By Margaret Hartzell, Individual Giving Director
“You camp?! You don’t look like you camp.” said a former coworker to me once when I mentioned an upcoming camping adventure.
At first it surprised me. Does someone who camps look a certain way? Was it because I was a woman? Couldn’t I wear dresses and love the outdoors?
But then it made me proud! I DO camp!
Because, the truth was, I never went to summer camp. I didn’t start camping until my late 20’s and early 30’s. When I finally discovered it though, camping became our preferred method of vacationing. We camped with our three dogs all over North Carolina, spending nights in places like Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Ocracoke. The big adventure was a road trip up the California coast camping along the way—Joshua Tree National Park, Big Sur, Bodega Bay, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The first time I ever saw the Milky Way was as I laid in my tent. Even as an adult I’m proud of the dirt line left by my sandals after days of camping. Or the scrapes and bruises that come with a difficult hike.
My first trip to Girl Scout Camp was Camp Mary Atkinson for an all-staff meeting last month. Even without the girls singing camp songs in the dining hall or counselors herding girls for the next activity, I could feel the magic of it all. It’s a magic I want all girls to experience.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that any of these young girls love the outdoors. I want them to proudly say “I camp too!”
Unfortunately for many girls in under-resourced communities across North Carolina Girl Scout camp isn’t a reality. The Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines Campership Fund provides financial assistance so that any girl can have the life-changing outdoor experience that Girl Scouting provides. For every Girl Scout – our girls pay less than half of the cost we incur to bring them a week of camp adventures.
This month we are raising money for Camperships so we can deliver the gift of the great outdoors to every girl. With your help, more girls will say “I CAMP TOO!” because of their time spent at Graham, Hardee, or Mary Atkinson this summer.
P.S. Thanks to our community partners, Carolinas IT and Great Outdoor Provision Co., your gift to the Campership Fund will be matched, allowing more girls to find adventure and friendship at Girl Scout Camp this summer.