Your experiences at your camp will vary from others. You might enjoy the activities, the stories or just being outdoors. In addition, unique aspects of a camp may make one your favorite.
Explore your favorite camp today.
Find the history of your camp. Look beyond the daily activities and find out how the camp impacted the community. The facts of how the camp started and noteworthy events that reached beyond the camp make it more interesting to people who have not been to your camp.
Some specific questions you might ask include:
- Was the area always a camp?
- How did your camp evolve?
- What area was created first?
- Why were certain areas developed?
- What areas are permanent / temporary and why?
- Are any water features (ponds / lakes / etc.) existing or added?
- How was the development funded?
Find out the stories behind the creation and growth of your camp. Document what you find.
Example: Near our town, we have two camps that were once Girl Scout camps. One is now a Boy Scout camp and the other a county park. While I attended events at the one that’s now a Boy Scout camp, I have heard stories of the other camp as well from women who are a lot older but didn’t get to experience it myself. While we share the information, no one writes it down so it will be lost.
Everyone loves stories. Find out the stories about your camp. Try to verify whether the stories are factual or made up. This might include events that affected the camp, famous people who visited, tales about camp features, etc. Document the stories of your camp to share with others.
Can you find vintage photos of your camp? Do you have photos of you and / or your friends at camp? Collect these photos so you can share them with others.
4. Printed materials.
Are there any printed materials supporting your camp? Look through the camp’s history and check with organizations / park departments / etc. Get copies of any printed materials, including:
- News stories
- Autograph books
- Historical pamphlets
- Other memorabilia
Create your own memories by visiting the camp. Take pictures, make sketches or document information you find on-site such as posted photos, old posters and more. Host an event where people can share information about the camp so that their memories can be included with your own.
Create a map of your camp. Ask if there are any maps available or use Google Maps / Earth to start a map of the property. Be sure to include any permanent structures or areas. Label all structures and other features clearly. Be sure to date your map so you know this is how the camp looked at this time.
7. Flora and fauna.
With a book, master gardener or the equivalent, identify the plants, animals, birds, fish and insects in your camp. Keep a notebook of what you find.
Are any of the flora and fauna invasive? Check your area to find out what plants are native and those that are not. Investigate how to curtail the spread of invasive species at your camp.
8. Camping types.
Is your camp primitive or modern? Do you have platform tents or activity buildings that are also used for overnighters? Do you have any camping areas that are unique to your camp? Explore the different ways you can utilize your camp.
9. Other features.
What other features does your camp enjoy? This might be a shooting range, playground, swimming pool, natural waterway, climbing wall, etc. These are the items that make your camp unique! How might you use these to encourage others to attend your camp?
10. Camp events.
What events have been or are hosted at your camp? Who uses your camp on a regular basis? What vintage activities might be fun to host again? Look at events that have been held on the property — yearly activities or even a single special event. Inquire about running events at camp or volunteer at an event that’s already planned.
11. Earn insignia.
Have any badge or patch programs been created that support your camp? These might be specific to your camp or featured in an organizational program. Obtain copies of the requirements and / or physical insignia. Is the insignia still earnable? Do the requirements need to be updated? Can you update them?
12. Collect and share.
Ask yourself “What information would others enjoy knowing about my camp?” Collect the items you find and create an organizational system so that others can utilize your information. How can you archive this information so it is not lost to time? Explore both physical and digital means.
To share what you have found out with others and create interest in your camp, see the Enrichment Project badge program “Share My Camp.”
- Avery 2.5” round label printable, 12 up
- Badge checklist
Sites to Explore
Get the infographic here > larajla blog post
Get the PDFs of the badge program / supplements here > Full badge PDFs