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SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. – A virtual campfire celebration with singing, s’mores and fun activities kicked off the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England’s 100th anniversary festivities for Camp Hoffman.

The camp, in West Kingston, is one of the oldest continuously operating Girl Scout camps in the country.

The Oct. 1 campfire kickoff also coincided with the official start to the Girl Scouts 2020-21 membership year, culminating in a planned big centennial birthday bash on July 24, 2021.

“We are so excited about the centennial celebration of this very special outdoor space for Girl Scouts,” Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England President and CEO Pam Hyland said.

“It’s pretty incredible to imagine 100 years of girls exploring their independence, seeking challenges and finding the courage to take risks that expand their confidence. Camp Hoffman is also where girls learn the importance of protecting our environment because they have experienced the beauty, joy and renewal of time outdoors.”

In addition to the campfire kickoff, the Girl Scouts have opened registration for Camp Stewardship, a free event scheduled for March 20, 2021 for all girls and adults to spend the day at Camp Hoffman helping to prepare the property for troop rentals, summer camp and the centennial celebration. Scouts will have the opportunity to Adopt-A-Spot ahead of time and work on projects for all ages and abilities.

On June 5-6, the second celebration will be an opportunity for all registered members and alums to visit Prudence Island, the site of Girl Scouts of Rhode Island’s first resident camp, which opened in 1920. Legend has it that the following year, Mira Hoffman of Barrington, the woman who would become commissioner of the new state council, drove around the state until she found just the right property – and one more suitable – for Girl Scouts. It consisted of 23 acres on Larkin Pond in West Kingston, at the property known today as Camp Hoffman.

Girls will take a ferry to Prudence Island and check out the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, spend the day learning about the history of local Girl Scouts, and discover the island and marine environment through a variety of games and activities.

The Camp Hoffman Centennial Weekend Extravaganza is tentatively set for July 23-24, 2021.

“Our group has been meeting for months for this party for Hoffman,” Camp Hoffman Centennial Committee chairwoman Georgann Lardano said. “This wonderful jewel in our crown.”

Troops will have the option to stay overnight on Friday July 23 for a special campfire and picnic dinner, and the remainder of the Weekend Extravaganza will be open to the public.

On Saturday, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in traditional Girl Scout camp activities featured throughout the ages, explore and hike throughout the property, and go on a historical tour of the camp.

“There will be songs to sing, memories to be shared and of course activities for all age levels,” Lardano said. Also to help celebrate the camp’s centennial, the Scouts are compiling alumni stories to share with fellow and future Girl Scouts.

The camp also is accepting donations for its maintenance and upkeep in the years to come.

“There’s no amount too big or too small,” Lardano said. “We’ve even created a coin campaign for the Girl Scouts.”

Girl Scout Daisies are asked to consider donating 100 pennies, Brownies 100 nickels, Juniors 100 dimes and Cadette, Seniors and Ambassadors 100 quarters.

Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, in partnership with 2,000 adult volunteers, serves more than 4,000 girls from Rhode Island, 13 communities in southeastern Massachusetts, and Pawcatuck, Connecticut.

For additional information about the centennial, visit https://www.gssne.org/camphoffmancentennial

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