Saturday and Sunday, 06 and 07 February

So what is Encampment?

Encampment is an annual camping event sponsored by our GS Service Unit, Sunny Palms. We will be camping at Camp Dorothy Thomas in Riverview this year. I've never been at this camp, so this will be an adventure for all of us, except for Sydney who, thankfully, has been to all the camps at some point in her GS career. Kate Hazelwood has graciously accepted to be the extra chaperone this year. I wish I could bring all of the parents who want to come, unfortunately, the Council and Service Unit restrict us to just the one extra.

The girls will be sleeping in cabins on cots/bunk beds. Saturday mostly consists of getting settled into our cabin, getting the lay of the camp, having dinner and then a social (costume party) and campfire with S'Mores. On Sunday, the girls will be starting very early (breakfast is at 7:30am and we have to be up, dressed and have the cabin cleaned before we go to breakfast). After breakfast we'll be participating in hour long rotations, which outside of the Challenge course, may include archery, campfire building, knot tying, geocaching and others. We will be exchanging SWAPs during lunch. I guarantee that your daughter will be tired, but very happy by the time we get home on Sunday.


Saturday, Feb. 6th, 3pm

515 Danube Avenue

Tampa, FL

We'll meet at my place at 3pm on Saturday to make sure that I have all the permission slips and other paperwork in order and still be able to leave on time to make it to the camp by the 4:30 pm check-in time. Camp ends at 3:30 on Sunday, and expect to be back at my place around 4:30 pm for delivery back to you.

Required Paperwork

The following paperwork is required for all girls to participate in Encampment:

  1. Universal Permission Slip
  2. Health Form
  3. Challenge Course Permission Slip - see below link for this form.

Unless you hear from me otherwise, I have #1 and #2 above for your daughter. Please follow the below link for the Challenge Course Permission Slip, fill out and either bring this to Thursday's meeting or at drop off on Saturday.

Also, if your daughter takes any medication, I will need to have you put it in a Ziplock baggie and give to me for dispensing. She is not allowed to take medications on her own, per GSA rules. I will have medication permission slips available on Saturday for anyone who needs this.

Weekend Weather Forecast

Unfortunately, the weekend has gone from beautiful Spring weather back to Florida winter weather. It's supposed to rain ALL weekend and the highs for Saturday will have passed by the time we get there. The current low for Saturday night is 44 degrees and the high for Sunday is 61 degrees. Please keep this in mind when helping your daughter pack for the weekend. Please add several pages of newspaper to the "to pack" list below, so I can dry their sneakers out Saturday night.

So what does she need to pack?

Good question!

As she will be carrying all her own gear from the car to the cabin, she should pack the following items (sleeping bag and possibly the pillow, can be bungee corded to her back pack) in a large backpack (she will not have access to this during the day on Sunday):

  • Sleeping bag or sheets and blanket
  • Small Pillow
  • Cup with a handle (holds about 8 oz) - Camp provides cups for milk only at breakfast.
  • Towel/ wash cloth
  • Comb/brush, toothbrush and paste, soap, etc.
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight/extra batteries
  • PJs (remember it is going to be cold)
  • Night time comfort item/Lovey (optional)
  • Change of clothes for Sunday (will probably need a jacket to go under the poncho)
  • Poncho or rain coat (no umbrellas)
  • Closed toe shoes with socks - NO Flip Flops or Sandals
  • Bandana (or two) and hair ties - (this is for pulling back hair at campfire and for wiping hands as there are no or minimal paper towels available at camp)
  • Bag for any wet stuff (Publix bag works well here)
  • Hat or Visor (since it will be cool in the cabin, you may want to include a cap she can wear while she sleeps)
  • Whistle
  • Small back pack for day use - this will hold her sunscreen, cup, hat, poncho, bandana and SWAPs on Sunday. Unless you have another pack, I suggest she use the GS bag that came with her uniform. Since there are only 2 or 3 designs for this bag, I'm making laminated tags so they don't get them confused.
  • * newspaper for stuffing sneakers with on Saturday night

Please make sure her name is on everything! If she looses it, she'll get it back. If no name, it will probably be donated or tossed.

What Shouldn't She Pack?

Another Good Question!!!

The following should be left at home:

  1. Cell phone and Tablets - there is no need for these things at a campout. If you need to get ahold of your daughter for an emergency - you may use my cell - 813-763-3204. They will be too busy on Sunday to play with electronics and they need a good night's sleep to participate fully on Sunday.
  2. Gum and all candy - this only encourages bug infestations of the cabins and trails, not to mention, it's a pain to get out of sneakers once you've tread on it. And the wrappers always seem to find their way onto the ground and this form of trash is unsightly and bad for animals in the area.
  3. Snacks: the meals at Encampment are huge and very child friendly. Trail mix will be distributed on Sunday. No real need for extra food. There will be water and/or lemonade stations at each rotation, hence the need for the cup. No water bottles either, please.
  4. Her Junior vest -this will become dirty and don't want to loose it.


Please have your daughter wear either a white shirt or a solid dark shirt on Saturday. This is for their jellyfish costume.

She should not need any money - so please do not send any with her.

Even with the Rain -

This should be a great weekend of fun and adventure. Some of the events will be modified to accommodate the rain, but the weekend will go on, rain or shine. Hopefully it will clear our Sunday morning as it's currently predicted.

Looking forward to this. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also if your daughter has changed her mind about wanting to stay the night, she is welcome to join us Sunday morning. I'll just need to know.

Thank you - Mary Alice and Sydney