LIMERICK PA – A campers’ gathering of small tents arose Saturday afternoon (Sept. 16, 2023) in Limerick Community Park, possibly to the surprise of some visitors, and disappeared just as quickly Sunday morning (Sept. 17).
The campers, who settled in on a well-manicured grassy area between park ball Fields 3 and 4, were members of the Spring-Ford Service Unit 646 of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. They also were invited guests of the Limerick Parks and Recreation Department. Assistant Director Dawn Householder called it an experiment to “bring something new” to the department’s lengthy calendar of events.
The first test of the “Sleep-Over in the Park,” as she described it, was discussed earlier this year when Parks and Recreation Director Angela Russell, Householder, and other staff members began setting the department schedule for 2023. Now months later, she happily added, it turned out to be “a wonderful day, a wonderful event.”
“All the girls were very excited, and they can’t wait to do it again next year,” Householder reported. That same sentiment was echoed by Scouting representative Theresa Schwarz, who was on hand Sunday morning to serve up doughnuts as the campers brought down and packed their tents.
Planned activities kept campers busy
The overnight camp-out bustled with activity. The girls competed in a cornhole tournament, worked on crafts in a nearby park pavilion, played volleyball and soccer, enjoyed ice cream, and even danced a portion of the night away to music supplied by a disk jockey. Later, Householder added, township Fire Marshal Shaun Semmeles supervised a S’mores party with fire pits on the gravel parking lot.
Safety and security were priorities, she noted. Township police made periodic patrols through the park, and security personnel were on duty throughout the night.
For a few young campers, and others involved in their initial year of scouting, Householder said the Limerick event was a first-of-its-kind experience. Older scouts in attendance escorted and kept watch over younger and newer counterparts. Campers brought their own tents, or bunked with fellow scouts.
Parental volunteers indicated they were pleased with how the evening progressed. Township officials responded favorably, too. Manager Dan Kerr has offered “lots of encouragement,” according to Householder. The township Board of Supervisors also gave its support.
Costs of the overnight were covered by a $20 fee paid by each of the dozens of scouts of varying ages. Those amounts were supplemented by sponsorship donations from Diamond Credit Union, Ambler Savings Bank, 1st Colonial Community Bank, and Altera Orthodontics.
It may become too cool for more camping this year. Future plans, though, aren’t limited to the Girl Scouts. Boy Scouts are next on the list, possibly followed periodically by others, Householder reported.
Want to know what the department is doing in coming months? Check its Facebook page, where events and accompanying information are posted almost daily.
Photos by Travels With The Post