March 28 2016

Camp Mary Elizabeth’s Wildflowers

Hikes & Outdoors, Traditional Stuff    No Comments    , , , , ,

Foamflower at CME

Camp Mary Elizabeth is known for its wildflowers.  Well, I don’t know for sure if that’s true, because I bet the average leader in our council would have no clue about this – but they should!  But as I stated in the previous blog entry, the fact that it is home to so many types of wildflowers is part of its charm.

The area around CME grew and developed throughout the years, and at this point, CME is an island of woods and nature surrounded by asphalt and concrete.  There’s a stream called Holston Creek that flows through it, and unfortunately, a lot of trash that makes it way from the surrounding parking lots ends up on the sides of the stream.  Holston Creek turns into Fairforest Creek which eventually grows into the Fairforest River.  Here’s the progression to the Atlantic Ocean, in case you’re wondering:  Fairforest River → Tyger River → Broad River →  Congaree River → Lake Marion then EITHER → Santee River → Atlantic Ocean OR Lake Moultrie → Cooper River → Atlantic Ocean.  Yes, I followed it all the way on Google Maps.  I’m weird like that, but I was curious.  I MEANT to only say that it’s part of either the Tyger or Upper Broad watersheds and stop there.  What’s a watershed?  I’m glad you askedContinue reading

March 22 2016

Camp Mary Elizabeth’s History

Traditional Stuff    3 Comments    , , , ,

Camp Mary ElizabethFor those of you who are not familiar with it, Camp Mary Elizabeth is a Girl Scout camp located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  It’s a neat little camp, and it has its own sweet charm.  It’s one out of only two urban Girl Scout camps in the United States.  I had my outdoor training there, and it’s where I took our troop camping for the first time. Our troop has participated in a few events there as well.  It’s got a lot of potential.  There’s also some drama in its past.  Maybe we could even consider it a soap opera!  But not one of those Telemundo novelas.  We wouldn’t know what was being said anyway.  ¡Qué terrible!

In January of 1947, Dr. W.S. Zimmerman left 28 acres in his will to the (then) Spartanburg Girl Scout council provided that the land always be called Camp Mary Elizabeth as a memorial to Dr. Zimmerman’s mother, Elizabeth Simpson Zimmerman, and her daughter, Mary Zimmerman Ward (Dr. Zimmerman’s sister).  A memorial marker would always have to remain on the property as well.  More acreage was added in 1952 and 1953.  Continue reading

March 16 2016

And Cookie Season Is Over (REJOICE)

Experiences as a Leader    No Comments    , ,

We finally finished our journey last week, and cookie season is now officially over.  Our troop and I just have this left (in no particular order):

  • Complete Bronze Award
  • SU Encampment trip with Brownies and Juniors
  • Beach camping trip with Juniors
  • Cherokee, NC trip with Brownies and Juniors
  • Delegate stuff in April
  • End of year bridging ceremonies (Daisies, Brownies, & Juniors)
  • Start planning City Slickers summer camp

But I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Unless that’s a train.

March 9 2016

In Defense of Girl Scouts and Leaders and Rules

Opinions    3 Comments    , , , , , , , ,

Lately I’ve been doing my fair share of GSUSA bashing.  But if you hang around me long enough, you’ll know that I am a huge proponent of Scouting.  Sure, there are some things that I don’t like about the way things are going, but I still feel there’s value in it, and I’m hopeful that one day it’ll get back on track.  I sincerely do what I can to try to “right the ship” if you will.  Maybe not successfully, and I might even end up tipping the boat over, thereby dumping everyone out, but it is not my intention to do so.

It seems like Girl Scout bashing in the media has been the “in” thing for the past few years.  Some of it is self-inflicted, sure, but some of it is just jumping on the bandwagon in my opinion.


In this case, it’s the article from this past October by Rachel Zurer called “How The Girl Scouts Failed Me.”  It appears on the Backpacker website, which I’m assuming is an outdoor magazine or website.  I know you are in awe of my powers of deduction.  Samona posted this link on my Facebook wall back when it was first published and asked for my opinion.  I’m finally getting around to it.  Just a warning – I’m going to jump around the article, so quotes won’t necessarily be in order.  I also start off by raking the author over the coals, but in the end I soften up.  Consider this a strongly worded blog post.  As opposed to a strongly worded letter. Continue reading