CALLING ALL SCOUTS
A TENNESSEE RETREAT in RURAL ROLLING HILLS
Welcome! This is a warm and open invite to scouts in the region to visit this creativity camp. Created by a Girl Scout Alumnae who looks fondly upon her scouting experiences as a scout and leader, this 5 acre retreat center and small burgeoning farm with an additional 12 acre riverside camping zone featuring huge pasture field, extensive wooded area and a trail from the bluff down to the river bed with a nice swimming hole is a perfect opportunity for troops in urban or suburban areas to have a rural farm experience from learning about the garden to interacting with the chickens, rabbits, donkeys, cats and 3-legged Pyrenees in a safe alternative to the few sanctioned Girl Scout camps in Tennessee. Those in rural areas are also welcome to explore the different landscape found here near the Natchez Trace and service opportunities are available.
From primitive camping and Buffalo River access to accessing the lodge or artist residency house, accommodations for your troop is varied but suitable for your troop's age and skill level. See some pics of the lodges below.
Assistance with workshops to earn badges is also part of this experience. As an artist, graphic designer and a former graphic design professor with 20+ years interacting with students, Val can help with a variety of the many badges that include art and of course the camping badges are just a natural outcome of your visit. See some of the pics below of some of the badges Val would love to work with your troop.
ABOUT VAL & CAMP WONDER WANDER
Hi I'm Val!
I grew up in scouts which was a community to help me adapt when my family moved every few years. I credit my time in scouting, from brownie thru the silver award, and as a Girl Scout leader for 5 years in my 20s as a major contributing factor to much aspects of my adult life. For almost 20 years, I've been a graphic design professor at several universities which also requires relocating for that work not unlike the military. My ability to be creative, to make new friends, to leave a place better than I found it, to adapt and pursue new adventures is a trait that was nourished as a Girl Scout. I have many fond memories of those times from the variety of craft projects, to the survival camping and annual summer camps, singing songs around the campfire and on hikes, selling cookies, making new friends yet keeping the old, and adventures that gave me courage and confidence such as learning to sail, horseback ride, fish with a net, first aid and c.p.r., learning to cook, and being creative in many ways. I was one of 8 girls in Florida selected after an extensive training and interview process to participate in a state-run-wider-opportunity that was a 3-week road trip with 2 leaders in a van. We departed around my 16th birthday and drove from Florida all the way to Wyoming to camp at the Girl Scout National Center West (which is now part of the Nature Conservancy, I've heard), and a road trip back including white water rafting in Colorado and watching a rodeo in Jackson Hole. We visited national monuments and stayed in places such as Air Force base quanset huts. That love for adventure finally manifested in my ability to travel with University students nationally and internationally, on a University Fulbright-Hayes group project in Egypt in 2011, and for my own sabbatical where I spent 5 weeks in Japan.
Growing up one faces challenges like being bullied, or being new to a school and having to make new friends while trying to fit in. That can happen in adult-life as well. And after many challenges in my adult career track as a professor, I reflected on that young girl I used to be when thinking about what I really want to do with my life after encountering those types of negative work environments. Out of that manifested Camp Wonder Wander and the artist residency center - Sarasvati Space. I realized I want to create that environment of summer camp that I cherish so much for the child in all of us, all year round.
I love the smell of the earth especially after a good rain storm, seeing the starry night, animals, cooking, exploring. I've always been a photographer and I have a new found passion for pottery so the studio at the camp will have pottery facility by end of 2018. Some recent pics of me on my travels and with some of my animals or animals I've encountered on travels are below:
SUMMER LIGHTNING BUGS &
STARRY NIGHT SKIES
Some of the Badges You can Explore & Earn
my fave Camp Song:
Hmmm, I want to linger.
Hmmm, A little longer.
Hmmm, A little longer,
Here with you.
Hmmm, It's such a perfect night.
Hmmm, It doesn't seem quite right.
Hmmm, That this should be,
My last with you.
Hmmm, And come September,
Hmmm, I will remember,
Hmmm, Our Scouting days,
Of friendships true.
Hmmm, And as the years go by,
Hmmm, I'll think of you and sigh.
Hmmm, This is good night
And not good bye.
Hmmm I want to linger.
Hmmm A little longer.
Hmmm A little longer,
Here with you.
CONTACT VAL TO ORGANIZE YOUR EXPERIENCE
& LOCK IN YOUR SCOUTING LOW RATES
Empowering girls and young women to strive to reach your fullest potential in a supporting and enriching environment that has many years experience with Girl Scouting.
Contact VAL to plan your visit at or the house phone 931.321.3520.
Housing options include:
Main Lodge: sleeps up to 14 plus add'l in sleeping bags, approximately 1500 sq ft with large community space living room and a dining area with numerous large tables, and a 3 season creativity porch. Lots of space for crafts or activities. The chickens are located adjacent to this house and two camp cats call the front porch home. The donkeys have their main barn out back.
Sleeping quarters include: King with Twin ensuite, Full size private with hall bath, loft space with 6 twin beds, twin bed with trundle in pine living room. House features two wood burning stoves, a full kitchen with gas stove and cooking utensils, pots, pans, all linens and a pillow per bed an extensive library of art and design books.
Artist Residency House: when not booked with artists this is a fantastic fun space for groups around 7 or 8, may also pitch tents in the fenced backyard separating the pasture from the recreational and camping space. There's a gate from here to the garden for exploring and learning about food process. This is a smaller 3 bed 2 bath house featuring a queen with bunk bed ensuite, a full and a twin private rooms with hall bath.
A GLIMPSE AT THE SMALLER SPACE
*PLEASE NOTE: ALL SCOUTS ARE WELCOME TO ORGANIZE AN EVENT OR UTILIZE THE CAMP FACILITIES. HOWEVER, DUE TO VAL'S BACKGROUND IN Girl Scouts SHE IS MUCH MORE EXPERIENCED WITH THE TYPES OF PROGRAMMING, BADGES, AND OPERATIONS OF THAT ORGANIZATION AND THEREFORE THE MARKETING INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS GEARED TOWARDS GIRLS.. Boy Scout BADGES THAT MAY BE COORDINATED FOR WORKSHOPS INCLUDE ART, COMMUNICATION, PHOTOGRAPHY, PULP&PAPER, AND POTTERY BY END OF 2018.
more about Val & the animals
During your visit you are invited to say hello to the camp Donkeys. Smokey is a miniature Jack standing at 32" tall. His lady friends are Pearl who is a miniature with gray spots, standard size Momma's Pepper (gray) and Willow, and their miniature daughters Sugar and Cookie.
Val is a graphic design professor turned coach and curator of creative experiences. She was a girl scout growing up and also a leader for 5 years. She loves handcraft and is interested in creating all sorts of opportunities at the camp from collage, traditional candle making, to a new found passion for pottery.
The camp cats have a few jobs to manage including catching bugs and field mice (bopping them on the heads:) and looking cute for your pictures or drawings. They are itching to be your muse and maybe asking you to sit to borrow your lap. At the front house is buttercup and cutey petewty. There are other cats on duty at the back of the property.