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Hemlock House

This year, at Friends of Golden Pond, we have much to be thankful for. We are thankful for all the hard work our dedicated volunteers have put forth. We are thankful for the generous and gracious support of our donors. We are thankful for the campers who have made the camp their home away from home.

Hemlock House Sitting Room

We are very happy to announce that the old ranger house is re-opening as “Hemlock House“. Thank you to all our volunteers who donated their time and talents getting the building ready for occupancy. All our furnishings were donated by very generous supporters. Thank you. While the building is furnished, it is our hope to decorate it as a tribute to our lost, but not forgotten, camps. If you have any photos, newspaper articles, or other memorabilia you would like to share with us, please contact us.

Camp Barree

While we cannot make promises yet, we are hoping to get Lower Palmer fully restored in time for the New Year. If you see the Keefers please be sure to tell them how much you appreciate all their hard work towards restoring the Palmer basement and how much you can’t wait to see the finished product.

If our youth are to be able to take advantage of these buildings, we need your help. #GivingTuesday is December 3rd and we need your help to reach our goal. Friends of Golden Pond has secured $5,500 in matching grants in honor of this global giving event and we will not be able to take advantage of them without your help. If each of us contributed just $25, we would meet this goal and have added $11,000 to our down payment fund.

If we are able to meet this goal, the executive committee for Friends of Golden Pond (President Megan Roberts, Secretary Joan Geleskie, and Treasurer Ann Dunlavy) will celebrate by jumping into Lake Louise.

If you have already dropped a check in the mail, thank you! Be sure to let us know that it is on its way. You can also make your contribution on line with a credit card, or by visiting our Facebook page and clicking “donate”.

Be sure to share your #MyGivingStory on social media to let your friends and family know why camp is important to you. GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. You can also create your own fundraiser for Friends of Golden Pond at this link.

You are amazing and you have the power to change the world. We can’t wait to see what you will do with that power. Thank you for your continued support as we work to purchase our camp!

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Why Camp

On November 23rd, 30 BSA Scouts and Girl Scouts came out to Camp Golden Pond to learn a variety of first aid skills. Twin Creeks Ambulance Service brought the ambulance out and gave an overview of how they respond to emergencies. The teenagers then learned a variety of vital first aid skills such as triage, shock and stroke, weather emergencies, moving victims, first aid, and more.

Instead of watching the Ohio State vs Penn State Game, this group of youth spent their Saturday working hard to learn the skills that they might need if they should ever find themselves in an emergency situation.

It is our hope to be able to repeat this event in the spring, but we can’t do that without your help.

December 3rd, 2019 is #GivingTuesday, a global celebration of giving. We have now secured $5,500 worth of matching grants for GivingTuesday. In addition to these grants from very generous supporters, Facebook will also be matching donations on December 3rd. Starting at 8AM on December 3rd, Facebook will match up to $7 million USD in donations made on Facebook on GivingTuesday.

If you are thinking that you are going to wait until the end of the day on December 3rd to see if we need you, I can assure you that we need you. Instead, at 8AM on December 3rd visit the Friends of Golden Pond Facebook page and click “Donate”. You can also create your own fundraiser for Friends of Golden Pond at this link. Tell your friends and family why they should join you in trying to earn a potential $15,000 for the camp.

If you are not on Facebook, that’s OK. You can mail a check payable to “Friends of Golden Pond” to 922 Anna St, Boalsburg, PA 16827. Please visit to let us know the check is in the mail!

Each and every contribution is important. Each and every contribution will get us that much closer to being able to purchase our camp. Each and every contribution will help ensure that we are able to offer another First Aid Field Day in the spring.

As you consider supporting our GivingTuesday drive, ask yourself, if not you, then who? If not now, then when?

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Giving Tuesday

GivingTuesday, taking place December 3rd, is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage giving and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Every year, on GivingTuesday, millions of people across the globe mobilize to show up, give back, and change their communities. The goal is to create a massive wave of generosity that lasts well beyond that day, and touches every person on the planet.

Friends of Golden Pond is looking for your help on December 3rd.

Since reopening Camp Golden Pond in March 2019, we have hosted 55 groups representing 1,181 individuals. We have additional confirmed reservations representing an estimated 1,000 individuals spanning the next 12 months. The youth who use our camp are grateful for your continued support of our efforts to purchase the camp and secure its long term stability. 

At camp, youth are able to try sports like archery and paddling for the first time. They learn teamwork, perseverance, and leadership skills. In the words of 11th grade Girl Scout Danae, “Golden Pond is not only a place in the middle of the woods, it is the only camp that I have known. It is a place where I found more about myself. It lead me to being a great friend and a great leader. Being able to go to Golden Pond ever since I was young has been life changing for me.  I have learned how to canoe, shoot a bow, make and start a fire, basic survival skills, and how to be a leader. By helping to save this camp, it is not only giving me more of a chance to learn new things, but it’s giving the generations to come a chance to learn. I am hoping that when I grow up, I have a chance to bring girls back to this beautiful place so that they can make memories of their own and I can add to my memories. This camp is such a big part of my life. It’s made me who I am today.”

In order to purchase the camp and make Danea’s dream a reality, we need to secure a down payment of $120,000. Currently we are only 10% of the way there.

In honor of GivingTuesday, we have secured a $5,000 matching grant. This means that with your help we can add another $10,000 to our down payment. I know $5,000 might sound like a lot of money to raise in a single day, but with your help, I know we can do it. If each of our supporters sends us just $25 on December 3rd, we will easily reach our goal. But we can’t do it without your help.

If we reach this goal, the executive committee of Friends of Golden Pond (President Megan Roberts, Secretary Joan Geleskie, and Treasurer Ann Dunlavy) will celebrate by jumping into Lake Louise. Anyone who raises $25 or more for GivingTuesday is welcome to join us.

Founded in 2012, GivingTuesday has inspired millions of people to give back and support the causes they believe in. In just seven years, GivingTuesday has radically changed how we think about generosity and showed just how much power communities everywhere have to create change.

“When GivingTuesday launched in the US in 2012, we believed that technology and social media could be used to make generosity go viral,” said Asha Curran, GivingTuesday’s CEO and co-founder. “We believed in the idea that people fundamentally want to give and to talk about giving; and that the social sector had the capacity to show more innovative leadership, creativity, and collaboration. People and organizations around the world proved us right. As we prepare for December 3, we’re energized and encouraged by the community’s generosity. The levels of creativity, effort and the quality of the new ideas people have contributed and shared are phenomenal.”

Those who are interested in joining Friends of Golden Pond’s GivingTuesday initiative can visit For more details about the GivingTuesday movement, visit the GivingTuesday website ( ), Facebook page ( or follow @GivingTuesday and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter.

I hope that you will join Friends of Golden Pond in making a frigid splash against our down payment and guaranteeing our camp’s future. In a few short years, Danae will be an adult looking to pass down the lessons she has learned at Camp Golden Pond. Your gift on GivingTuesday 2019 (December 3rd) will help ensure that all the Danae’s can continue to learn and grow at our beloved camp.

Do not wait for next GivingTuesday to decide to save our camp. As far as we have come in the past year, we have an urgent deadline for making this down payment. There will always be a reason to not give. This GivingTuesday, we have 5000 reasons to give and we will not be able to unlock that matching gift without your help.

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Upcoming Events

We have several exciting events planned for October and November and hope to see you out at the camp!

October 17 and 18 is our Fall Fun Day Camp for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. Service Units 431 and 416 invite all Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Girl Scouts to spend Oct 17 and 18th at camp for 2 days of fall fun. We will spend the State College Area School District in-service days enjoying traditional camp activities such as canoeing, camp fires, crafts, singing, and more.

On October 20th, Jackie Gianico will be returning to the camp for another Paint with Jackie event. We will be exploring the water lilies that grace our lake. Under Jackie’s expert tutelage you will be able to recreate this gorgeous painting. No experience is needed.

On November 22nd, Norman Houser of Bellefonte will be visiting the camp for Ghost Stories and S’mores. Norman is the author of several books and the Pennsylvania Rambler blog and will be giving a talk on the haunted stories and spooky mysteries of central Pennsylvania. Following Norman’s talk, we will enjoy s’mores and hot cocoa.

On November 23rd, Joan Geleskie will be running a Scouts BSA First Aid Merit Badge Day and Girl Scout First Aid Badge Day for Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Girl Scouts. These programs will give participating youth an in-depth introduction to first aid and responding to emergencies.

We hope to see you at camp for one or more of these events! If you have an event you would like to see at the camp, please let us know.

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Annual Report

On August 31, 2019 we closed out our first full fiscal year. The past year has been a whirlwind of ups and downs. Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA sold the camp. We then signed a lease and re-opened the camp to rentals.

At our last board meeting we added Dawn Wolfhope to our board of directors. If you see her, please give her a big thank you for everything she has done for the camp.

Since March, we have hosted 34 groups representing 655 individuals and brought in $11,364.88 in rental revenue. While Girl Scout and Scouts BSA groups make up the majority of our rentals, we have also had the pleasure to host church groups, theater groups, and private families looking for an outdoor retreat.

Scouting Groups385 (59%)
Theater Groups82 (13%)
Church Groups30 (5%)
Families158 (24%)

Already, we have confirmed bookings for the upcoming year for 24 groups representing an estimated 1500 people and $8,860 in rental revenue. Girl Scout Service Units 416 and 611 have picked dates for their annual summer camporees and winter is looking to be a busy time at Camp Golden Pond.

In addition to group rentals, we have also been able to host several youth enrichment activities at the camp. This past summer we were able to offer programs on birds, bees, bats, and invasive plants to 71 youth from Centre, Huntingdon, and Clinton counties. We were then able to kick September off by having Game Warden Nabozny introduce us to black bears and on September 29 we will be hosting an aquatic life event with Mary Walsh. If you or someone you know is interested in helping us to host youth programs at the camp in the coming months, please contact us.

Coming up in October, we will be bringing local artist Jackie Gianico back to the camp to explore water lilies. We are also collaborating with Girl Scout Service Unit 431 to be able to offer a day camp for Girl Scouts on the October school in service days for the State College Area School District.

Adult training is a cornerstone to successful outdoor experiences. Joan Geleskie ran several first aid courses last year and is currently organizing a Red Cross life guarding certification class. Sharon Bloom is working on bringing her Girl Scout Adult Outdoor Enrichment program back to Camp Golden Pond in May 2020.

We have also begun working with Greg Williams in order to combat many of the invasive plants infesting the camp. We will be organizing a fall planting of native trees and shrubs as part of a long term plan to shade out the stiltgrass.

We are also happy to report that significant strides have been made towards towards re-opening the main room of Lower Palmer. The Keefer’s quite generously volunteered their time and skills to fix the gutters on the building, solving much of the water problems. Next on the agenda is sealing the wall and refinishing.

The Ranger House has also been determined to be habitable and will be opening to rentals as soon as it is furnished.

As much progress as we have made in the past 6 months, we still have a long ways to go. We are still leasing the property and we will need your help if we are to make our purchase. Rental revenue alone will never build our down payment. While our target down payment of $120,000 may seem like a lot, last year we raised over $35,000 in direct individual contributions from 113 individuals to help us get started. Now that we have the camp open and are able to use rental revenue to cover most day-to-day expenses, please pledge your support to our purchase as we work to secure financing. You can also make direct contributions easily and securely via the PayPal Giving Fund. If we had just $25 for every single camper we expect to see over the next 12 months, we would make a pretty big dent in our down payment.

Once we reach our capital campaign goal and purchase the camp, we will be looking to our donors to give Unit II a proper name as well as naming individual cabins in the outer units.

Another easy way to support us is with Camp Golden Pond photo patches and our Making Memories T-Shirts. We are currently collecting order information for youth sizes. Once we reach our minimum production order, we will contact you for payment information.

Finally, if camp is one of your favorite places, we are in need of volunteers to help us with routine maintenance and setting up for and cleaning up after rentals. Friends of Golden Pond is 100% volunteer run and we need you. While some of our needs require skilled labor, others are as simple as cutting and stacking firewood. We are also happy to hear service project ideas from any organization.

Thank you very much for joining us on this journey to a sustainable camp. Camp Golden Pond has touched the hearts of countless youth and adults in many profound and life changing ways. Less than a year ago we were losing Camp Golden Pond and saving the camp looked impossible. Now, the other camp friends groups are looking to us for inspiration. Friends of Camp Louise told me that we are their heroes. You are my heroes. Without you, we would have no camp. Without you, the 1500 people who have bookings at Camp Golden Pond over the next 12 months would be scrambling to find another home for their events.

I am often asked why I think we can run the camp when GSHPA could not. The answer to that question is that I have you. Together, we will make another impossible year possible and together we will change the world.

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Inaugural Regatta

This weekend 19 intrepid sailors took to Lake Louise in contraptions that attempted to float. While some of our boats were less successful than others, everyone was able to make it back to shore without needing to be rescued.

We would like to extend one last special thanks to Central Pennsylvania Endodontics, Mountain Family Dental, and Accuweather for their very generous gifts of $250+.

We awarded our first ever “Sinking with Style” trophy to the “Swamp Foot”. This fast little boat was determined to win its division and almost made it back before the crew was forced to abandon ship and push.

For “Most Creative Use of Recycled Materials”, we had the “Beach Jeep” by the “40399 Castaways” for the 8-12 division and “Troop 375 Wolf Patrol” for the 12-17 division.

While everyone else arrived at camp with a boat, Troop 375 showed with a trailer full of trash and set to work on assembly. These young women know their knots and not a single zip tie was to be found on their cardboard raft. While they did have a “scout overboard” incident during the middle of the race, all crew members made it back to shore on a floating boat. Our judges loved the flipper propelled “Beech Jeep”.

Our best decorated boat from the 12-17 age group was the “Kitchy Ratties”. This boat reminded us of the pod racers from Star Wars.

The Furious Loch Ness Monsters proved that you can look good while winning. This team took home both “Best Decorated” and “Division Champion” for the 8-12 age group.

Our Division Champion for the 12-17 age group was the “Little Sinker”. While this boat was originally designed for two, the team decided that buoyancy was more important than extra paddling power and started the race with only one crew member. This decision paid off when their competition ran aground.

The “Snappy Turtles” may not have taken home any trophies, but there was no danger of these girls getting wet. We hope to see them next year!

Our final boat, the Purple Prime Pallet, was our only boat from the 17+ age group. This boat showed us what you can do with cardboard boxes, paint, and an old pallet.

We hope that all our contestants and spectators had a spectacular time and we can’t wait to see what people do next year!

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Regatta This Weekend

When you find yourself with a set of empty hydrochloric acid barrels, the rational thing to do is paint them and build a boat for charity. Thank you to Nicolle Nicastro for painting our barrels for us.

“Kitchy Ratties”

On Saturday, August 24th, 9 teams made up of Girl Scout Troops, Cub Scout Packs, Scouts BSA Troops, local businesses, and others will compete to see who has built the best boat. We’ve been given some sneak peaks at several of the contraptions that will via for “best boat” and are starting to doubt if anyone will be taking home a “Sinking with Style” trophy. It will all depend on if these scouts know their knots or not…

The last day to order BBQ tickets is Thursday, August 22nd. If you have been waiting to see a nice long range forecast, the weekend weather at the camp is looking gorgeous. Both participants and spectators will also be able to enjoy many of the activities Camp Golden Pond has to offer, including archery, gaga ball, camp fires, and canoeing (in real boats).

We also invite everyone to spend a night (or two) in one of our rustic cabins or tabins.

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Two Weeks!

We are two weeks away from our Recycled Regatta and all our boat crews have been hard at work. We can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with. Will “The Furious Loch Ness Monsters” paddle their way to victory? Will the “The 40399 Castaways” need to be rescued? If you think you can build a better boat, there is still time to register.

There is still time for you to purchase a Regatta T-Shirt. Your t-shirt purchase supports the camp financially and is an easy way to tell our sponsors thank you! The last day to order a t-shirt is Thursday August 8th.

Please be sure to let all our sponsors know how much you appreciate their support of our camp:

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Camp This Week

We are happy to report that our camp has had someone in residence every weekend since Memorial Day and we have groups scheduled almost every weekend until November. Before Christmas we will have had over 32 groups representing 1200 people pass through the camp.

This coming week will be another exciting week at the camp complete with a pair of fun workshops scheduled for this Saturday. We hope you will join us to learn about bats and plants.

Camp Updates

In addition to our upcoming events, we are also excited to announce that we have successfully negotiated a 25% reduction in our lease. The Friends of Golden Pond board is working hard to minimize our expenses and fill the camp, but we still need your help. We cannot purchase the camp without a down payment. Please make a pledge in support of our purchase.

We are also happy to announce that we now have a gorgeous, limited run, photo patch available.

Day Camp

This week Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA Service Unit 431 is hosting a space themed day camp for Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts at the camp. As part of this camp, Raytheon will be stopping by to help the girls launch a weather balloon so that they can collect their very own photos from space. Not only will this camp be a memorable and fun four days for these girls, but it will open a world of possibilities for them by exposing them to ideas they may have never thought possible. Your support makes this event possible.

We are hoping to be able to work with the local scouting organizations to offer these kinds of camps on a regular basis as well as expand these programs to school in-service days. If you are interested in helping us with this goal, please contact us!

Weekend Workshops

On Saturday morning, Ann Dunlavy of Lincoln Caverns will host a bat workshop at the camp. This fun and educational event is $4 if registered before July 30 and $6 for late registrations.

Then on Saturday afternoon, Greg Williams will join us to teach us about invasive plant species. Mr. Williams has done numerous plant and tree workshops for various organizations and will provide a wealth of information for our budding botanists and conservationists. This fun and educational event is $4 if registered before July 30 and $6 for late registrations.

Groups attending either workshop are welcome to enjoy a hike around the lake or a picnic. Several fire rings will be available in the front of the camp for picnicking groups to use on a first-come basis.

If your organization is interested in hosting these kinds of youth experiences at Camp Golden Pond, please contact us to find out how we can support you. We would be happy to open Legacy Lodge (or other camp facilities) for badge workshops or other youth focused programming.


Finally, I would like to share with you some exciting news about our upcoming regatta. Last week, I failed quite horrifically at taking our “boat” out for a spin. So this weekend Joan Geleskie showed me how it’s done. So far we have 7 teams officially registered and a handful more who are promising to send in paperwork. Our registration rates increase on August 1st, so if think you can build a better boat, be sure to get your registration in now.

For those of you who prefer to keep your feet dry, I hope you will come out to camp and watch what is sure to be a fun and exciting event followed by a delicious BBQ.

Don’t forget to reserve your cabin and order your t-shirt!

Watch our secretary Joan Geleskie test out a home made “boat”.
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Regatta Updates

We hope that everyone’s boat building efforts are going well! This past weekend our board of directors tested out our boat with disastrous results.

We did, happily, discover that our plastic barrels float really really well. Recent water tests also show that our lake water is perfectly safe with no areas of concern. If you have a photo of your boat building efforts you would like to share, we would love to see it!

If you have not yet registered for the regatta, our early registration rates end on Aug 1st so be sure to put your paperwork in! You can register online or by mailing in a paper form.

All t-shirts must also be pre-ordered. Our t-shirts are made with airlume combed and ring spun cotton so you will be super comfy while you support a great cause.

If you are interested in sponsoring the regatta, there is still time to get on the shirt. We must have all art and forms before August 1st in order to get the order to the printer.

Thank you to the following individuals and organizations for their generous support of our mission: