation to day camp at Camp Palos and Camp Greene Wood is availble by chartered bus or train. This is an optional add-on and is an additional fee. 

View transportation schedule (subject to change).

Transportation to resident camp is not available.

Summer Resident Camp Payment Options

Full payment for summer resident camp is due by June 1, 2019.

You can pay in full at the time of registration, or hold a spot with a non-refundable deposit.

Deposit fees are $50 deposit for three- to six-day programs, and $100 for programs longer than six days. 

What do resident camp fees cover?

Resident camp registration fees cover lodging, a wide variety of camp programming, adult supervision, and meals.

A camper is not fully registered until her fees are paid in full. Camper registration may be cancelled if full payment is not received by June 1. For registrations made after June 1, 2019, all fees must be paid in full at the time of registration. There will be a $25 service charge for checks returned due to insufficient funds.

Is Financial Assistance Available?

Yes. GSGCNWI makes funds available to girls whose caregivers could otherwise not afford the cost of camp. 

Any girl who is a registered Girl Scout is eligible to receive confidential financial assistance for one session of any day or resident camp program. Assistance is awarded based on available funds. 

Steps to receive financial aid: 

  1. Register for camp & make the initial payment. Full day camp fees or resident camp deposit must be paid at time of registration. Camp registration must be made prior to applying for financial aid.
  2. Complete the financial assistance application.
  3. Notification and disbursement of financial assistance. 
  • Day camp: Approved financial assistance will be sent by check to the camper’s caregivers in 2-4 weeks.
  • Resident camp: Approved financial assistance will be deducted from the total owed for the session. 
Paying with Girl Scout Cookie® Dough

Girls can pay for all or part of their camp registration with the rewards they earn through GCNWl product and cookie programs. When you are ready to use your rewards, please contact our program registrar at Because camp space is limited we highly recommend not waiting for Cookie Dough to register or pay a deposit on a program.

Registration Confirmation

Within 48 hours of a successful registration you’ll receive a confirmation email with the camper information packet, packing list, and link to our online camper paperwork forms. First check your spam or junk folders, then contact customer care if you do not receive a confirmation email.

Day camp only: A second confirmation email will be sent approximately two weeks prior to the camp session with specific information regarding your camper’s unit and transportation details and agreement, if applicable. 


To join the waitlist for any program that is full contact Customer Care at or 1-877-ILOVEGS (456-8347). You will be contacted if a space opens in the program, but it is not a guarantee of entry. We encourage that you register for your second- or third-choice program to ensure you do not miss out on an opportunity. We can transfer your camper if a spot opens in your waitlisted choice.

Cancellations & Refunds

Cancellations received at least two weeks prior to program start date may be refunded, minus the non-refundable processing fee of $25 for day camp, $50 for three- and six-day resident camp programs, and $100 for resident camp programs longer than six days.

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Backcountry FAQ

What are backcountry programs like? 

Backcountry trips are intensive, next-level primitive camping opportunities. These trips are “off the grid” and away from the modern conveniences of camp and home. The experience of a backcountry wilderness trip includes carrying or paddling all personal and group gear, food, and equipment on an overnight trip while following Leave No Trace principles and working as a team. 

Leading on Trail

Backcountry trips provide a great opportunity to practice leadership at each level. According to the grade-level and maturity of participants, girls are encouraged to take proactive roles in organizing details of the trip from planning activities to navigation, and from group living arrangements to problem solving on the trail. 

Where do I start?

Backcountry Skill Level 1 & 2 will focus on the basic skills of working with a team in the wilderness, cooking meals over a fire, purifying water found while on the trail, and traveling under one’s own power each day. After mastering the basics, choose to advance to another level each summer.

Backcountry Level 1

  • No experience necessary
  • Trip Length: Primitive campout one night on site at camp

Backcountry Level 2

  • 1st level trip of any kind or camping experience recommended
  • Trip Length: 2-3 nights on trail
  • Pack Weight: 25-40 lbs. of gear 
  • Daily Travel: 6 miles per day on foot, or 8-12 miles by water

Backcountry Level 3

  • Prerequisite: Level 2 trip, completion of Backpack Wanderer, or camp director approval
  • Trip Length: 3-5 nights on trail
  • Pack Weight: 30-45 lbs. of gear
  • Daily Travel: 4-8 miles per day on foot, or 10-14 miles by water

Backcountry Level 4

  • Prerequisite: Level 3 trip, completion of Backpack Adventurer, or camp director approval
  • Trip Length: 5-7 nights on trail
  • Pack Weight: 30-50 lbs. of gear
  • Daily Travel: 6-10 miles per day on foot, or 10-18 miles by water

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Day Camp FAQ

What is the day camp schedule?

Camp Greene Wood and Camp Palos offer day camps that run from 9-3 p.m. Before and after camp program options are available for each location. Girls can attend camp beginning at 7:00 a.m. (Greene Wood) or 7:30 a.m. (Palos) and stay until 6 p.m. to allow for more fun and flexibility.

Is there transportation to and from day camp available?

Transportation is available to Camp Greene Wood and Camp Palos. You can view transportation options here.

What if my camper is going to be absent?

Please be sure to contact the camp director to inform them of an absence. Make sure to leave a message sharing your camper’s full name and unit. 

What should my camper bring to day camp?

Though girls are only coming to camp for the day, it is important that they come prepared!

Detailed packing lists are available in the camper information packets.

Camp Greene Wood Info Packet, Pages 3 and 11 »

Camp Palos - Day Camp Info Packet, Pages 3 and 10 »

Friendship Center and Vernon Hills - Day Camp Info Packet, Pages 3 and 9 »

What should my camper bring for the Thursday overnight at day camp?

If your camper is joining for the Thursday night overnight, she should bring:

  • Sleeping Bag and Pillow – please note that sleeping bags may not be warm enough on a cold night. We recommend bringing an extra blanket to stay warm.
  • Flashlight with New Batteries – campers will be walking around camp at night. A handheld flashlight or headlamp will help her get around safely in the dark.
  • Mess Kit – any plastic/metal plate, bowl, cup, and silverware. Please don’t send anything disposable. 
  • Dunk Bag – a mesh bag that allows for dishes to dry in once washed. A lingerie washing  
    bag works well.
  • Sweatshirt or Light Jacket – warm clothes are recommended for wearing around the campfire and at night. 
  • Pajamas or Sleepwear – pajamas or a t-shirt and shorts or pants work well. Plan for cool night temperatures just in case. Having sleepwear that can be adjusted for cool or hot nights is recommended. 
  • Small Stuffed Animal – sometimes stuffed animals make the overnight experience easier. Please refrain from sending numerous, large, or any favorite stuffed animals to camp.
  • Clothes for the Next Day – include socks and underwear. Don’t forget to pack this year’s camp shirt to wear on Friday!
  • Extra Shoes and Raincoat – be prepared for the weather and outdoor camp conditions.
  • Medications – any medications that your camper may need for the overnight in the  
    original labeled container and marked with the camper’s name. Medications  
    must be turned in to camp staff upon arrival at camp for the overnight.
  • Backpack or Duffel Bag – to carry all overnight items. Use a separate bag to pack day  
    items. Please don’t use large trash bags as they tend to tear and result in dirty and wet  
  • Day Camp Supplies – sit upon, bug spray, sunscreen, water bottle, hat or bandana, etc. 
Do you allow cell phones at day camp?

We do not allow cell phones at day camp. We want the campers to truly engage in their camp experience and enjoy their time outdoors with their new camp friends! If a camper has a cell phone at camp, they will be reminded it keep it off and in their backpack. However, if it becomes an issue it will be collected and locked in the administration building and returned to the camper’s guardian at the end of the session. Additionally, do not send cell phones with your camper for the overnight. Our camp staff are highly trained to meet the needs of your camper. You will be contacted by the camp director if there are any concerns.

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Resident Camp FAQ

How do I know if my camper is registered & confirmed for resident camp?

After registering your camper for a program session at resident camp, you will receive a confirmation e-mail and receipt from (If you do not receive this email, please check your junk or spam folders. Adding to your safe senders list can help avoid this issue.)

Once you receive this e-mail please double check that the camp location, program, and session dates are correct. This e-mail will also contain links to an important information packet, camper paperwork, and your balance due statement.

What is required resident camp paperwork? 

Resident Camp Paperwork and Health Physical Exam

Resident camp paperwork is due May 1, 2019.

After you register for a camp, your confirmation e-mail will include a link for Formsite, where you'll need to fill out additional information before your girl joins us for camp.

Girls will not be able to stay at camp without turning in the required forms.

Required resident camp paperwork consists of a variety of forms that your camper must have onsite to attend camp and participate in the activities offered. Resident camp paperwork includes the following: 

For Parents/Guardians to fill out:

  • Camper's Health History
  • Health Examination Form or Physical 
  • Special Health Care Services needed at camp (if applicable)
  • Authorization to Medicate
  • Standard Care Policy Agreement
  • Camper Release
  • Camper Profile

For Both Parent/Guardian and Camper to sign:

  • Code of Conduct

For Camper to fill out:

  • All About Me 
How do I use Formsite to fill out my camper’s paperwork?

Resident Camp Paperwork

Due May 1, 2019

We have transitioned into an online paperwork system, called Formsite, for all campers. After you register for a camp, your confirmation e-mail will include a link for Formsite, where you'll need to fill out additional information before your girl joins us for camp.

We ask that you create an account for your camper's paperwork. This allows you to return to finish your campers’ paperwork, view your completed forms, and add a health examination/physical to your account.

We recommend having the following resources with you:

  • Health Examination/Physical (School or sports are acceptable)
  • Doctor/dentist contact information
  • Immunization records with dates
  • Dietary restrictions and/or allergy information
For resident camp, what do I need to submit for the “health physical”? 

Health Physical Exam Form [PDF]

We require each camper have a health examination/physical within 24 months of her arrival date at camp. The health form must be signed by a physician and include the date of the physical. Copies of school/sports physicals are accepted as long as they have been completed within 24 months. 

Health examination/physical forms can be uploaded to your camper’s resident camp paperwork or e-mailed to (Be sure to include the campers’ name, camp, & program in the subject line of the e-mail)

No camper will be allowed to stay at camp without a signed and completed health physical form. We are not able to return health forms after camp. We suggest that you photocopy the health form to keep in your records to use for school and sports.

What if my camper needs medication?

If your camper is taking any prescription medication or supplements, fill out the portion of the online resident camp paperwork that asks for that information. All medication must come to camp in its original container with the original label.

All campers must complete the section regarding over-the-counter medication. Our health staff keeps a supply of common over-the-counter medication, as authorized by a physician, to treat simple complaints such as bug bites, headache, mild upset stomachs, menstrual cramps, etc. You do not need to send any medications for these problems. For more complex or serious complaints the health staff will consult with the doctor and you. Parent signature is required on the over-the-counter medication section. If you do not want us to give over-the-counter medication indicate that on the form.

What is the packing list for resident camp?

Use our packing list to make sure your girl has everything she needs for a fun camp experience! 

A detailed packing lists is available on page 10 of the resident camp information packet. [PDF]

What are campers not allowed to bring to camp?
  • Electric appliances (hair dryers, curling irons, music players, computers, gaming devices, etc.)
  • Glass bottles or containers
  • Clothing that will not protect campers in the outdoors (such as shorts with a short inseam)
  • Snack food (candy, gum)
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Hidden cell phones
How can I contact my camper?

Everyone loves getting mail at camp! Happy mail—not worrisome news or information on what she is missing out on—is the best type of mail to send. Please do not send food to your camper as it attracts bugs and other critters. If a camper receives food, it will be kept in the kitchen or camp office and returned at departure.

We have a couple ways in which you can send messages to your daughter during her stay at camp:

  • Drop off her mail at check-in. Please label all letters with your camper’s name, program, session, and the day you would like her to receive her mail.
  • Send letters and packages by U.S. Mail. (We recommend pre-mailing before camper arrival to make sure her mail arrives while she is at camp.) 

Families are welcome to call or e-mail the camp director at any time with questions or check-ins about their campers!

Do you allow cell phones at resident camp?

At resident camp, campers staying for six or more days may choose to check-in a cell phone. 

Based on past experience, many campers who have been having a great time may become homesick while speaking to someone at home. It is normal to miss home. We ask that you support your camper in staying and having fun at camp-encourage her to think of things she has already enjoyed or things she can look forward to doing at camp.

  • Campers who bring a cell phone will have the opportunity to call home on Wednesday afternoon between lunch and dinner (times vary by camp, check with your camp director for details).
  • It is a camper’s choice to call or not call. 
  • Girls in sampler sessions (2 nights) will not have cell phone time.
  • Phones will be collected at check in and stored in the camp office. 
  • GSGCNWI is not responsible for lost or damaged phones. Phone service for different providers is not guaranteed and cannot be verified for each site. Electricity to charge phones is not available.
  • Please assist us in honoring our procedures by not giving your camper a cell phone and asking her to hide it.
  • The camp phone is for business and emergency use only. If a camper’s phone does not work at camp, she will not have access to the camp phone.
Is there a trading post at camp?

Yes! All resident camps operate a small trading post stocked with small items such as postcards, jewelry, pens, stuffed animals, and camp apparel. (Snacks & soda are not available for sale.) Trading posts are open for campers at least once during their session, as well as for families at check-in and check-out.

Money for trading post can be left for campers at check-in, typically campers bring $5-20 for a week at camp.

What if my camper gets homesick?

It is not uncommon for campers to experience some homesickness while away at camp. Homesickness typically disappears within the first two days at camp as girls adjust to the new people and routine. Staff are trained to work through this with your camper, and they’ll be there for your camper 24/7. 

Homesickness is normal, and you can help your camper prepare to deal with it well by:

  • Encouraging independence throughout the year
  • Discussing what camp will be like before your camper leaves, such as using a flashlight to find the bathroom
  • Reminding your camper ahead of time that you will not be able to contact each other via phone during your camper’s stay
  • Contacting your camper by sending letters, care packages, and even e-mails while she’s at camp
  • Packing a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal
  • Believing in her ability to handle her own emotions and have fun at camp
  • Being visibly excited for her, even though you might miss her as much or more
  •  We encourage parents to reassure their campers that they will be successful throughout their camp session and that they look forward to seeing them on closing day
  • If your camper continues to have problems adjusting, the camp director will contact you
What happens during swim time?

Campers will have the opportunity to participate in free swim each day while at resident camp. Lifeguards and trained watchers are on duty at our lakes and pools during any water activities. 

All campers will take a ‘swim check’ within 24 hours (weather permitting) of arriving at camp, to demonstrate their swimming abilities and comfort level in the water. Campers are then assigned a color cap which designates their swim area. Campers must wear their cap every swim session and can only swim in the areas of the water that match their skill level; this allows the aquatics staff to better manage and ensure safety for all campers in the water. 

How does check-in work for resident camp?

For Butternut Springs, Juniper Knoll, and Pokanoka, families are responsible for camper transportation to and from camp. Resident camps will be open for check-in on the first day of the session, 1:30-3 p.m. Late arrivals should contact the camp director as soon as possible. 

Once you arrive at camp, you will be directed where to go. You will be asked to do the following:

  • Park and unload luggage
  • Confirm receipt of camp forms
  • Health Check (for campers)
  • Drop off and confirm medications with the Health Supervisor
  • Move luggage to your camper’s unit and help get her settled
  • Meet your camper’s counselor and other staff. 

Please leave pets at home. For the health and safety of all visitors, pets are not allowed on camp property. 

How can we prepare for check-in at resident camp?

Be prepared for some walking to your camper’s unit to help get her settled in! We suggest closed toe shoes. 

Bring the following items outside of your camper’s luggage:

  • Any medications (prescription or otherwise, in original & labeled containers) 
  • Camper mail for us to deliver during your daughter’s stay at camp (if desired)
  • Camper cell phone (if desired)
  • Funds for Trading Post (if desired)
How does check-out work for resident camp?

At Butternut Springs, Juniper Knoll, and Pokanoka, closing ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m. During closing ceremony we celebrate the girls’ time at camp! Campers will be dismissed around 7:30-7:45 p.m.

Campers must be signed out to a person designated on the camper release form. Parents/guardians or others designated to pick up a camper should have photo I.D. ready. 

Luggage will be available to pick up from the same area it was dropped at, sorted by unit. 

Before leaving camp, families should make sure they have the following:

  • All medications that were dropped off with the camper
  • Remaining trading post money and cell phone
  • Checked the lost-and-found station and luggage pick-up with the camper to make sure everything goes home
  • A packet including your camper’s patches, a badge card (if applicable), and notes about the week at camp. 

Please leave pets at home. For the health and safety of all visitors, pets are not allowed on camp property. 

What happens at the check-in health screening?

Upon arriving and checking it at camp, girls will take part of a brief health check that allows camp staff to ensure that your daughter is healthy to attend camp. 

During this check, staff will be taking temperatures and looking at overall well-being, campers will be asked to remove their shoes and socks to check for any feet injuries or warts, and hair will be checked for lice or nits.

If lice/nits are found: parents/guardians will be responsible for taking their camper home to be treated before the possibility of returning to camp. Though often a hassle, lice happen; talk with the camp director to determine return options for your camper. For more information about head lice check out:

What does the health center at camp do?

Our staff and campers work together to take a preventative approach to health care in camp. The camp health center staff are at camp to take care of your camper. Our health center is equipped to handle common camper illnesses and minor injuries.

 If a camper gets hurt or shows signs of illness she will be taken to the health center for evaluation by the health supervisor. Though we will not call home for every scrape or stomach ache, we will notify parents by phone in the following situations: 

  • Any illness or injury requiring the camper to spend the night in the health center
  • Allergic reactions
  • Any illness or injury that interferes with camper’s participation in her program 
  • Any illness or injury requiring outside medical attention 
What are meals like at resident camp?

Ample, well-balanced meals are served in the dining hall. This includes daily snacks and dessert. Special dietary needs must be noted on the health form. Please do not send food with your camper. All food brought to camp will be collected by the camp staff and returned at the end of the session. Food in the living quarters attracts unwelcome animals & bugs.

What are “kapers”?

Each staff member will model and teach campers the proper way to care for their environment and their camp surroundings through tasks called Kapers. Kapers at camp are done as a group and are composed of unit and all-camp tasks. Kapers are a Girl Scout tradition that helps build responsibility and team work skills. During Kapers staff assists girls in clean-up ensuring that health and safety procedures are of the upmost importance when completing tasks.

Unit Kapers include tidying up sleeping areas, cleaning bathrooms, gathering firewood, picking up litter, cooking at cook-outs, and fire building. 

All-camp Kapers are rotated throughout all groups during the week and include flag ceremonies, tidying the shower house, and hopping (setting tables and helping serve food/clean-up after meals).

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Where do Campers Sleep?

Platform Tents

Platform tents are sturdy canvas tents that rest on a raised wooden platform. They have four cots each inside of the tent. There is room underneath the beds to be able to store campers' belongings. Platform tents make for dry, comfortable sleeping at camp!


Lodges are buildings with indoor sleeping accommodations, such as cots, bunk beds, or floor mattresses . Many lodges have flushing bathrooms inside, or toilets close to the lodge.

Cabins or Tabins

Cabins or “Tabins” are small screened-in cabins, with cots or bunk beds inside. Sleeping in one is similar to sleeping in a screened-in back porch. 


Yurts are round canvas structures on a sturdy base. Campers sleep on cots or bunk beds inside. 

Pop-up Tents

Pop-Up Tents are small, portable canvas tents. These are made to travel to new locations! (Think of the classic rolled-up tent you might find in the sporting goods section of the store.)

Many of our camps have girls practice putting up, taking down, and sleeping in pop-up tents as part of a sleepover or backcountry experience. 


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Camp Jargon

What is a mess kit and a dunk bag?

A “mess kit” is any plastic/metal plate, bowl, cup, and silverware, that can be reused for multiple meals. (Please do not send disposable products!) These go into a “dunk bag,” a mesh bag that allows for dishes to drip dry once washed. A lingerie bag works well. 

Mess kits in dunk bags are available for purchase through the shop!

What is a sit upon?

This cushion is a Girl Scout tradition which will keep your camper relatively clean and dry whenever she sits on the ground. (Google “Girl Scout Sit-Upon” for instructions on how to make your own!)

What are kapers?

Each staff member will model and teach campers the proper way to care for their environment and their camp surroundings through tasks called Kapers. Kapers at camp are done as a group and composed of unit and all-camp tasks. 

Unit Kapers include tidying up common areas, cleaning bathrooms, gathering firewood, picking up litter, cooking at cook-outs, and fire building. Kapers are a Girl Scout tradition that helps build responsibility and teamwork skills. During Kapers, the staff assists girls in clean-up, ensuring that health and safety procedures are of the upmost importance when completing tasks.

Why do camp staff have nicknames?

During staff training, each camp staff member may choose a “camp name.” Camp names are nicknames used at Girl Scout camp for several reasons.

  • A camp counselor is a unique position between big sister and authority figure; the camp name allows staff to create a memorable relationship with your daughter distinguished from that of her teacher, other authority figure, or even yourself.
  • It also keeps us from having two “Karens” or five “Amandas” on camp at one time.
  • And lastly, camp names add to the “magic” of Girl Scout camp tradition that has been passed down for generations.