Posts Tagged ‘Girl Scout Camp’

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Why I Can’t Wait to be a Volunteer at Camp Graham this summer!

August 4, 2014

By Marsha Kitter, Lifetime Member, Alumnae, Juliette Low Planned Giving Society member

Girl Scouts - NC Coastal Pines VolunteerIn 1969 when I was 15 years old, I had my choice of going to Europe or going to Girl Scout camp. I choose Girl Scout camp.   Camp was the most fantastic experience I had ever had. We slept on army cots in round-up tents with dirt floors. My favorite parts were making new friends and singing songs at meals and around campfires. Many of the camp counselors played guitars as we sang. After two sessions of camp, I knew two things – I wanted to learn to play the guitar and I wanted to work at Girl Scout camp the next summer.

Buying the guitar and teaching myself to play was easy! By the time I went to the camp reunion that December, I was able to join in with the other guitar players as we sang our favorite camp songs.

Working at Girl Scout camp proved harder. Where I lived in New Jersey, you had to be 17 to work at camp.

I shared my disappointment with my high school French teacher. She promptly replied that her sister directed a Girl Scout Camp in New York and she was looking for camp staff. A few weeks later, I wore my Senior Girl Scout uniform to an interview at Girl Scouts of Greater New York. I got the job! I was going to work at Camp Andree Clark in Briarcliff Manor New York as a “Pack Out Clerk”.

The 1970s were thriving years for Girl Scouting’s membership. There were over 300 campers and staff and the dining hall was not large enough to accommodate all the people so two units had to cook out breakfast, lunch and dinner one day a week. As the Pack Out Clerk, it was my job to fill all cookout requests. I also assisted with dining room setup and cleanup. I loved it.

The following summer I returned to Camp Andree Clark as a unit assistant, working full time in a Brownie unit. I spent a total of seven summers working at camp from high school through graduate school. After finishing graduate school, I thought finding a full time job meant my camp counselor days were over …

Flash forward 38 years, and I’m back at Girl Scout camp!

Welcome back, Critter!Last week, I spent a week at Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines’ Camp Graham assisting with the Babysitting/First Aid, CPR and AED leadership unit. If it indicated how excited I was, I took a week of vacation from my full time job to do this!

I used the same camp name “Critter” from my summer camp days. I lived and slept in the unit with 29 girls in the Babysitting & First Aid/CPR group and 3 girls in the Lifeguarding Group. There were 3 other camp staff in my tent. During the first night’s “Meet the Counselor’s” event, I taught my all-time favorite camp song, “The Cat Came Back”. It was an instant hit and was sung at least two times a day for the rest of the week.

So in case you are wondering if going back to camp was all I expected, it was even more. As far as the campers were concerned, I was a counselor just like everyone else. At the closing ceremony in front of the parents, I was presented with a homemade plaque signed by all the camp staff and the girls in my unit that said “Critter, the cat who came Back.”

I can’t wait to volunteer again next year!

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Generations of Impact: How 25 years of services led to $20,000 for girls

June 11, 2014

Emily Hill, Director of Individual Giving

Girl Scouts Pinning AlumnaeThe day before Mothers’ Day had me driving up to Annapolis, Maryland for a very special reason. Friends of Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, Bob Schmitz and Amy Csorba, had made a gift in honor or Amy’s 80-year-old mother, Sue, and we were about to surprise her with a small celebration in her honor.

The story of this visit traces back to Amy and Bob sorting through Mrs. Csorba’s things after the death of her husband in January 2014. Among the many family heirlooms, Amy found photographs, mementos, and badges – Girl Scout memorabilia that reminded Amy of her mother’s passion for the organization.

Sue “Skipper” Csorba was a Girl Scout leader in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s in Annapolis. During her almost 25 years of involvement, Sue led her daughters’ troops and later helped other troops organize camping, hiking, and outdoor adventures. She served with a cadre of co-leaders, many of whom were to join us in the celebration.

Honoring Sue’s passion to provide outdoor experiences for all girls was very important to Bob and Amy. Sue was committed to giving girls outdoor experiences, and determined to have an inclusive troop of girls from all races, incomes, and family situations – even going so far as to provide transportation to girls who needed it. With a $20,000 gift, Bob and Amy established the Sue “Skipper” Csorba Scholarship Fund to send 80 girls to NC Coastal Pines summer camps over the next 10 years. These full scholarships would go to girls with the greatest financial need, and preference would be made for girls who had never been to camp before.

Sue now lives in a retirement community, outside of Annapolis, where the celebration was to be held. The small gathering included the family, co-leaders from Sue’s troops, and friends from the Central Maryland Girl Scout Council.

proclamationMany tears were shed and memories shared, as the scrapbooks and memorabilia were passed around. My favorite was an official proclamation written to look like the Declaration of Independence by Troop 231 in 1967 that claimed Sue to be the GREATEST Girl Scout Leader A Girl Ever Had. The proclamation goes on to say:

“She taught us all about arts & crafts, first aid, singing, dancing, hiking, nature trails, the fun of camping, and the good feelings of sharing a campfire with friends. She brought out the best in us, as an individual and as a member of a troop and prepared us to do our best as we grew to adulthood. Her actions exemplified the ideals of the Girl Scout Motto & Laws, to her troop and to the community.”

With these summer camp scholarships, Sue will continue to make a big impact on girls for many more years. We are so grateful to her, to Bob and Amy, and to all the Girl Scout leaders who help grow our girls into amazing women.

To make a gift in honor of the leader that inspired you, or to find out more about the Sue “Skipper” Csorba Scholarship Fund, please contact me via email or 1-800-284-4475. Thanks.

 

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