Camp Darden opens new archery range
Published 5:14 pm Friday, July 1, 2016
The Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast opened a new archery range at Camp Darden on Wednesday in the midst of their VIP Day celebrations.
City officials, chamber of commerce members and other community leaders were invited to the event, which included a tour of Camp Darden’s facilities, lunch with the campers and the ribbon-cutting of the archery range.
The addition was made possible by a donation from Carol and Thurston Watkins of Virginia Beach. Carol Watkins is a former Girl Scout and volunteers with the Scouts regularly.
“Archery is a big deal in Girl Scouts,” said Tracy Keller, CEO of Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. “When the girls get to be juniors, meaning when they get to fourth-grade age, they get to use real arrows and that’s always a big deal.”
“We’ve always had archery,” Keller said of Camp Darden, “but the new facility allows the girls to get out of the sun and the rain.”
The covered shelter also provides a permanent place to store archery equipment. “We used to have to drag out all the equipment — the bows, the targets, the guide wires — and set it up and then put it all back when we were done,” said Keller.
“Now the girls can spend less time waiting in line and more time shooting,” she concluded.
The facilities at Camp Darden also include a dining hall, low ropes course, a swimming pool, a pond on which campers practice their boating skills and sleeping space for 241 campers.
“Canoeing is the best team-building activity,” Keller said. “You send the girls out there in a canoe and they won’t come back until they learn to work together because you have to paddle in sync.”