By Cecily Timmons, Development Director
As a child, I was so shy that making friends was difficult. However, the camp experience cracked my tough shell and helped me to blossom. Removed from my normal world of homework, school and stress, I felt freedom in being outside and exploring new (and foreign) things like climbing walls, building a campfire, and sailing a boat. I made friends who I would have otherwise never met and relished the opportunity to both act like a kid and live independently like an adult.
According to a study by the American Camp Association, 96% of youth said camp helped them make new friends, 92% said camp helped them feel good about themselves, and 74% reported they did things at camp that they were afraid to do at first. Most of us don’t need to be shown these statistics to know how powerful the camp experience can be. We know what it feels like to face challenges and overcome them – like braving the heights of the Alpine Tower at Camp Mary Atkinson!
However, many families are challenged to provide this experience for their children. Did you know that our Council incurs a cost of around $600 for every girl who attends one of our camps, but we only ask families to pay an average of $250? We subsidize the cost to keep camp affordable, but for some, it is not enough.
Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines is committed to making the camp experience accessible to all girls who want it, regardless of their socio-economic background or family financial situation. Each year in the spring we ask our Girl Scout Family to consider a gift to the Campership Fund, a fund that dispenses financial aid for girls to attend residential camp. This year, we have a matching sponsor for this campaign thanks to the support of Great Outdoor Provision Company.