Michele (or Shellyb as she is known at camp) is starting her 18th year as the Director at Camp Wood Haven. Michele has a long history with Girl Scouts. She started as a Brownie in Los Angeles, and even earned her First Class Award! Her love of the outdoors took her to camps on Catalina Island, Lake Arrowhead, and Palm Springs.
Michele moved to Pennsylvania in 1987, and when her daughter joined Girl Scouts, Michele became a troop leader in the Great Valley Council. She later accepted the position of a full time staff member at Camp Wood Haven. Both of her children grew up at camp and later worked at camp.
Her favorite part of the job is working with girls of all ages- helping them to learn to love the outdoors, encouraging them to try something out of their comfort zone, and to realize that they can make a difference in the world.
Camp Wood Haven is located in a valley just across the Berks County line in Schuylkill County. It sits in a nice little valley just outside of Pine Grove, PA and is surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. We are about 5 miles from the Appalachian Trail at the 501 lookouts. Wood Haven has lots of fun activities to offer campers, archery, team challenge course, climbing wall, tree ascension element and slack lining. When you are not “adventuring” it, spend time at the pool, or go for a creek hike, and have lunch at Tear Drop Island. Wood Haven also has a large horseback-riding program where we offer both English and Western riding for all age levels and riding abilities. When you aren’t riding a horse you can spend time with the four Alpacas in the Critter Cabin. The possibilities are endless.
Here are some quotes from the Wood Haven staff:
“Wood Haven is an incredibly special place, and I can’t articulate how much I’ll treasure my time spent helping change young lives and building women of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.”
“Working at camp made me realize what a difference you can make in other people’s lives and I really want to pursue that with mine more than ever.”
Our Favorite Tradition
Our campfire at the end of the week is one of our best traditions. It gives both campers and staff a venue to express their feelings, as well as their wishes and hope for the future. Campers write a program wish and attach it to a wish log. The program wishes are read aloud and the wish log and sticks are burned in the fire. Each program picks a song to sing and then we share the story of the bear scare bracelets. Our campfire ends with the staff singing the Camp Wood Haven song. After the campfire is over, the ashes are collected to put in the next week’s fire so that their wishes keep going, and going, and going.
“My daughter learned a great deal while at Wood Haven. She learned how to care for and ride horses. She has learned how to build friendships and work as a team. She had terrific role models in all of her counselors! In the car on the way home she told me that she loved camp because she could totally be herself, and did not have to try to be someone she wasn’t! She said “no one judges me at camp!”. – Parent of Wood Haven camper
“This was her second year attending Camp Wood Haven. We didn’t think it was possible, but she enjoyed camp even more so this summer! She said that the counselors were awesome and that they participated in the events rather than just walking them to each place. Of course the horseback riding was top notch. She was so proud to come home and tell me that she learned to trot. She said before camp that she was extremely nervous about attempting to trot and wasn’t going to do it. I told her to just take one lesson at a time. And she had success!”- Parent of Wood Haven camper
“I think GSEP camps are a great place to help your daughter grow and have fun new experiences as well as meeting like-minded girls in a safe environment that encourage individuality, kindness, acceptance, and sisterhood!” – Parent of Wood Haven camper
“Summer camp gives girls a place to learn and grow in a safe, non-judgmental environment. They can be silly or smart, sporty or frilly and know that they are accepted as part of the sisterhood of Girl Scouts. They build on leadership skills without even realizing it.” – Parent of Wood Haven camper
Check out all the sessions at Camp Wood Haven here!
Check out camp at an upcoming open house on Sunday, April 22, 1-4PM, Sunday, May 6, 1-4PM, or Sunday, June 17, 1-4PM, to meet camp staff and tour camp.