Resident Camp By the Numbers

candid of older girlsgirls holding paddles at pond

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year, Girl Scout Summer Camp is over and school is about to begin. Our amazing counselors have left camp, the horses are taking a well-deserved break, and all the craft supplies have been packed away and we are left with favorite camp songs repeating in our heads. It was a phenomenal summer, with more than double the number of girls Camp Little Cloud has seen in a good long while. Here are some fun facts about summer camp, according to the numbers!

 girls in camp shirt

875 Girls developed their leadership and independence, learned practical outdoor skills like fire building and made friendships to last a lifetime. That is more than double the number of girls who attended camp at Camp Little Cloud last summer.


131 girls received financial assistance, helping to ensure that every girl has the opportunity to experience the outdoors.


60 adults, parents and Girl Scout volunteers explored camp with their girls, having fun and spending time together during weekend sessions for troops and families.

 families at camp


40 camp staff acted as role models, comforted during home sickness and provided a safe and memorable experience.


7 weeks of fun in the sun, with only a little bit of rain!


All of these numbers led up to:

final night campfire 4

1 fantastic summer of resident camp at Camp Little Cloud; we can’t wait to see all of you again next year! Mark your Calendar for January 26, 2015 as we’ll be releasing our summer program guide on our website that Monday! This guide include all the fun camp sessions we have planned at Camp Little Cloud, as well as community day camps, summer Girl Scout events and more!


Don’t forget to share your thoughts with our national delegates – so they can take feedback to the national convention in October! Log on to one of three webinars:

National Convention Webinars

Discussions regarding the Girl Scout Outdoor Experience:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014  at 6:00pm  Register Here

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm  Register Here

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm   Register Here


Or fill out the short four question survey found here:

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Wonder Women Honoree-Meet Lindsey

For the next five weeks we will post an article of the women who were honored at this year’s “Wonder Women” event in Dubuque.

LindseyLindsey Reiter - Girl Scout Volunteer and Leader

Lindsey was hooked after she discovered the Grand Opera house in first grade and while she genuinely just loved to sing and dance, there was far deeper meaning in her theatrical endeavors. Theatre offered a safe place to explore and express herself; gave her confidence at a time in her life that was often confusing, “I was the only biracial person in my family [and] the only child of color at my school, so it was hard to understand I was different and accept it… [acting] gave me the escape that I wanted. As a college student, Lindsey studied drama, and to this day continues to act in university and community plays.

As an adult, she spent five years working with at-risk youth at both Hillcrest and Community Circle of Care, and she further realized the importance in offering children positive outlets for creative and emotional expression.  Lindsey describes herself as having a “typical single working mom life.” she currently works part time at an in-home daycare and is a server at night and volunteers with her college sorority. She also feels her drama Professor, Amy, was a huge inspiration, “she gave me the confidence to keep moving forward, to push ahead and to look at all the women who had done it before me.  And any role she gave me was to challenge me and to help me think outside the box.”

One of her favorite activities is volunteering as a Leader for her daughter, Estella, Girl Scout troop. Lindsey is an empowering role model, offering the girls as many creative outlets as possible. She remembers being a Girl Scout herself, and the creative and explorative outlets it provided. She is constantly on the go with the large, excited group of girls, taking them to camp, doing community service and, of course, singing, dancing and practicing plenty of imagination, “I’m confident their [involvement] will form them into amazing young leaders…every one of our meetings are wholly girl-led.” When asked why she became a troop leader, Lindsey says she wanted to be “a constant” for her daughter and her friends; she wanted the girls to see her and say, “Oh, that’s Stella’s mom,” a strong, positive role model.

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Waterdroplettes Make a Splash at Events This Summer

Nearly fifty girls attended one of three Waterdroplette events held at Camp Conestoga, Camp L-Kee-Ta and Camp Tahigwa this summer. Girls explored camp and all its wonders, while learning to keep our water clean and healthy.


Girls in 1-5 grade learned the basics of about the water cycle, including ground water, evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Then they made a bracelet to remind them of each of the steps.



After our meal we learned more about ground water, and contamination by making edible aquifers. You can see the different layers including the “contaminated” bottom layer held up by this participant at Camp L-Kee-Ta. The best kind of science ends with a delicious ice cream treat. It might look a little interesting but believe me, even the grown-ups loved it!


  edible aquifer 


To learn how to make your own edible aquifers watch this you tube video made by the Groundwater foundation. 

Kevin Greedey, a professor at Augustana College brought microscopes and led pond exploration at Camp Conestoga. We found out there is a type of bug affectionately called the “Toe Biter” and it does just what its name implies!microscope

Girls also got to catch their own animals from the pond, and caught everything from fly larvae to a small blue gill! Thanks to Kevin’s daughter Aislinn for all her help as a volunteer throughout the day as well!

 catching animals

At Camp Tahigwa, girls also had the chance to learn about solar and wind power with help from Cory O’Brien, staff at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa.

 demonstrating wind powershowing solar car

Girls finished their visit by a well-deserved swim in the pool at Camp Conestoga and Camp L-Kee-Ta. Visitors to Camp Tahigwa were treated to some time on the slip and silde, followed by time to tube down Bear Creek.


Mark your Calendar for January 26, 2015 as we’ll be releasing our summer program guide on our website that Monday! This guide include all the fun camp sessions we have planned at Camp Little Cloud, as well as community day camps, summer Girl Scout events and more!


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A Peek Inside Family Camp Sampler! – A blog post by Outdoor Leadership Experience Intern Gabby B.

This summer Girl Scouts and their families have been getting outside and experiencing Girl Scout Camp Together! We’ve had several opportunities including two partner programs at our resident camp, Camp Little Cloud- He and Me and Girls Night Out, where a significant adult in a girl’s life can attend as a camper, to experience all we have to offer.

In addition, for the first time ever, we offered overnight events for the whole family. Family Camp Samplers took place at both Camp L-Kee-Ta and Camp Tahigwa this summer and we had a blast! Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles …everyone was welcome! Read on for just a taste of the fun we had at Family Camp Sampler.

One of the activities we did at Camp Tahigwa was floating down the creek. Sunny skies and cool breezes made for perfect floating weather!

tubing on creek

A fun group activity was learning all about solar cars from one of our awesome volunteers, Tracy W. a current University of Northern Iowa student who works for the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at UNI.  Families even got to put together their own solar car and test it out!

trying out solar cars

Family Camp Sampler is all about including families in on all the great things girls get to experience at resident camp, like hayrack rides, campfires, and of course, making new friends!

Camp L-Kee-Ta’s session was a scorcher! It wouldn’t be a Midwest summer without heat and humidity.

 A favorite group activity was getting to relax in the beautiful pool. We spent extra time there to excape the heat and I think all our families would have spent the whole day there, if we didn’t have so many other fun things to do!

Families enjoyed learning all about the basics of archery and getting to test their skills! Parents and kids even got a healthy dose of competition and squared off against each other…


 At both Family Camp Samplers, campers got to participate in a variety of hands-on craft stations, including learning how to make-your-own mobile and tie-dye a bandanna.

making a mobile

We also made sure to keep them well fed!

fruit bowl

Interested in attending a Girl Scout event as a family? We are in the midst of planning Family Fall Festival’s at each of our camp properties in October, and have other fun family activities planned all year. For a full listing check out our 2014-2015 Leadership Experience Guide- your guide to all our Girl Scout programs, events and activities.

Do you have a story about what your troop or group did outdoors this summer? Email Angela Ventris with what you did and include any photos you too! Send your e-mail to

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AmeriCorp to Assist Providing a New Look to Girl Scout Camps


Members of AmeriCorp being welcomed by the GSEIWI council. From left Ryan Cuttler, Benjamin Quimbly, Bell Kiley, Ben Rosel, Robin Philips and Amber Sproles

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps will be working hard all summer to provide a new look to the Girl Scout Camps. The Cedar 1 Team will consist of seven people completing tasks to help Camp Conestoga get ready for innovation. The team will also be completing other service activities in Camp L-Kee-Ta this summer, as well as in Camp Little Big Cloud and Camp Tahigwa in the fall. According to the AmeriCorps website, the AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time residential program for men and women ages 18-24. Members are based in one of the five regional campuses-  one of which is in Vinton, IA – and travel to complete service projects throughout those regions.

The members of the Cedar 1 Team Valley are Ben Quimbly, Ryan Cuttler, Bell Kiley, Ben Rosel, Robin Philips and Amber Sproles. They are from Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Maryland, Indiana and Pennsylvania and served in Michigan and South Dakota before coming to Iowa.

Ben, the leader of the Cedar 1 team, is looking forward to learning more about the Girl Scouts and the work that they do, as well as getting to see some of the communities in Iowa. Ryan, a former Boy Scout himself, says he’s looking forward to seeing how the Girl Scout camps run and operate from a new perspective. Bell has always been interested in helping the younger generation. “It’s a great feeling knowing that by cleaning the camp, it’s affecting young girl’s lives,” she says. Amber says that it’s been great serving and giving what she can to people.



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Meet our summer intern! A Girl Scout Close-Up

Meet Gabby Barillas, our Leadership Experience intern!

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am currently a psychology major at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. After I graduate next May, I want to continue onto graduate school for a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. My dream job would be working as a guidance counselor in an elementary or middle school. I absolutely love working with kids of all ages and their families, so this internship was perfect for me!

Were you ever a Girl Scout growing up?

I was not a Girl Scout growing up, but I’m only two weeks into this internship and I am definitely wishing I was! Girl Scouts has so many neat things to offer girls, especially in the way of opportunities for leadership, adventure, and learning new skills. I’ve already had a chance to volunteer at Family Camp Sampler at Camp Tahigwa and can’t wait to visit the other camps and share the outdoors with girls!

What are some of your favorite childhood memories spent outdoors?

My family went camping a lot growing up- learning how to build a fire and fish are practically embedded in my DNA! I loved snoozing under the stars and listening to all the “night sounds” you don’t get to experience sleeping indoors. One of our favorite camping spots is in Yellow River State Forest near Marquette, Iowa. It’s seriously one of the prettiest places I have ever been, especially in the fall when all the colors are booming!

What have you been working on recently as a part of your internship?

Lately I have been working on helping to develop program kits for the new activity center in Rock Island, Illinois. I’ve loved getting to sneak a peek at all the cool activities that Girl Scouts who visit the center will get to take part in- everything from making homemade ice cream in an “ice cream ball,” to learning about smoke blasters. Part of my internship involves pairing these kinds of hands-on activities with learning about science, which has been a fun, creative challenge so far!

Think this is neat? Share it with your friends!

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The Great American Backyard Campout- Get your family outside!

This Saturday, June 28, is the Great American Backyard Campout! Over 200,000 families and groups are expected to take part in this summer event that has been growing since 2005. The goal of this event? To get kids and families outside, even if it’s just to their own backyard! Find out more about the campout, view packing lists as well as game and meal ideas at

Don’t forget the quintessential campfire snack for your campout: the S’more- a fire toasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. Here are a few ways to shake up your s’more recipe:

Image courtesy

*Instead of graham crackers try Girl Scout Cookies: 2 Thanks-a-Lots, or why not make them L’mores with two Lemonaids, or Minty S’mores with Thin Mints!

*Sweet and Salty s’mores: replace the graham cracker with Ritz crackers

*Replace the chocolate with one of the following: Nutella, sliced bananas or strawberries or a York peppermint patty

Not a fan of s’mores? I’ve also heard that roasting Starburst chewy candies can be pretty delicious too.

If you aren’t sure you want to lead your own camping experience, join us at Camp L-Kee-Ta near West Burlington, IA on July 12-13 for Family Camp Sampler, a time for the whole family to get out to camp and enjoy the summer.

Already this year girls from all across Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois have been getting outside to make s’mores, make new friends, try new and fun activities and camp out! Volunteer led day camps are happening throughout the council and summer resident camp at Camp Little Cloud is now in full swing! We have over 850 girls registered to attend summer resident camp, and over 1,000 girls plan to attend local day camps.

We also have several fantastic events planned at our camps this summer- check the calendar at for more information.

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