It’s not always about the cookies.
This week, Girl Scouts from the Illinois Valley area are participating in day camp at Lehigh Park in Oglesby. Those famous Girl Scout cookies were nowhere to be found while the girls went from station to station learning and exploring new things.
This is the 16th year for Camp Lehigh and some of the volunteers.
There are 52 participants ranging from kindergarten to eighth-graders, and they come from all over the Illinois Valley. It’s safe to say that the camp has grown over the past years.
“One of our first camps started with 18 girls,” said camp volunteer and previous camp director Chris Hubbard.
She also said there were other camps in DePue, Mendota and La Salle that ended in previous years.
“We were the only one that survived,” said Hubbard.
She credits the location of camp, Lehigh Park, as a major factor in the camp’s success.
Girls at camp get to participate in a variety of activities this week including cooking, outdoor games, crafts and educational stations.
“We’re a leadership organization,” said Hubbard. “We are trying to teach the girls to be independent.”
Tuesday the girls learned how to make a pizza on the grill and make paper lanterns during craft time.
“I’m not making mine into a lantern. I’m going to put a flashlight in it and turn it into a disco ball. I’ve always wanted a disco ball,” said Ava Stone, 9, of Oglesby.
Mary Driscoll from Pet Project set up a station with her dog Moose, teaching the girls about pet safety and answering any questions they had about their pets at home.
Chef Tim Freed from Hy-Vee manned the grill and showed the girls how to put together a pizza and then cook it on the grill.
What are some other favorites the campers like to do during their week-long day camp?
S’more making (and eating) and swimming.
Fire building and s’more cooking is scheduled for Thursday, although with the cool weather Tuesday a bonfire would have been welcomed by the campers and the volunteers.
“If my mom were here I would not want to eat S’mores. That’s her cat,” said Megan Stasiak, 7, of Tonica.
Although the cold weather put a damper on the girls swim time Tuesday, they didn’t miss it Monday, and weather permitting, they won’t miss it the rest of the week either.
Some other upcoming events for the week are cupcake design, a hot air balloon, learning how to do your hair and nails and a visit from the police K9 unit in Oglesby.
Lauren Blough can be reached at (815) 220-6931 or email@example.com.