It’s a very muddy morning as dozens of girls are getting a chance to explore the woods at Camp Seven Hills Lakeside.
This is a free pass for the students who are coming from the Lovejoy section of Buffalo to try out camp. They’re engaging in activities ranging from building edible fire pits, to going on scavenger hikes, doing nature tracings, and building fairy huts.
“I think it’s an opportunity to show girls a different aspect of education and getting them connected with nature,” said Janet “Chief” DePetrillo, the director of outdoor programming for Girl Scouts of WNY. “While doing hands-on activities, they retain it more. Then they go back into the classroom and remember what they did here at camp.”
Each summer, more than 2200 girls ranging from entering kindergarten to starting senior year of high school attend the camp. They don’t have to be enrolled in scouts to spend time here and the director says, they don’t have to know anything about nature and being outdoors.
DePetrillo’s favorite part is watching the girls transform throughout their time at camp as they begin to embrace nature and their surroundings.
“It really encourages them to try things they might not have tried before and when they do, they realize they’re capable of anything.”
Girl Scout registration remains open and financial aid is available. Learn more here.