Calling all campers, that is all Girl Scouts who attended Camp Meridale in Meridian in the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Join me and your old troop-mates at the Camp Meridale Reunion on May 14 and 15, 2011. Starting at one o’clock on Saturday, we will be renewing old friendships and reminiscing about the “good old days” at camp. Bring your comfortable shoes for hiking, your camera for taking pictures, and your enthusiasm for all things that are “Meridale”. We will spend the afternoon making cool camp crafts, singing camp songs, visiting the camp units, canoeing on the lake, and feeling a lot younger than when we arrived. After an afternoon of fun and fellowship which includes a group photograph, supper will be at the lodge. We’ll sing the “Johnny Appleseed” blessing, and enjoy a delicious meal which, of course, will include Campfire Stew.
Be sure and bring your singing voice and your appetite for yummy treats because after supper we will head outside for a traditional Girl Scout flag ceremony and campfire. The color guard will lower the “colors” and retreat the flag before we gather around the blazing fire. If the ground is lower than it used to be, like it is for me, you might want to bring a lawn chair or camp stool to use by the fire. There will be rousing songs, silly skits, sumptuous S’mores , and a few surprises to enjoy as this first day of the reunion draws to a close.
For the more adventurous campers, Prairie Cloud, Tall Trees, and Tree Houses will be available for staying overnight (on a first registered, first served basis). Sleeping bags (or bedding), flashlights and bug spray are mandatory supplies for staying at camp. Some good news for those of us who remember the outdoor latrines is that the units have bath houses now. The facilities are there, but you will need to bring your own towels, soap, and shower shoes. Don’t be surprised if silly skits and scary stories start up as we say good night and get ready for bed. Whispering and giggling after lights out is still allowed and is even expected.
Breakfast the next morning will be in the units. It will be a camp “jungle breakfast” with the addition of coffee for those of us who will need it to get the day started. We will straighten the units and then get ready for Sunday morning service. Mother Nature will be the walls of our church as we join together in a Scouts’ Own to worship and thank God for His abundant blessings. We will celebrate the blessings of friends old and new and will cherish the opportunity to revisit this special place. After the church service, tasty nose bag lunches will be provided to complete the experience for those who braved the “elements” and stayed the night. If you haven’t been to Camp Meridale in a while, you will notice many changes. The new barn and riding area are close to the road now. A new lodge with a great view of the lake was built where Lakeview was, and campers who remember swimming in the lake will enjoy seeing the swimming pool that the girls use now. The original lodge is still used for meals with an enlarged kitchen and inside dining area. It’s certainly worth the trip to come and see the great new additions to our camp.
For those who may have a little more trouble getting around camp, we will have transportation available. Camp Meridale also has a brand new lodge that is fully handicap accessible, so there’s no reason any Meridale alumnae should miss this very special weekend.
An Open House from one until four o’clock will conclude Sunday’s activities. Campers may invite their families to share the beauty and uniqueness of Camp Meridale. This will be a wonderful weekend and a great way to reconnect with a portion of your youth and as the old song goes, “make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”.
The reunion will be Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15 at Camp Meridale. The cost is $50 per person, which includes all meals, activities, arts and crafts, reunion patch, group picture, souvenir CD of historic pictures from camp, and other goodies. We do have limited camperships available for those who may need financial assistance to attend. Simply contact Linda Lauderdale at 601-693-2903 for information.
If you have pictures or memorabilia of Camp Meridale that you would like to share, any questions, or want to volunteer to help with the planning and reunion, please contact Linda Lauderdale at 601-693-2903. All pictures and memorabilia will be returned after the reunion.