A mischief-making pirate was on the loose, and young detectives set out to uncover her identity, with stops along the way to learn about knots, geocaching and archery.
It all happened at the Spy Girls Twilight Camp Tuesday night at Oasis State Park.
More than a dozen area Girl Scouts who had completed kindergarten through sixth grade came together for a variety of activities, including catching a mock villain.
Older Girl Scouts planned the evening camp, which began Monday and ends Saturday.
The event not only let younger Girl Scouts learn about a number of things and have fun, but the older girls had a chance to build their leadership, organization and communication muscles.
Camper Brigid Sharer, 10, said the camp was fun.
“I like finding out who the villain is because I like mysteries and things,” she said.
Brigid said she learned a few words of German and some Braille.
Lena Montoya, 9, also liked the camp, particularly learning German and playing games. She said she had never before made a “sit-upon,” a traditional Girl Scout cushion to sit on, out of duct tape.
Sixteen-year-old Chelsea Eckert, who led the planning, said the younger girls were learning about nutrition, foreign languages, team building, sports, diversity among people and more.
While organizing the camp, Eckert said, she learned more about how to plan and to ask for help.
“The hardest part was getting it planned in time,” she said. “We had a month to plan it all, and we wanted to be sure the girls got a lot out of it.”
As for her favorite part of the experience, Eckert, who lives in Clovis, said she was excited about teaching the younger girls how to find their way through the wilderness, while bringing in new concepts such as geocaching into her instruction.
“Mostly it’s been great coming out and seeing them all and hearing them all yell, ‘hey,’” she said.
Becky Burress, membership development coordinator with the Girl Scout field office in Clovis, said she and others in the organization wanted to get the Older Girl Planning Board more involved.
“And basically, what we wanted to do with them is give them an opportunity to develop some more of their leadership and communication skills,” Burress said.
Planning a camp provided a way for older girls to continue to be involved in Girls Scouts and a chance to show it’s cool and fun to participate in the organization, she continued.
Eckert and Burress hope to continue the spy camp next year.
“I think all the girls who helped here (at the camp) and helped plan it would do it again because it helps us grow, and the girls as well,” Eckert said.