Written by Troop Support Specialist – Kelli Lafont
As a new member to the Girl Scouts and the Girl Scouts of Louisiana- Pines to the Gulf council, I’ve experienced many firsts over the last month. Perhaps the most exciting of these experiences was my visit to Camp Wawbansee for the Camp Hakuna Matata.
Camp Hakuna Matata was a wonderful introduction into the camps offered over the summer. As demonstrated through its name, the theme of the camp revolved around the magical world of Disney. From the decorations adorning every activity area to the themed activities, the imaginative world of princesses and other characters were brought to life. Girls studied archery with Merida, swam with Mermaids, played checkers and cricket in Wonderland, and crafts were created at Cinderella’s castle. The theme was even incorporated into meal time as Crush from Finding Nemo cruised the current highway above the girls while they ate! No matter what the activity, the girls were surrounded by Disney.
This magical backdrop really helped me to see the magic that is Girl Scout camp. The magic of camp wasn’t just found in the decorations, but the spirit of camp. No matter what type of girl you were, there was an activity for you. If you were adventurous, you could try archery, hiking, or canoeing. If you wanted to have fun but play it a little safer, you could play games, go swimming, and make crafts. There was truly something for everyone! While all of these activities were fun, the girls were also challenged to learn new things, like how to paddle a canoe, how to play Cricket or explore the outdoors for the first time.
Similar to most Disney stories, the most magical thing that I witnessed at camp was the friendships being built. Camp is open to members across the council, so girls got to meet others outside their own troop and build new relationships. Older Girl Scouts led younger girls through their activities, which led to some beautiful moments of leadership and camaraderie. I suspect these relationships will stick with the girls, helping them to grow and develop into strong young leaders.
As a newcomer to Girl Scouts I never attended Girl Scout camp growing up, so Camp Hakuna Matata was one of my first looks into what the camp experience is truly like. After spending a day with the girls at camp, experiencing the activities and seeing the friendships being made, I could see the true beauty of camp. It was great experience for me and from what I saw, a great experience for the girls.
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