ShareThis Page

The Girl Scouts' Camp Redwing in Renfew celebrates 90 years

| Saturday, July 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Horse instructor Emily 'Tael' Peter, 18, of Hopewell, talks about horse anatomy to campers at Camp Redwing in Renfrew on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. The camp offers several different themed sessions throughout the week, including the 'Blazing Saddles' horse camp theme, pictured here.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Gabriella Andrews, 9, of Mount Lebanon, aims her arrow during an archery session at Camp Redwing in Renfrew on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Alexis Brady, 13, of North Versailles, uses her 'Mandatory Joy Time' to work on writing a book as she swings in a hammock at Camp Redwing in Renfrew on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tess Buchanan, 11, of Highland Park, takes a break in her tent to drink some water at Camp Redwing in Renfrew on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. Buchanan is part of a 'Movie Makers' themed week at the Girl Scout camp, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

The Girl Scouts' Camp Redwing is a beautiful place, says longtime camper and now-volunteer Jenn Golling, not just for its natural beauty, but for the friendships and memories made there.

“It's almost always full,” Golling of Shaler, a former staff member, said of the camp in Renfrew that is marking its 90th birthday this summer.

“You're daughter's daughters will go there. We'll be celebrating the 150th birthday some day,” she said.

The popular camp is best known for horseback riding programs, but also offers archery, canoeing, outdoor skills and sports sessions, said Lisa Shade, Girl Scouts' spokeswoman.

The Girl Scouts opened Camp Redwing in 1923 to serve girls in the Pittsburgh area.

It sits on 123 acres of land along the Connoquenessing Creek in Butler County. A local family of landowners donated the land to the Girl Scouts in the early 1920s, camp Director Karla Schell said.

This year the Girl Scouts replaced the floor in one of the camp's oldest buildings called the Corral, used for arts and crafts, which was built in the 1930s. The dining hall and lodge also were refurbished, Schell said.

A plan for the future is to build an indoor riding arena, Schell said, but that's a “big wish list kind of item” for now.

Through its 90 years, Camp Redwing buildings have come and gone due to fires or flooding from the creek, but there has always been an office, dining hall and health center, although the locations have changed over the years, said Kate Pigaga, assistant camp director.

The camp now has eight permanent structures, including a dining hall, office, and health center, six semi-permanent canvas platform tents and one yurt, a tent-like fabric structure used for camping.

There also is an open air barn for horses and supplies.

Golling began attending Camp Redwing at age 7 and became a staff member when we was 14. Now, at age 35, the longtime camper's love for the place has not abated as a Girl Scout volunteer.

Camp Redwing is different from other Girl Scout camps in that it's a resident camp, which means girls attend without their troops, Golling said. This aspect of camp is one of the best things about it, she said.

“It is amazing for girls' self esteem and confidence when you go by yourself,” Golling said. “That's one of the most inspiring things.”

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.