KINGSTON TWP. — Seven-year-old Hannah Sell and her friend, Renny Riviello, took a break from a Zumba class and climbed onto the lap of their favorite Camp Mocanaquah counselor, 13-year-old Hannah Kline.
Together they watched the rest of their peers keep up with Zumba instructor Jessica Robinson under a pavilion at Frances Slocum State Park on Friday morning, July 29.
The aerobic lesson was the last portion of Camp Mocanaquah’s science-based program called “Make It, Mix It and Move It, Andrea Carr, a co-organizer of the event said.
Camp Mocanaquah is a five-day Girl Scout day camp program, held from July 25 to 29, at the state park.
“This is the only (Girl Scout) day camp program in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties,” Carr said.
Any registered Girl Scout attending first through seventh grades can attend, said Kelly Cook, a camp co-organizer.
Older Girl Scouts are encouraged to volunteer as counselors.
“We had 81 campers and 25 counselors this year,” Carr said. “We can accommodate up to 120 campers.”
Camp days start at 9 a.m. as the Scouts arrive. An American Flag ceremony and opening remarks were followed by announcements before the girls were released to an afternoon of activities, which end at 3 p.m.
This year’s camp agenda was centered around science, incorporating a lot of hands-on experiments that were designed to peak the girls’ interest in outer space, physics, chemistry and more, Carr said.
Scouts also participated in traditional camp activities such as swimming, hiking, cooking, singing and performing skits, Cook said.
The goal of the camp is designed to teach younger Scouts problem-solving and teamwork skills, Cook said.
Older girls learn leadership and responsibility, Carr said.
Kline, who sat on a picnic table bench with the two younger girls still on her lap, smiled and said, “I thought it would be fun to work with the younger girls.”
Little did she know, she would become a role model.
Riviello’s older sister, Olivia, 9, took a break from the high-intensity Zumba class to check on her younger sister.
“This is my second year at camp (Mocanaquah),” said Olivia, of Kingston. “This is Renny’s first year. I really liked it last year. It was fun.”
This year, Olivia enjoyed making “Moon Rock Cookies,” which was a type of no-bake cookie made with oats and chocolate.
This is the fourth year attending the camp for nine-year-old Carolyn Comitz of Dallas.
“The counselors are always fun,” Comitz said.
Karly Kozick, 9, of Dallas, liked Friday’s Zumba lesson the best.
“I liked everything,” said Mya Fortune, 7, of Wilkes-Barre. “This was my first year.”
Camp Mocanaquah was established in 1989 by Deb Jury, Franny Williams and Charlotte Barrett, Carr said. Many young girls have moved up through the ranks of Girl Scouts and came back year after year to serve as counselors and organizers.
Carr admitted she’s attended Camp Mocanaquah since 1999. In 2011, she began serving as a camp organizer.
Cook has been part of the camp for the past 23 years. She has been a camp organizer for the past nine years.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.