I am a mother of two, a college administrator, and a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Northeastern, NY. I simply love being a troop leader and I can’t think of a better way to serve my community while spending time with my daughter. We learn so much and have fun while doing it. The goal of Girl Scouts is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. If any of my fellow troop leaders are reading this post you know what I mean. If you are not a scout leader and have ever thought about applying to be a volunteer, I encourage you to check it out. I cherish every moment I get to spend with my girls. Watching them grow and learn is priceless. I know I am making a difference and it warms my heart to think that I can have an positive impact on the children in my community just like my troop leader had on me as a child. By the way, I still keep in contact with many of my Girl Scout friends that I met over 30 years ago. The bond is strong.
So what does this have to do with the theme of my blog which is to visit family friendly places in and around the Capital Region? Well, we took our first camping trip to Is-Sho-Da in East Greenbush, NY. The good news, this wonderful place is available for rental to non-Girl Scout families as well so I encourage you to keep reading.http://gsneny.org/property-rentals/camp-is-sho-da/#&panel1-1
I have to admit that I had my reservations about camping, especially in May because the weather can be so unpredictable and we all know how cold spring nights can get in Upstate, NY. In addition, the weather forecast did not look promising. I kept thinking about wet rain coats, soggy boots, the camp fires that would not be and perhaps a leaky tent or two. This scenario just did not appeal to me. Yes, we are brave and resourceful but we just wanted a little sunshine. Is this too much to ask for? Well, it turns out that Mother Nature was on our side and delivered a beautiful weekend with lots of sun, a cool breeze and a minimum amount of mosquitoes.
Not really into the idea of sleeping in a tent? Not to worry, Camp Is-Sho-Da offers cabins, a lodge and even covered wagons. If you are of a certain age, this may immediately transport you back in time to the book and TV series, Little House on the Prairie. I am far too young to remember this show. Wink, Wink! Don’t expect the Hilton or Four Star accommodations. After all this is still camping. The cabins and lodge are clean, cute and fun. The lodge has a wonderful fireplace, plenty of army style bunk beds, thin mattresses and boy oh boy do they make a lot of noise every time you move. The bathroom in the lodge also has this amazing vintage basin for washing hands, brushing teeth, etc. I was so impressed I had to take a photo. They just don’t make them like that anymore. LOL
Our weekend was filled with arts and craft projects, nature walks, skipping stones in the pond, picnics, camp fires, s’mores, telling stories, singing songs, and searching for animals. By the way, three deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, toads, and loads of birds were spotted. Several of the girls witnessed turtles peeping up from the lake and we discovered a nest with two goose eggs. There is also an amazing field of green grass and rolling hills. It was perfect for relay races, tossing balloons, chasing butterflies and just soaking up the natural beauty of our surroundings. We also made sure to leave our mark and decorate a large rock with all of our names which we left on the fireplace mantle in the lodge.
We had the best camp food including hotdogs, watermelon, macaroni salad, sandwiches, and lemonade and Tang for beverages . Talk about a blast from the past! Oh and lots of other tasty treats. Our dessert menu included Girl Scout cookies. Don’t judge, we had carrot sticks and apples too. LOL
Prior to actually going to camp, I was happy that we only planned an overnight stay. However, I was sad to go home. We had such a great time and the girls made special bonds. Our parents came along too and I feel as though I have also made new friends. Camping is an amazing journey for young and old alike.
I really can’t wait to do it again and I encourage you to check it out too.