Posts Tagged ‘summer camp’

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Finding Inspiration through Girl’s Leadership

September 28, 2015

Summer Leadership Camp

By Katie Hug, Community Impact Intern at the United Way of the Greater Triangle

For the past six years, Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines has partnered with the United Way of the Greater Triangle to host Summer Leadership Camp where under-resourced girls spend a week of resident camp at Camp Mary Atkinson at no cost to them. In addition to traditional camp activities such as swimming, boating, and archery – activities many of these girls experience for the first time – this camp is unique in its focus on building life and leadership skills.

Campers take part in sessions that help them build their self-confidence, learn how to form and maintain healthy relationships, define their value system, and understand the importance of giving back to their communities – knowledge crucial to helping these girls see beyond their current situations. To help inspire the girls to achieve goals made during camp, businesswomen and community volunteers mentor the girls on their Take Action projects. This summer, I had the unique opportunity to serve as a mentor for one of the campers.

When I drove up through the gravel driveway to Camp Mary Atkinson I was reflecting on my years as a Girl Scout and the summers I spent at Camp Hardee and In Bath, NC, horseback riding and sailing. I walked up to the camp leadership center and the past the flag pole thinking, “I hope these girls have had as much fun and personal growth this week as I had when I went to Girl Scout camp”.

The cafeteria was loud with the chatter and laughter of new friendships forming and meals being shared. I was quickly ushered to a table with other professional women and we introduced ourselves as we passed around mashed potatoes and began to wonder in unison what our afternoon might look like. After a brief overview of the afternoon it was time to meet my camper.

As I waited patiently for my name to be called I thought about how the only thing I knew about her was that she wanted to become a young leader around ending child abuse. We met eyes and I shook her hand, she was nervous, but so was I. We found comfortable chairs and I asked her about herself and how camp was going and she insistently stared down towards her lap.

She stopped me mid question and asked, “Why do I need a mentor?” I was of course caught off guard, but I thought cautiously about the most honest thing I could say. I replied after a few moments of thought, “Well maybe you don’t need a mentor, but I need a mentor, and I seek out my mentors each day”. She thought about this for a moment, and thankfully she realized I was genuine and she became disarmed and smiled.

We may not have spoken enough about her leadership plans or goals, but we enjoyed one another’s company as she told me about her family and friends and what was important to her. At the end she had said goodbye and within a minute she came back to hug me. I wasn’t sure who got more out of the conversation, but I left camp feeling whole.

Summer Leadership Camp was made possible in part by grants from AAUW, Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation, Greenville Noon Rotary Club, Harold H. Bate Foundation, M&F Bank, North Carolina Community Foundation and its affiliates, NC EMC, RA Bryan Foundation, Rockingham Rotary Club, Sonitrol, United Way of the Greater Triangle Women’s Leadership Council, and many others. Nearly 100 middle school girls were able to attend Summer Leadership Camp at no cost to them because of the generosity of these donors and other friends of Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. We are so grateful to them and to all the mentors and facilitators who participated in this year’s camp. To find out about how you can participate with Summer Leadership Camp next year, please email Emily Hill  or call 919-600-6347.

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Leadership Grows at Summer Camp

June 15, 2015

Girl Scout Leadership Camp - North Carolina

By Tracy Sternberg, Chief Development Officer

I was fortunate to attend several different resident camps growing up. My experiences were life changing and many of my summer camp pals have become lifelong friends. I gained confidence and learned that I could try anything and succeed – or fail – and that was OK.

Join me in raising your hand if you too spent some amazing summers at camp during your youth. Since I can’t see your hands, I will assume many of you shared in memorable camp experiences and understand the benefits of outdoor and camp experiences.

Unfortunately, many girls in our community are not able to raise their hands with us. As each school year comes to a close, many girls see the excitement of their classmates who can’t wait to go to summer camp. They dream of what camp is like, and wish they could share their own camp story when the new school year begins. But when paying the bills is challenge enough for their families, they know that summer camp is out of the question.

But this is where Girl Scouting comes in. Each year, Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines holds Summer Leadership Camp for under-served girls. Our Summer Leadership Camp program provides the opportunity for girls from low-income families to attend a week of resident camp at no cost to them. Filled with traditional camp activities such as swimming, boating, and archery – activities many of these girls will experience for the first time – this week-long camp is unique in its focus on building life and leadership skills. Campers take part in sessions that help them build their self-confidence, learn how to form and maintain healthy relationships, define their value system, and understand the importance of giving back to their communities.

In addition to a camp group service project, each camper creates an independent project during the week through which she will “Take Action” in her community after camp ends. To help inspire the girls to achieve goals made during camp, area businesswomen and community volunteers mentor the girls on their Take Action projects. The camp culminates in a day-long visit to a college campus, where the campers engage with students and faculty.

Summer Leadership Camp doesn’t just teach – it activates! By providing this unique summer camp experience, girls having the opportunity to explore beyond their communities and can dream big.

You can help a girl create her summer camp story to share with classmates. Give her the opportunity to grow in confidence and know that her voice matters!

DONATE NOW to send a girl to Summer Leadership Camp.

Questions? Contact Emily Hill at ehill@nccoastalpines.org to learn ways you can help a girl discover that anything is possible.

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