Krista Kahley: Disconnecting through adventure

Krista Kahley leads a young generation of girls at Girls Adventure Camp, fostering leadership skills and life-long friendships in the process.

Written by: Anthony Machcinski
Krista Kahley (Photo by Caleb Robertson/Our York Media)

Krista Kahley remembers summer days at her grandparents’ Lewistown cabin “running from the morning to the evening doing who knows what.”

She and her cousins hiked through the woods, boated on the lake and camped in tents for a week. The activities were great, but the ability to unplug from the real world for a few days is what she misses most.

“I just feel like it does my soul good to disconnect,” Krista says. “You’re just so free to explore and be yourself.”

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Years later, Krista spreads that connection to the outdoors as director of Girls Adventure Camp, a York County-based nonprofit giving girls 5 and older an opportunity to learn, make friends and develop leadership skills.

Girls Adventure Camp started in 2016 as a day camp with activities from wilderness studies and science to team-building sports. The camp was located at the YWCA in York Haven last year.

Camp helps girls explore the world around them and get in touch with their inner self.

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Krista Kahley

This year, the camp moves to Penn Grove Retreat in Hanover and will offer a sleepaway option in 2019 for the first time.

“At camp, they’re getting away from technology and making friendships,” Krista says. “Camp helps girls explore the world around them and get in touch with their inner self. We have a great turnout every year and the girls keep coming back.”

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Krista sees the lasting effects of camp on her daughters Ava and Cecilia. Ava, 12, took part in the first camp and now is training to be a program aide for this year’s camp.

“She’s really enjoyed it,” Krista says. “She’s recruiting her friends to come to camp. Cecilia and her classmates are talking about it. They’re both proud.”

The camp inspires adults, too: Several counselors who volunteered for one day last year are coming back for multiple days this year.

“You just feel renewed and rejuvenated when you come back,” Krista says. “You feel accomplished. It is by far the high point of my whole year. I love going to camp.”

Click here to learn more about Girls Adventure Camp

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