“I am thrilled that Camp Small Valley has been preserved so that generations of girls will be able to experience the fun and challenges of camp–from riding horseback, zip lining and archery to making friendships that last a lifetime,” said Veronica Longenecker, GSHPA’s Board Chair.
In 2012, GSHPA launched a five-year camp development plan, which focuses on upgrading camp facilities to assure a quality outdoor experience for girls. GSHPA has completed an array of improvements to the camp such as high and low ropes courses, a yurt village, permanent archery range, horse stable and more. The camp enhancements bring together the long standing Girl Scout tradition of exploring the outdoors with the exciting and adventurous curiosity of today’s girls.
“After many years of directing Girl Scout day camps and leading troops on camping trips, I have seen over and over how girls thrive as a result of outdoor experiences,” said Longenecker.
Camp is a place for girls to have fun adventures with friends, try something new and build leadership skills. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s (GSRI) study More than S’mores (2014) monthly exposure, high adventure, and repeat camp attendance are key drivers of girls’ leadership development and satisfaction. Specifically, findings have shown that girls who get outdoors regularly seek challenges and have an edge in problem solving.
Especially important to GSHPA and Manada Conservancy’s preservation efforts, research has shown that girls learn environmental stewardship through outdoor experiences. Girl Scouts are twice as likely as non-Girl Scouts to say they take action to protect the environment (51 percent versus 23 percent).
“The activities the Girl Scouts provide fulfill a crucial need for connecting children with the land, providing environmental education, and outdoor recreation,” said Sally Zaino, Director of Preservation for Manada Conservancy. These outdoor activities align with Manada’s conservation criteria, which also includes: increasing volume of unfragmented habitat, falling within the designated Kittatinny Corridor, parcel size, wetland and waterway protection and continuity with other protected areas.
“The protection of Camp Small Valley fulfills the Manada Conservancy mission at the highest level, ranking its preservation as one of the highest priority projects we have undertaken,” said Zaino.
Camp Small Valley is one camp gearing up for Girl Scout resident camp, which will take place June-August. Camp Small Valley is expected to host around 300 Girl Scouts in June alone. For more information about GSHPA’s camps, visit www.gshpa.org.
Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania
Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania serves over 20,000 girls in 30 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. GSHPA’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. We welcome all girls in grades K-12, as well as adults interested in volunteering. For more information visit our Web site at www.gshpa.org or call 1.800.692.7816.
About Manada Conservancy
The Manada Conservancy is a land trust dedicated to the preservation of the natural, historic, agricultural and scenic resources of Dauphin County and to the promotion of environmental education. For more information about Manada Conservancy, visit www.manada.org.