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At Summer Camp Any Girl Can Shine

May 3, 2015

Meet the Challenge

By Emily Hill, Director of Individual Giving

Early last month, I joined a handful of volunteers and camp staff to review applications for the Campership Fund. Over 200 girls applied for financial assistance to attend camp, and it was our job – the 10 of us that made up this year’s Campership Committee – to review these applications and allocate the money we had available in our Campership Fund this year.

Trust me, it’s not an easy job. The stories in the applications make you want to weep. Girl Scout families of four living on under $20,000 a year. Single-parent households where the mother is working full time while trying to earn her bachelor’s degree – and she’s a Troop Leader. The disabled veteran who wants to send her three girls to Girl Scout Camp this year.

Each story of why they need assistance for summer camp is heartbreakingly different, yet there is one theme that runs through them all: the belief that this week at Girl Scout Camp will make a difference in their girl’s life.

“I am requesting assistance for my two daughters to allow them to have a lifetime experience.”

“Sophia was so excited when we got the Girl Scout summer camp guide in the mail. She has always dreamed of experiencing camp! It’s even more exciting to her that it is through the Girl Scouts: she was so happy and proud when she joined this year.”

“Zari lives for Girl Scout Camp. This year, she will learn how to be even more independent. She will make friends. She will learn lifelong skills attending camp.”

“I am so thankful for Girl Scouts and camp. It has shown my daughter parts of this world and being a young woman that I may not have been able to show her. Thank you.”

“I would love to give Jayla the opportunity to go to this camp so she will learn to be more independent and confident when starting middle school this coming school year.”

“Camila is an introvert but has really come out of her shell with Girl Scouts – it has changed her life for the better and has made her confident. I know attending this camp would be such a blessing.”

“Emma still talks about her experience at camp last year on a regular basis. She had such a great time. I would love for her to have the opportunity to go back – Girl Scouts is her area to shine.”

That day, reading these stories, I realized how important our spring Campership fundraiser is to the work we all do to bring leadership and skill-building opportunities to girls – no matter their background or financial situation.

That’s why I’m so excited for our Campership Challenge. Five community leaders have stepped up to help make it possible for us to provide summer camp opportunities for these girls – the Sophias, Camilas, Emmas, and many more! These generous donors have agreed to match all donations to the Campership Fund between now and June 1st until we reach our $15,000 fundraising goal. The support of community members and businesses is crucial in making sure that we can continue to provide incredible, life-changing experiences – the same experiences your girls have when they attend camp – to EVERY girl who wants it.

I encourage you to make a gift, and help all of girls shine at camp this summer.

*Names have been changed for privacy purposes.

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“Girl Scout camp is my life!”

April 28, 2015

Camp Mary Atkinson Girl Scouts North Carolina NC Coastal Pines

By Deanna Ludwick, Senior Camp & Outdoor Program Director      

This year not only marks my eighth year at Camp Mary Atkinson, but my 20th summer at Girl Scout camp. Yes, that’s right – 20! 20 extraordinary summers filled with girls canoeing and kayaking in lakes, trying their hand at archery, challenging their fears, learning to swim, spending the night away from home the first time, singing silly camp songs, eating gooey S’mores, making new friends… the list goes on and on.

It truly has been 20 FUN years! Seeing campers return year after year and seeing many become counselors and camp staff, means I’m not the only one having a great time at camp! One of our former campers and now camp staff truly says it best – “a world without summer camp is just not as great.” And here’s more about what camp has meant to her:

Camp has had and continues to have such a profound impact on who I am and who I strive to be. Camp is the most amazing place where you can gain the most valuable experiences and lessons you need in the real world.

It was at camp where I first learned how to be independent from my parents and friends. I learned how important it is to make decisions for myself, but also how to cooperate and work together in groups. I learned how to love and appreciate all of nature, I learned the importance of being kind to everyone no matter what, and most importantly I learned how important it is to be unapologetically myself and to be comfortable with whom I am.

Both as a camper and as a staff member I have made timeless friendships with people from all different walks of life, and the most amazing part of camp friendships is that no matter how long it has been since you saw each other last, it seems like no time apart has passed at all. I can, without a doubt in my mind, say that without Girl Scout camp I do not know who I would be today, and honestly I am very proud of whom I have become. Girl Scout camp is my life!

As this story highlights, camp provides an opportunity for girls to build confidence, learn real-world lessons, and become a part of a supportive community of friends and mentors. In addition, spending time in the outdoors helps girls explore leadership, build skills, and develop an appreciation for nature. And we can’t forget about the FUN – girls greatly enjoy the outdoor experiences they have in Girl Scouts!

So why wait? Extend your Girl Scout experience this summer at Camp Mary Atkinson. Not only we will celebrate a new summer at Girl Scout Camp, we will celebrate our campers as they grow and learn, try new things in a safe environment, make new friends, and have FUN!

Did you know, more than 90 girls will be spending a week at Camp Mary Atkinson at little or no cost to them because of support of people like you? Tax-deductible donations to the Campership Fund help us send hundreds of girls to camp every summer who might not otherwise be able to afford to go. And now through June 1st, your gift is worth DOUBLE because of five generous community members who have pledged to match your gift dollar-for-dollar until we reach our fundraising goal. Make your gift today!
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