Twilight Camp Offers Young Scouts Fun and Values

Young scouts from Clarke and Jefferson County gathered for a four-night Twilight Camp at the Ruritan Fairgrounds in Berryville, Virginia on Monday. The camp is designed to provide the young scouts with a taste of camping without all of the planning work required for an overnight trip.

Twilight Camp Director Sandy Kovach hands out animal-shaped name tags for each scout - Photo Edward Leonard

It also promises to be tons of fun.

“The kids are all going to have a blast this week” said Twilight Camp director Sandy Kovach. Kovach and assistant director Diane Breen, both from neighboring Jefferson County, West Virginia, will oversee four evenings filled with activities like geo-caching, a climbing wall, campfire sing-alongs and water war-games.

Kovach, who has led the camp for the last five years, said that having a camp where young scouts can experience all of the fun of being at camp but without the trauma of being away from home overnight is a good way to introduce young campers to the camping experience.

Assistant camp director Diane Brill - Photo Edward Leonard

“Twilight Camp is for scouts from six years to twelve years of age” Kovach said. “We camp from 5:30pm until 8:30pm Monday through Thursday. It’s the best of both worlds in some ways. You get to have the fun of being in camp but still sleep in your own bed at the end of the night.”

Because the local scouting district includes both Jefferson County, West Virginia and Clarke County, Virginia, Kovach alternates the camp site between the two locations every year to decrease drive time for parents.

Kovach said that the cost of conducting the camp, approximately $3,000, is funded in part by the local Manna-ho Boy Scout district and from fund raising activities by the scouts who want to participate in the Twilight Camp.

“We make sure that every scout who wants to attend the camp has the opportunity to be here” Kovach said. “I feel strongly that every Cub Scout deserves the chance to have a camp experience.”

Planning enough food and activities to occupy 65 Cub Scouts is no minor task according to Kovach. The mother of two of her own scouts says that each year she devotes nearly 80 hours to planning the annual camp-out.

“We’ll start planning next year’s Twilight Camp the week after we finish this year’s camp” Kovach said.

More than 65 young scouts gathered at the Ruritan Fairgrounds in Berryville, Virginia for Twilight Camp - Photo Edward Leonard

Clearly the dedication and effort necessary to pull off the event isn’t lost on the young campers or their parents.

“I think that it’s going to be great!” said Boyce Elementary 5th grader Cameron MacKay-Smith. Nearby, Cameron’s father, Seth, concurred.

“It sounded like there were a lot of good activities being offered” the elder MacKay-Smith said. “We thought that this would be a nice way for Cameron to have a little fun at the end of his summer.”

Sandy Kovach said that her goal is to provide both a fun camping experience and at the same time impart scouting’s core values onto the campers under her charge.

“Scouting is a passion for me because of the way it teaches values and community service“ Kovach said. “In addition to doing fun things like a water battle between the scouts and the fire department, the kids will also learn manners like how to introduce yourself to someone.”

Kovach said that each scout has the chance to earn a “Good Manners” belt loop and shirt pin.

Kovach said that the theme for this year’s Twilight Camp is “Underwater”. She explained that several years ago, when the camp was held in Jefferson County, the young campers expressed a strong desire to include swimming in the camping activities. Unfortunately Jefferson County doesn’t have a community pool so Kovach decided to invite the local fire company to offer a little water entertainment for the campers.

“Before it was all over the firefighters had dumped thousands of gallons of water on the boys” Kovach laughed. “The boys fired back with squirt guns. I’m not sure who had more fun, the scouts or the firefighters.”

In continuance of the water-fun tradition, Kovach has arranged for Enders Fire Company volunteers to engage in a water battle with the scouts later in the week. With temperatures expected to remain in the 90’s, the water battle can’t come soon enough for at least one camper.

“I really love getting soaked!” said Isaac Kessler, a nine year scout from Shepherdstown, West Virginia. “I can’t wait!”

Sandy Kovach registered over 65 scouts from Clarke County and Jefferson County WV for Twilight Camp - Photo Edward Leonard

Monday's hot temperatures didn't keep the young scouts down - Photo Edward Leonard



  1. DCornwell says:

    Great article about the Boy Scout Twilight Camp! I can’t wait to see Clarke County embrace it’s Girl Scouts in the same manner! Super Secret Summer Spy Twilight Camp for the Girl Scouts was held in June, but unfortunately, that got no media attention, (as usual).

    CDN Editor: CDN would like to cover each and every event that occurs in Clarke County but a lot of events go on that we simply never hear about. Super Secret Summer Spy Twilight Camp for the Girl Scouts would have gotten equal coverage if we had only known about it. Thanks to Pamela Rosenberry for contacting CDN about the Boy Scouts Twilight Camp.

  2. Perhaps part of your problem was it was “super secret”?

  3. dmaxnjackson says:

    Yes, there sure is alot going on in this town……………..

  4. Scouting generally doesn’t get enough press, so I’m happy to see this article. It’s a great program that brings out the best in our youth, the volunteers, and the community. The twilight camp is always a great time for the kids and shows off our community’s volunteers.

    Our youth have a lot going on in their lives these days with sports and electronics and everything else. Scouting helps provide some grounding and teaches values, a key missing ingredient in many of our youth’s development, while having fun in the outdoors. It’s time well spent indeed – for the youth and for the adult volunteers. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Venturing, there’s something for all ages and genders. If you want to get involved or get your son or daughter involved, just call the Scout office 540-662-2551 to see how.