This November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, recognizing the history of those who occupied the land before us, and appreciating their culture as it is today. Did you know that hundreds of years ago, the Piscataway Native Americans lived on the land that is now Camp Winona?
In the late 1600s, the Piscataway Native Americans were forced out by English colonizers and neighboring tribes, causing some Piscataway to flee to Northern Virginia and Pennsylvania. However, many tribe members remained and settled in throughout Southern Maryland in communities once occupied by the tribe, including nearby La Plata and Brandywine. Today, the Piscataway Conoy Tribe, located in Southern Maryland, is one of the only two officially recognized indigenous Native American groups in Maryland.
Winona is not the only Girl Scout camp with Native American history. Camp Potomac Woods is located on 101 acres of land in Leesburg, VA, right off the Potomac River. The Manahoac Native Americans inhabited the area until the early 1700s when Europeans forced out Native Americans and claimed their land to establish the colony of Virginia. There are archaeological clues such as a stone outcrop along Priscilla's Trail, where arrowheads were chipped and a fish weir (fish trap) across the Potomac River at the mouth of Peace Creek, which is still present today. Though the land passed through several generations before being acquired by Girl Scouts, it is important to recognize the stories of those who came before us. We continue to honor the rich history of our camps and appreciate that so many Girl Scouts have been able to learn about them in decades since.
To learn more about Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital history visit, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (gscnc.org)