Get the summer camp experience at home with the GSEP

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Summertime is here, and typically that means prolonged beach days, outdoor activities and camps in full swing. However, in the age of coronavirus, that isn’t quite the case. With some sort of social distancing still in tact in most parts of the state, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania have decided to bring the summer camp experience right to your home, so no one has to feel like they’re missing out on any seasonal fun.

With Camp@Home, participants will get a full camp experience sent right to their doorstep for five weeks. The weekly ‘sessions’ begin July 6 and will run through Aug. 7. Each week will feature a different theme, is divided by age level (K-12) and is run by the GSEP’s camp staff. The content features over three hours worth of activities that will get you unplugged and moving, unique swag from the GSEP and access to the GSEP Zoom Camp experience platform. There are a few session options as well, running from half day sessions (for Daisy and Brownie programs) and full-day sessions (for Junior, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador programs.)

The program is a way to still make summer 2020 special. It’s an amazing opportunity to bring families together as well—every Thursday during the camp season everyone can connect for a virtual “All Camp” campfire, featuring a slideshow from the week, which the release states is a honored tradition for the Girl Scouts.

Maureen Maier, Head of Operations and Vice President of Girl Experience gave Metro the scoop on what else participants can expect from Camp@Home.

How were you able to create a summer camp experience on the virtual front?

When we determined for the health and safety of our girls, leaders and staff to move our in-person camp season to a virtual experience this summer, we reviewed the feedback we received from our virtual programming and meetings we held via Zoom through our Girl Scouts at Home program implemented due to Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home orders.

Given the positive response, we decided to transition the camp experience to a digital platform so campers can connect virtually for live interactive sessions, as well as participate in recorded materials and unplugged activities.

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What can interested participants expect from Camp@Home?

Camp@Home is a mix of live interactive sessions, independent work, recorded materials, supplemental activities and a box camp kit to provide each Girl Scout the interactive, fun camp experience at home. Each session is designed by age level, has a unique theme, and is led by GSEP’s camp staff. For example, Daisy and Brownie programs for girls K-3 are facilitated half-day sessions, with morning and afternoon options while Junior (4-5 grade), Cadette (6-8 grade), Senior (9-10 grade), and Ambassador (11-12 grade) programs are full-day sessions. The groups in each session will be small to ensure active participation from all the girls with one another and GSEP’s camp staff. Through GSEP’s Zoom Camp experience platform, campers will participate in meetings, sing-a-longs and our longstanding, beloved camp tradition, featuring a slideshow of the week — “All Camp” campfires. 

In addition to virtual sessions and activities, Camp@Home will include unplugged activities to incorporate outdoor adventure, a fundamental part of the Girl Scout experience. Each camper will be supplied with a camp kit shipped directly to their home or available via contactless pick-up designed for each session, which will include an activity guide, materials, and surprise swag to encourage hands-on learning and fun. Each session will include over three hours of daily virtual and unplugged activities. 

While we can’t be together in-person this summer, we have developed a personalized experience for families to stay connected and keep the Girl Scout Camp tradition alive.

Where can interested participants sign up?

Parents and guardians can visit gsep.org/campathome for a full list of week-long sessions organized by grade level, theme and date. Each week-long session costs $50 to $75 per camper. Once a parent or guardian selects the grade level, theme and week, they will click on register, which will direct them to the Eventbrite link where they can pay for registration, select their delivery option or contactless pick-up for the camp kit, and purchase a Camp@Home t-shirt. 

Is there anything else that you would want people to know about Camp@Home?

Camp@Home is designed to bring families and girls of similar ages together virtually to learn, grow, and face this challenging time together. It also provides girls with the opportunity to continue to become the leaders of tomorrow and have lots of fun. Financial aid for Camp@Home is available for current and new GSEP members.

Is there anything else that you would want people to know about the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania? 

Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP) is the state’s largest girl-serving organization that serves over 40,000 girls ages 5 through 17 in nine counties in Eastern Pennsylvania (e.g. Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia) with the help from over 15,000 adult volunteers. GSEP is an inclusive, girl-led, all-female environment that creates a safe space in which girls can try new things, develop a range of skills and take on leadership roles. We provide a fun, accepting and nurturing environment where girls can discover their voice, connect with one another and take action in their communities.

To learn more about the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania and Camp@Home, visit gsep.org

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