Q&A With the GSCM Rangers

Rangers

Have you ever wondered who the mysterious gentlemen were who fixed things around our campgrounds, greet you on weekends, or answer the phone when you call in the middle of the night? Let’s get to know the GSCM Property Team!

Jeff Boots is the acting Ranger of both Anne Arundel County Campgrounds. This first, Camp Whippoorwill, is the oldest of the GSCM properties and has been a favorite of Girl Scout troops for almost eighty years. Located on the Magothy River in Pasadena, the 19 acre wooded site has one winterized lodge, six seasonal units and waterfront access. The second, Camp Woodlands is a 34 acre wooded site, located just outside Annapolis. The property has a variety of recreational opportunities including numerous camping facilities and the nationally acclaimed program center, The TeePee (Lamb’s Lodge), a 12-sided polygon with a central fireplace.

Jeff currently oversees the maintenance of not only these two great properties but also all council-owned properties, buildings and facilities as the Director of Facilities and Property Services. He has years of both camp and property management experience, and a passion for ensuring girls have a great time in the outdoors.

Q: How long have you been working for GSCM?

A: I have worked for GSCM for 3 years now, first as a ranger and now as the Director of Facilities and Property Services.

Q: What has been the hardest challenge or most frustrating thing with Camp Whippoorwill and Camp Woodlands?

A: The hardest thing for me was learn all of intricacies of the properties. Both properties are special and each site is unique, it took me a little time to figure out just what was needed to ensure each site was running as smoothly as possible.

Q: How do I get ahold of you in an emergency?

A: In an emergency, you can reach me on my cell phone 410.585.5215

Q: What has been your favorite thing about with Camp Woodlands and Camp Whippoorwill? A: My favorite thing about the two sites is the variety people I get to work with, everything from girls and volunteer groups to school groups and nature clubs.

Q: Do you have children?

A: Yes, I have 2 daughters

Billy “Box Turtle” Heinbuch, a naturalist and wildlife expert, is the Ranger at Camp Ilchester, located in Ellicott City. This 19-acre campground is home to the Clementine Peterson Activity Center, which houses the Caitlin Dunbar Nature Center, Juliette’s Closet and a number of meeting rooms. Additionally, the site also has a great number of outdoor program opportunities including a nature trail, primitive camping, and amphitheater. In addition to his Ranger duties, Box Turtle is also a Maryland Master Naturalist, and Program Specialist at Caitlin Dunbar Nature Center, and an Apprentice Wildlife Rehabilitator.

Q: How long have you been working for GSCM?

A: I have been working for GSCM for 16 years.

Q: What has been the hardest challenge or most frustrating thing with Camp Ilchester?

A: The hardest thing for me was Closing Valley View and having fewer campers around camp.

Q: How do I get ahold of you in an emergency?

A: My cell: 443.740.0639

Q: What has been your favorite thing about Camp Ilchester?

A: My favorite thing was opening and running the second Caitlin Dunbar Nature Center at Ilchester and watching in grow over the years.

Q: Do you have children?

A: I have 3 children and 3 grandchildren

Gary McElroy and Jeff Wilson work together to manage Camp Conowingo’s 600 acres of forest and fields adjacent to the Susquehanna River in Cecil County, Maryland. Home to the Summer Resident camp program, the property has a large variety of rental units covering everything from yurts, cabins and lodges for sleeping to Bell Manor, a historic Victorian home from the 1860s, for meetings and special events.

Gary McElroy, the head Ranger at Camp Conowingo is a skilled craftsman and carpenter. Prior to working full-time with GSCM, he assisted previous rangers on the property with repairs and new construction.

Q: How long have you been working for GS?

A: I have been working full time for GSCM for 3 years and 9 months.

Q: What has been the hardest challenge or most frustrating thing with Camp Conowingo?

A: One of the hardest challenges here at Conowingo was when we changed the water system thru out the entire camp.

Q: How do I get ahold of you in an emergency?

A: You can get ahold of me in an emergency by cell phone – 410.585.5217

Q: What has been your favorite thing about Camp Conowingo?

A: My favorite this is watching the camp come alive when summer camp starts.

Q: Do you have children?

A: Yes, I have 2- sons and a daughter.

Jeff Wilson is the assistant Ranger at Camp Conowingo and is a true nature lover and kid at heart. He knows the ins and outs of the camp, and some secret tricks on how to fix even the most stubborn things.

Q: How long have you been working for GS?

A: 6.5 years

Q: What has been the hardest challenge or most frustrating thing with Camp Conowingo?

A: The hardest thing is keeping the property maintained and balancing the budget all while ensuring girls have a great time.

Q: How do I get ahold of you in an emergency?

A: You can get ahold of me in an emergency by cell phone – 443-934-6772

Q: What has been your favorite thing about Camp Conowingo?

A: It depends on the time of the year. In the spring and fall, I enjoy just working around so much nature and being outdoors. In the summer, my favorite thing is watching everyone enjoy themselves and knowing I had some part in making it happen.

Q: Do you have children?

A: Yes, I a 14 year old daughter

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