For Campers

Ashgrove’s Top Secret Adventure

Ashgrove Adventure has gone undercover. Your mission: become a secret agent and gather critical intelligence. Develop your disguise to maintain your cover and create your new identity. Learn to make and use your own spy gadgets. Consult with cryptologists to make and break codes. Help your team construct and follow trail signs through unknown territory. Keep your eyes on the target as you practice archery, slingshot, and tomahawk. Challenge yourself on our trust and initiative course, then debrief with a cup of hand-cranked ice cream. Ashgrove Adventure is looking for new recruits to join us in Secrets and Spies.

Bus transportation is available from schools in Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Reston and Vienna. No extra charge for buses (except Camp Aides). Bus spots are limited to bus capacity. No refunds for carpools. Please contact our registrar for additional bus stop information.

Everyone at camp is divided up into a unit of about 24 campers and 4 leaders/aides. Before camp, your leaders will prepare a unit home, a unit name, and a unit costume. Unit names are based on the camp theme.

On the first day of camp, you will ride a bus or be driven to the Firefly Lodge at Camp Crowell. From there you will walk down a gravel road to the Trees. You will meet up with your unit leaders at the Trees every morning before flag. Each unit has a tree which your unit leaders mark with your unit name.

image of the Firefly lodge, showing front porch and road in front
Firefly Lodge

From the Trees, you will go up to the Ashgrove Lodge for morning flag. Every unit will take turns doing either morning or afternoon flag ceremonies. Flag is where (among other things) we have roll call, do announcements, sing the camp song, and celebrate camp birthdays.

After morning flag, your unit will have four “blocks” of time in which you either visit centers or do unit activities, including the hunt for an object hidden around camp and the progressive game. Every unit has a cook-out at some point during camp. Units also have to find time to vote on themes for next year’s camp and pick names for joke day, special day and the overnight. All unit decisions are reported to Camp Council by the unit’s Camp Council representatives.

Centers are groups of leaders who plan activities for all the different units. Every unit visits every center. Your unit will also “adopt” several center leaders. These leaders will wear your costumes, come to your cookout, and maybe even bring you presents…. Make sure you say hi to them whenever you see them around camp! While the centers change from year to year depending on the theme, common centers include archery, crafts, culture, ice cream, nature, OP, singing and theatre.


image of the Ashgrove amphitheatre from 2018 with backdrop, campers on stage and campers sitting on benches in the audience
Ashgrove Amphitheatre 2018

All campers who have finished the third grade (Fly-Ups, Juniors, Older Girls, A.I.T.s and Older Boys) are invited to spend the camp overnight. During the overnight, all the units who spend the night perform a campfire skit and the older scouts can stay for a flag burning ceremony.

There are several chores or “kapers” which units have to do during camp. Campers are in charge of all these kapers, including turning in attendance cards, getting the unit bag, filling up the unit water jug, making lemonade, carrying the unit banner and mascot, taking the unit trash to the dumpster and (last but not least) cleaning the latrines.

image of campers using water faucet with unit bag on ground beside theminterior of a camp latrine

Cleaning the latrine sounds far worse that it is. To clean the latrine, all you have to do is sweep out the stall and run a disinfectant wipe over the toilet seat – you even get to wear gloves while doing it. Last, but not least, the toilet paper is full and staying dry in the plastic bags.. Piece of cake!

Every camper receives a camp patch. Some years we also earn a theme-related patch. Older Girls also earn an IPP or similar award. For images of past camp patches, check out the history section of our website.

There are actually two camp patches – one for campers and one for staff. Every year we have a design competition and campers submit patch designs. The winning designs are picked in March. The campers who submitted those designs and applied during the regular registration period are guaranteed a place at camp. You won’t actually find out if your design won until the last day of camp – the patch designs are always secret until then.