The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Patti Scanlan
For the Courier 

Girl Scouts Learn Camping Skills


August 30, 2017

Patti Scanlan / For the Courier

Local Girl Scouts from around the area gather at Boy Scout Park on Aug. 12.

On a fabulous sunny weekend, Aug. 12-13, 26 Girl Scouts from Glasgow, Nashua, Fort Peck and Wolf Point all joined together at Boy Scout Park to learn basic camping skills. Many of these girls had never camped before, and certainly most had never had to use their own skills.

The girls broke into smaller groups and cycled through stations, with each one highlighting a different outdoor skill. The day started with "Outdoor Manners (Leave No Trace)," presented by Ranger Sue Dalby from the Corps of Engineers.

Ranger Dalby spoke with the girls about the importance of leaving a place better than you found it and more. Girls then participated in "Be Prepared," led by Sandy Carpenter and Max Carpenter. There they learned a little basic first aid, made their own camping first aid kits, and learned about the many uses and reasons to carry a bandana with them. They were able to then tie-dye their own bandana to keep in their camping gear.

The cooking station, led by Earlene Carney and Beth Carney, consisted of learning a little about knife use and keeping clean. They then prepared their own foil packet dinner to be cooked later in the day. The cadettes also got to make and use hobo/vagabond stoves. Hobo stoves can be functional to boil water for purification purposes during a power outage or in other survival situations, and can be used for outdoor cooking. The girls cooked quesadillas on theirs.

Knowing how to tie knots is an important part of any outdoor experience, and the cadette scouts (seventh graders) from Wolf Point led the knot tying station. The girls learned and practiced several basic knots – and then played a couple of games to further reinforce their skills.

The Carpenters also lead the "Staying Safe" station. This station included a presentation available from National Association of Search and Rescue called "Hug a Tree." Inspired by the search for nine-year-old Jimmy Beveridge in 1981 in southern California, the Hug-a-Tree and Survive program teaches children how to survive in the woods should they become lost. The program was developed to educate children in a select few of the most basic and vital survival principles.

Due to the fire restrictions, the girls did not have a chance to build their own fires. However, after an introduction to fire safety and the parts to building a fire, scout Garrett Lloyd gave a cool demonstration on starting a fire using a cotton ball and lipstick.

Basic compass skills was up next and the girls learned to orient themselves, take a bearing reading and then completed a circle compass course.

The final station was "Geocaching" or "Letterboxing" depending on their age group. The brownies (second and third graders) were able to learn about Letterboxing. Letterboxing is an intriguing "treasure hunt" style outdoor activity. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and post clues to finding the box online on one of several Web sites. These boxes generally hold a log book and a hand carved stamp. Once found, you use the stamp in your log book – and use your personal stamp in the box log book. These girls made their own stamps, learned to decipher clues, and then hunted and located a letterbox that was hidden at Boy Scout park.

The older girls participated in "GeoCaching." Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. These containers vary in size and difficulty and often contain trinkets to trade. The girls learned some basic GPS skills, made a trade item and then hunted for three different caches that were temporarily placed at the park (there is one permanent cache at the park now).

Some of our extra activities included painting rocks for Kindness Rocks and Stomp Rockets.

Our day finished up with a movie, popcorn and homemade donuts before retreating to our tents to enjoy a night out. A few enjoyed the quiet and darkness and watched the Persaid meteor shower too.

As a reminder, Girl Scouts will be starting up again soon! If your daughter is interested in joining, let us know! You can contact Patti Scanlan at 406-263-1679.


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