Women came from all over the Pacific Northwest to “glamp” and raise money to send girls to Girl Scout Camp from Sept. 16-18. The next opportunity to glamp at Camp River Ranch will be Sept. 8-10, 2023. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Women came from all over the Pacific Northwest to “glamp” and raise money to send girls to Girl Scout Camp from Sept. 16-18. The next opportunity to glamp at Camp River Ranch will be Sept. 8-10, 2023. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Women’s glamping retreat raises money to send local girls to camp

I’ve been the camper, the counselor, the Girl Scout leader and the mom. Now, I was the glamper.

The sunrise over Lake Langlois was a rose-pink delight. Mist rolled across the water in the crisp forest air. My shoes crunched on gravel as I walked down the path to Helena’s Lodge for a gourmet breakfast. Glamp, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington’s annual fundraiser, was finally back in person at Camp River Ranch in Carnation for the first time since 2019, and I intended to make every moment count.

I went through the breakfast buffet line and loaded my plate with eggs, bacon, gluten-free scones and blueberries. By the time I joined my morning activity, F45 Total Body Fitness, I’d probably eaten enough calories to fuel me all day, but there were so many things to do, that I needed the extra energy.

Glamp had something for everyone. You could kayak, canoe, rock climb or swim. If you wanted to be crafty you could do block printing, cake decorating, botanical jewelry or cyanotype prints. “When Zombies Invaded” taught shelter building and disaster prep. An empowerment self-defense class, belly dancing, hula hooping, Pilates and yoga were also on the docket. It was impossible to do everything.

One of my favorite parts of Glamp was meeting women from across the Pacific Northwest. There were a few Girl Scout leaders like me, but most were not. Many women had no prior exposure to Girl Scouts at all. People came because they wanted to support girls and to attend an awesome women’s retreat. Two sisters-in-law traveled all the way from Alaska.

When I looked at my watch at 9 a.m., I already had 5,000 steps because I’d been in too much of a rush to flag down the shuttle. Accommodations like the shuttle made Glamp accessible to women of multiple ages and ability levels. There were inside cabins with heat and electricity, and outside options for people who wanted a rustic experience. The food was inclusive, too, and as someone who cannot eat gluten, I appreciated that.

I spent my afternoon wine tasting with Guardian Cellars and Baer Winery. At happy hour, I bid on a bunch of items at the silent auction and won a purse. When campfire came, I looked out across Lake Langlois, which was now a silver shimmer against the green trees, and reflected upon the day. I’d spent every waking moment having fun. I’d relaxed, learned new skills and made friends.

That night at dinner, the grand tally was announced. The weekend raised $318,142 to send girls to camp! I cried when I heard that amount because I know firsthand that camp changes lives. I’ve been the camper, the counselor, the Girl Scout leader and the mom who’s sent her daughter to camp. Now, I was the glamper. For two whole days, I wasn’t in charge of anyone or anything but me. The weight of all my responsibilities being lifted off my shoulders — at least for a little bit — was a gift. Knowing that my fun-filled weekend had helped send girls to camp made the gift even better.

Jennifer Bardsley is the author of “Sweet Bliss,” “Good Catch” and more. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

Caption: If you can get past the itchiness factor, wool garments warm you up and last a lifetime. (Jennifer Bardsley)
In praise of wool, the fiber that saved this California girl

It may itch, but you can’t beat a wool sweater for warmth. And it’ll last a lifetime.

Weather, rain, geraniums: A gardener gives thanks

Take a minute and reflect on what you are grateful for in your garden, and then share the gratitude with your fellow gardeners.

The towering Basilica of Our Lady of Fátima sits at the head of a vast esplanade. At the top of the steps, a covered open-air altar, cathedra (bishop's chair), and pulpit stand ready to conduct Mass to the thousands of pilgrims who come to celebrate the Virgin of Fátima on the 13th day of each month from May through October.
Rick Steves on Fatima, Portugal, a testament to the power of faith

Whether you’re a devout Catholic or just a curious gawker, the place is a marvel and worth a visit.

Festive Christmas wreath of fresh natural spruce branches with red holly berries isolated on white background. New Year. Top view. Traditional decoration for Xmas holiday.
Get in the holiday swing of things — make a wreath

Area garden centers have the greenery and equipment so you can make a one-of-a-kind decoration for your home.

Double-billed by Avis for a van returned after hours

When Robert Cipriani returns his Avis minivan, he expects to pay $1,770. Instead, Avis charges him twice. What happened, and how can he get his money back?

Kara (Gwynn Hawley) and her mom Jessie (Shaylyn Reed) connect with friends over Zoom in “A Miracle on 34th Street,” playing November 25-December 18 at the Red Curtain Arts Center in Marysville.
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

“A Miracle of 34th Street” updates the Christmas classic to COVID-19 times. It opens Friday in Marysville.

Is your partner grumpy? Here are some antidotes to consider

No. 1: Wait until your grump is in a good mood to talk to them about their grumpiness.

Caption: Curbside delivery at Kindred Kitchen in Everett made cooking dinner a whole lot easier. (Jennifer Bardsley)
A quick trip to Everett helps put dinner on the table

Kindred Kitchen on Broadway offers delicious, affordable meal kits — supporting a local humanitarian cause.

Taxus baccata 'Standishii', commonly called Standishii golden yew, and the image credit goes to Richie Steffen.
Great Plant Pick: Columnar golden yew

This slow-growing evergreen creates a low-maintenance vertical element in the garden.

Most Read