FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It's the BEST Spring Break trip around! Girls in the 6th through 9th grade travel via charter bus to a canyon west of Death Valley for 5 days of camping, cooking, rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, backpacking, time at the water hole, star gazing, campfires, crafts, geocaching, zip lining, and so much more! The experience will change each of these girls' lives in a positive way - as they "do" all of it! The girls are placed in patrols where they cook their own meals over a wood fire under the direction of the older campers (MISCs) and spend their days adventuring in the desert! Skills contests add another dimension to the program as the campers learn life skills and lessons that will serve them through their lives. This is the program's 57th year of taking Girl Scouts for the Adventure of a Lifetime.
HOW DO I SIGN MY DAUGHTER UP?
We begin accepting camper applications for the first phase of the program - the In-Town Workshops - on November 1st. Applications will be available on this website and are due back to our program registrar by January 1st.
There is an "Early Bird" registration available where you save $25 over the regular workshop price. Details of that discount are available on the Camper Information Form.
Financial aid is not available for the workshops - you can check with your troop or service unit to help with those costs.
Desert Invitations go out to qualified campers after the In-Town Tryouts are held in early March. Limited financial aid is available for the desert trip.
HOW CAN ADULTS GET INVOLVED?
Adults are welcome to become involved with the Mojave Primitive Encampment. MA's and PA's are adult volunteers (members of Girl Scouts and background checked) who help to ensure the safety of the girls who participate in MPE.
WE REALLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
Whether it's helping out with tryouts or coming out to the desert, we need adult volunteers to help our campers have the best experience at MPE!
Questions? Contact our Adult Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHY 7x7 Tents?
We specify 7x7 tents for several reasons! First, we are camping in a canyon where there are frequently high winds. Larger tents will get "picked up" and take a trip down-canyon!
The tents are placed on a gravel road leading to main camp. Larger tents would block the road - leading to unsafe conditions for the campers. Finally, a 7x7 tent is the perfect size for two campers and their gear. Smaller tents are too cramped to keep the girls dry in case of rain. Thanks for your cooperation!
WHAT IS GOOD WOOD?
Good wood is pieces of wood the girls can easily chop - and will burn "clean". Good wood is DRY ... wet (or damp) wood will not burn well in their fires. Good wood is generally 2x4 studs, cut into pieces no more than 14" or 16" long.
Good wood is not:
Painted or stained wood
Grocery store logs
HUGE studs (like 4x4, 4x6, 6x8, etc.)
Wood with nails, brads, etc. in it
WET - it just won't "catch" fire - which means the girls can't cook their meals.
You can get Good Wood at a lumberyard, a construction site, etc. You can ask for "free wood" at smaller lumberyards - same with construction sites.
Girls will need to bring one box of "good wood" to camper tryouts - and two boxes of "good wood" if chosen for the desert. Plan now to pick up wood when you see it - especially if you can get it for free!
WHAT IF MY DAUGHTER CAN'T ATTEND BOTH IN-TOWN WORKSHOPS?
Girls who can only attend one workshop (with a reason pre-approved by the program) can still come to the Tryouts (and possibly qualify to receive a desert invitation) - as long as she has attended all three patrol meetings. Girls leaving early or arriving late to workshops (they run 8:30AM until 3:30PM) will also need to attend three patrol meetings. We teach different skills at each workshop so it is essential for girls to attend both.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR AT TRYOUTS FOR MY DAUGHTER TO RECEIVE A DESERT INVITATION?
Girls at tryouts need to SHOW US that they're ready for the desert trip! That means:
PACK THE GEAR ON THE GEAR LIST: we need you to SHOW US that you can pack what's on your gear list - then we'll know that you can bring what you'll need in the desert.
BE SAFE: follow the camping safety rules in a positive way - be fire safe, be pocketknife and hatchet safe, be tent safe, etc. Take responsibility for your behavior and SHOW US you're ready to go!
KNOW YOUR SKILLS: pay attention at workshops and in your patrol meetings so that you learn the skills taught. Review the skills book since that's where the written and oral test questions are found. Practice your knots, lashing, etc. with your troop or family. SHOW US that you've tried!
HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE: be respectful to the other campers in your patrol, to your MISC, and to the adult volunteers. We want to take girls who SHOW US they want to be there!
STEP UP AND TAKE INITIATIVE: we know there's a lot of work to do - at tryouts and in the desert. We want to take girls who SHOW US they are willing to participate in their patrols and get the work done! Girls who are just standing around and "watching" other people do the work probably won't receive a desert invitation. We all need to work together to get through the "have to do's" so we can play together with the "want to do's"!
CAN MY DAUGHTER ATTEND THE DESERT ENCAMPMENT IF SHE CAN'T MAKE THE TRYOUTS?
Sorry, all girls are required to attend the tryouts weekend (including the overnight) if they'd like to camp with us in the desert. This includes returning campers. The girls are evaluated on their skills, attitude, and participation with their patrol. Girls missing portions of tryouts will receive "0's" for their missing scores which can affect the chances of their receiving a desert invitation.
IS THERE ADVENTURE FOR OLDER GIRLS? ABSOLUTELY!
MISCS- Mojave In-Service Counselors
Our MISCs - Mojave In-Service Counselors - are chosen from girls who have previously been campers and are now in the 9th through 11th grades. Girls can be MISCs for a total of 2 years. Tryouts are held in early September and all eligible girls receive a mailing in the beginning of August. Our MISCs make a commitment to the program and are expected to visit troops for recruitment, are assigned a patrol for the in-town activities, teach skills at the workshops, lead their patrol for tryouts, and "do it again" for the desert. This is a tremendous leadership experience and brings a new set of skills to our previous campers.
PIT CREW AND NOMADS
Pit Crew and Nomads are older girls who have gone through the program - have attended at least one MISC tryout - and are in the 10th through 12th grade. Contact us for more information or if you're interested in participating as Pit Crew or Nomads!