Hello! My name is Taylor Hayes, and I am the new Camp Director for Camp Sycamore Hills.

To say Camp Sycamore Hills is one of my favorite places would be an understatement. I first started going to Camp Sycamore Hills in 2005. I really wanted to ride a horse and my parents thought this would be the best way for me to get that experience. I attended a program called Horse Fan (similar to Giddy Up Juniors) and spent my first week away from home. My parents were so worried that I would have a miserable time because it rained all week, and I was staying in a platform tent unit called Forest Isle. They were also concerned because of my food allergy. Luckily the camp staff had done a great job of assuring my parents that I would not be exposed to this allergen. I came home from that rainy week and talked nonstop for the rest of summer about my experience. I made new friends, rode some super cool horses, and learned new skills about camping.

That next school year my troop planned a camping trip to Camp Sycamore Hills and I was so excited to return. I was confident in my ability to show the other Girl Scouts in my troop around camp and even helped my troop leaders cook dinner over the fire. All because I had done it all at camp that summer. When the new camp guide came out, I was anxiously waiting to see what programs I could do next. I attended summer camp every summer after that. Even after my troop disbanded, I still went to summer camp and eventually started helping at the horse barn on weekends through the Vaqueras program.

Summer of 2011 was when summer camp interns were introduced. I couldn’t wait to be able to spend two weeks working at Camp Sycamore Hills in the horse barn. This was also the summer I got my camp name: Scooby! Working at camp was so fun that I continued to be an intern all through high school. I also participated in the Counselor in Training program. This experience was one of my favorite camp memories to date. I made lifelong friends and learned real world skills that helped me throughout my collegiate career.

While in college I worked every summer at Camp Sycamore Hills. I held a variety of positions including Equestrian staff and Unit Leader. These summers were so rewarding because I was able to be a mentor to young girls and provide them with the same wonderful summer camp experience I had growing up. I loved getting to be a part of camp traditions in a new way. Whether that was hosting the Sunday and Thursday night campfires, becoming Shero, or helping campers find their camp name. 

Once I started working for Girl Scouts full time, I was always excited to help with programs and summer camp when needed. It was always a blast helping with Fall into Girl Scouts and Candy Cane Carnival. I got to spend a few weeks each summer helping at both overnight camps. I even got attend Thursday night campfires, one of my favorite parts of camp!

I am so excited to be Camp Director at this magical place. I can’t wait to see you and your Girl Scout this summer!