Camp Tag-A-Long History

The year 2013 marked the 30th Anniversary of Camp Tag-A-Long.  Back in 1983, June Hutchison and Sara Phillips, passionate and committed Girl Scout adult volunteers, suggested that western Loudoun County should have an annual Girl Scout summer day camp, with several hours of scout-themed activities each day for an entire week.  And so, Camp Tag-A-Long was born.

For the first few years, Camp Tag-A-Long’s attendance was small, held on the Purcellville Community Center lawn for one week each August.  As the numbers grew, Camp Tag-A-Long was moved to the lawn at the Douglas Community Center in Leesburg.  Later, it moved to Camp Potomac Woods, which is its home to this day.

Camp Tag-A-Long has grown to become one of the most popular summer day camps in the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital (GSCNC).  Camp Tag-A-Long takes good advantage of the 101 wooded acres and extensive facilities at Camp Potomac Woods with an impressive program of activities including, but not limited to,  Archery, Arts & Crafts, Brownie T-Shirt Stenciling, Campfire Cooking, Dance, Fishing, Gimp, Science, Songs, Swimming, and Tie-Dye.

Camp Tag-A-Long’s enrollment and wait list numbers have mushroomed to the point that a second camp, Camp Franklin Park, was started in 1999 at Franklin Park in Purcellville, specifically to accommodate the overflow of Girl Scouts being turned away from Camp Tag-A-Long but wishing for a chance to attend a summer day camp in western Loudoun County.

We owe much gratitude for all the hard work over the past 30 years by the Hutchison and Phillips families, all of the former Camp Directors, and each and every member of the Camp Tag-A-Long staff.  Thanks to all of you, since 1983, Camp Tag-A-Long has been a fantastic outdoor experience in the heart of Loudoun County for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital.

LIST OF CAMP TAG-A-LONG DIRECTORS, 1983-PRESENT

Initiated in 1983 by June Hutchison & Sara Phillips.

1983-1984   Ann Puleo & Lucy Hastings

1985-1990   Linda Klein & Judy Meade

1991-1999   Peggy Moats & Donita Petersen

2000            Lou Schellenger & Susan Hughes & Karen Tyrell

2001-2002   Lou Schellenger & Karen Tyrell

2003-2004   Lou Schellenger

2005-2006   Lou Schellenger & Kim Hoban & JoAnne Sulak

2007            Lisa McGrail & Suzanne Termaat & Sandi Lippy

2008-2011   Lisa McGrail & Suzanne Termaat

2012            Natalie Metzler & Melani Carty

2013-2017   Natalie Metzler & Erin Greene

2013      Camp Tag-A-Long co-founder June Hutchison receives a service award from Diane Tipton at the GSCNC annual meeting.

Camp Tag-A-Long co-founder Sarah Phillips and her daughter, Dr. Barbara Sutton, pose on the RiverWalk environmental learning trail, which was made possible thanks to their generous gift to Camp Potomac Woods.

Loudoun camp caretaker marks half century on the job

The call came in early last Saturday. Someone told Abie Quesenberry that smoke was bellowing from the camp kitchen.

Fairfax Times

Monday July 16, 2007

The call came in early last Saturday. Someone told Abie Quesenberry that smoke was bellowing from the camp kitchen. Since Quesenberry is head handyman, he was needed on the scene. When he arrived, though, no flames. But what he discovered was even more shocking: a party for him.

“I don’t know if my heart can take this,” said Quesenberry, 68, after a chorus of “surprise!”

This year, Quesenberry, who lives with his wife, Nancy, east of Lucketts, is marking 50 years as caretaker at the Girl Scouts’ 100-acre Camp Potomac Woods near Tarara Winery.

The burning kitchen was a guise put on by camp staff to get Quesenberry to Potomac Woods July 14, on a day off.

“When the plumbing leaks, we call him. When the latrine is about to fall through the floor, we call him,” said Potomac Woods’ camping services manager Denise Viau. “Abie can fix anything.”

Fifty years at one job is an achievement worth celebrating. Only about 25 percent of U.S. workers stay with the same employer for more than a decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the average tenure at four years.

“That’s a lot of dedication,” said Wayne Graham, 57, who along with Quesenberry tends to the camp’s leaking pipes, tall grass and squeaky doors. “But this is more of a lifestyle for him than a job.”

Situated along the Potomac River in northeast Loudoun, Camp Potomac Woods is owned by the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. During a typical summer week, about 200 campers live on the property. And Quesenberry, a father of one, calls each his “girl.”

Minutes after emerging from the camp kitchen into the middle of the party in his honor, Quesenberry was still too overcome to recall one defining moment on the job. He said he’s most proud that “no tragedy” occurred over his half-century span as caretaker.

On hanging up his hammer for a leisurely life of retirement? Not yet, he was quick to say.

“I guess everyone has to have something to do,” said Quesenberry, who proudly posts a “caretaker of Potomac Woods” sign in front of his house.

“I just can’t break the habit” of working at Potomac Woods, he said.

Charlene Meidlinger hugs Abie Quesenberry at his surprise party at Camp Potomac Woods near Lucketts.

–Times-Mirror Staff Photo/AJ Maclean

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