July 24, 2010
We helped celebrate an important birthday at Camp Louise on Saturday, July 24, 2010… 50 years old, with plenty of memories to share, generations of Girl Scouts have passed through the woods and fields of Camp Louise in the Appalachian Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. We arrived the night before in time to set up our Coleman pop-up by Wise Lodge, one of the oldest structures in camp. The camp is situated deep in a hemlock hollow, and the buildings are designed to blend into the landscape and capture views of the surrounding forest setting.
On Saturday morning, the birthday festivities began in earnest, the weather was sunny and warm, and there was a great selection of activities for the girls. Over the course of the day we presented the principles of Leave No Trace ethics to young and young-at-heart alike and got them engaged in some timely and energetic trash-talking (“How long does it last?”). We added a late-breaking news item to our “Rule of Thumb” demonstration in the “Respect Wildlife” component… we call it “the disrespected bison reveals his true feelings about the videotaping tourist.” Barrett performed an amazingly realistic reenactment of the true story recently seen on the news, playing out an agitated, snorting and pawing bison displaying displeasure at a foolishly encroaching tourist, the bison’s sudden and rapid charge, and the hapless tourist as he and his video camera are sent flying. (Note: neither the bison nor the hapless tourist was seriously injured in the actual encounter).
We also talked a lot about bears and bear canisters because we had learned that Camp Louise has a resident bear named Molly and her two cubs. The night before, we had conscientiously packed up all of our personal food and fragrances and stored them inside Wise Lodge to prevent any wildlife encounters in or around our pop-up. One of the stories that came out during our program was about a camper who refused to confess to her secret candy stash when sleeping in one of the old canvas tents one summer. She concealed her sugary contraband inside her pillowcase. In the middle of the night, the rest of the camp heard blood-curdling screams coming from the girl’s tent. When they opened the flap, they found the girl and a raccoon locked in a struggle over the candy! Happily, the confrontation ended without physical harm to the girl or the raccoon, and the affair served as a memorable reminder to properly store food and scented toiletries away from sleeping quarters (...imagine why this is a fundamental rule in showing respect for wildlife).
The birthday event at Camp Louise was doubly gratifying because it was also Peggy’s birthday, and when the sun set over Sunset Lake, we found that we had made a rare group of friends. We look forward to seeing many of them on our return trip to Camp Louise in a few weeks for the “Kick-Off” event for the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Council. Maybe we’ll even have an opportunity to cast a line or paddle a canoe in their beautiful lake.
Hope to see you down the road,
Peggy and Barrett
2010 e-tour Team
“e”-word of the day: enduring