Girl Scout camps set open houses in April

In making the decision to send a child to camp, Girl Scouts Louisiana East encourages families to attend Camp Open House at either Girl Scout Camp Marydale in St. Francisville on Sunday from 1-3 p.m., or Girl Scout Camp Whispering Pines in Independence on April 22 from 1-3 p.m. An open house at Camp Covington, the camp for this year’s new “Family Staycations,” is set for April 21 from 1-3 p.m.

According to Marissa Baham, camp coordinator, attending camp open house provides both parents and girls a great opportunity to ask any questions they might have about overnight camp, tour the camp’s living units, meet some of the camp staff, and learn about the various camp session offerings.

Sleep away camp is open to girls including non-Girl Scouts, ages 6-17, from June 3 to July 20 with sessions lasting three to 10 days and costing from $125 to $325.

Both Girl Scout overnight camp programs are accredited by the American Camp Association, which means they each undergo a thorough review process by outside camping professionals every three years, achieving the highest standard in the areas of personnel, program, site administration and health care.

Camp Marydale’s facilities include an archery field, low-ropes challenge course, hiking trails, sports field, swimming pool, in addition to its equestrian center with two riding arenas.

Camp Whispering Pines’ facilities offer many program options including a high ropes challenge course and rock climbing wall, a junior Olympic pool, hiking trails, and a stocked 23-acre lake for canoeing, fishing and rowboating.

According to Baham, Family Staycations at camps Covington or Whispering Pines are a great alternative to an expensive family vacation. At a cost of only $45 for a family of five per night, families can enjoy swimming, canoeing, fishing, archery, easy to moderate hiking trails, fitness stations, outdoor games and stargazing, with a trained staff onsite each day to help facilitate activities.

“We wanted to offer a unique vacation for Louisiana families. With the Staycation option, families can take full advantage of our properties including the Whispering Pines pool, lake, and rock climbing wall and zip line,” said Baham. “They can also venture off site during their stay. The Northshore is a fun place to explore, and there are some great excursions nearby including horseback riding stables and Global Wildlife Safari.”

Families will also have access to cooking equipment if they wish to cook their own meals. Staff will be on hand to help build a Girl Scout fire for a cookout, and all family campers have access to stoves and refrigerators.

Session information for overnight camp and family Staycations is available on the council’s website at www.gsle.org/summer/pro gram.asp.

For directions to the camps, call the council offices at 504-733-8220 or 225-927-8946.

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