By Sarah Omar
On Thursday, I arrived early in the morning at Camp Gambill, as the girls were sleepily performing a flag ceremony. After the ceremony and breakfast, the girls were energetic and ready for a full day of activities. While some girls cleaned up, others sang Girl Scout songs at the 'Singing Trees'. When I was a Girl Scout, leading the songs was my favorite activity. The girls were then split into their themed programs: younger girls were “Prairie Pioneers,” and older girls were "Treasure Trekkers."
The "Treasure Trekkers" set off for the lake to kayak and swim (after applying a ton of sunscreen!). Some of the Pioneers went off to make cornbread and butter, and they enjoyed shaking the butter by dancing. Other Pioneers went with Badger, a camp counselor, to try archery. Though at first the arrows were off-target, several girls eventually got close to a bulls-eye! The Tejas Riders arrived with some horses from Bette Perot and the girls learned about the horse and the equipment, got to ride a horse, and learned about the care and keeping of horses. Seeing the girls’ faces light up when they saw the horses reminded me of my first horse ride, but, it was fun to watch the girls' scared faces when they climbed up on the horse and saw how far up they were! The whole camp could hear when a horse pooped from the high-pitched squeals.
Everyone convened for lunch, which started with the "Lollipop Grace". The girls then went back to their cabins for Turtle Time, where they napped, talked, or played cards. Afterwards, the girls scampered to start their afternoon activities.
The older girls got a chance with the horses and archery while some of the younger girls played pioneer games like Handkerchief, similar to Duck-Duck-Goose. Others went to the Trading Post and bought stuffed animals. They each told me the name of their new animal and its favorite food etc. While tie-dying shirts, some girls tie-dyed each other more than the shirts. The Pioneers also tried to make candles by dipping strings in wax. Getting to participate in activities like this brought back my own memories of making SWAPS (Switch With Another Person) at Girl Scout camp.
In the afternoon, it started to rain while the sun was shining bright, so we all took a break to run in the rain. This is my favorite kind of rain and I was glad that the girls enjoyed it too. It was nice to cool down a little after the scorching day. However, the rain dampened the evening activities, so everything was moved inside, where the girls made s’mores, danced, and interviewed the international counselors from New Zealand and England. The counselors tried to teach the girls to line dance, but each showed their own individuality so freeform dance was quickly preferred.
Through all of the activities offered at Camp Gambill, the girls were able to bond with their fellow Scouts. At the end of the day, one girl turned to her neighbor after saying the Girl Scout Promise and Law and said "You’re my sister 'cause you’re a Girl Scout".
About Sarah Omar:
Sarah has been a Girl Scout for 11 years. She loved to camp as a Girl Scout in North Carolina. Once she moved to Texas, Sarah worked to earn her Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. She graduated from Coppell High School in 2010 and is now attending American University in Washington DC, studying International Relations and Religious Studies. She spent her summer working as an intern at Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas helping out in the Fund Development department. Her favorite aspect of Girl Scouts was the Scouting Songs and Community Service.