Sunday, May 6, 2018

Reunited with a Camp Treasure: A Girl Scout’s Serendipity Story



Girl Scouts is all about making memories, especially when having fun at camp and exploring the outdoors. As a kid, Anne Petersen attended camp Shawadassee, which had the long-held tradition of Girl Scouts painting their names on their canoe paddles before hanging them in the dining hall. One year, Anne’s troop had to cut their canoe trip short because of a bad storm. The weather was so severe that her troop had to be rescued by Coast Guard ships—yikes! Luckily, a couple who lived on the bay nearby took the troop in, offering the girls a change of clothes, pizza, and a place to sleep. After many years of thinking about that adventurous day (and the coveted signed paddles that accompanied it), this Girl Scout alum was in for a surprise. 

Fast forward 25 years later while waiting in line at her favorite pizza place, Anne overheard a man mention that he used to work at a Girl Scout camp. With true Girl Scout inquisition she spoke up and asked him which camp he worked for. To Anne’s surprise, he had worked at camp Shawadassee before it closed in 2011! After a few minutes of reminiscing, she took the opportunity to ask him about the paddles and their whereabouts, and he explained that they had been given away but that he still had two or three saved in storage. Anne and the man exchanged contact information, and when he got home that night he checked for her paddle. Amazingly, the first paddle he picked up had Anne’s signature on it! It just goes to show—there’s no telling when you’ll form a new bond over a past Girl Scout memory.