Summer is ending, but the experiences girls gain at Girl Scout summer camp last a lifetime. Camp can transform a girl as she makes new friends and gains confidence in being away from home and adapting to new experiences. By spending time outdoors, girls learn they can do anything and gain grit to face any obstacles in the way of them reaching their goals. But, don’t take our word for it. Read on to learn how one Girl Scout grandparent witnessed the change summer camp had on her granddaughter.
My name is Laura and I’m writing to you because my eight-year-old granddaughter, Sophia, just returned from the Harriet Potter week. She just joined Girl Scouts this summer and has only been to one meeting so far. She is an only child who sometimes gets nervous at social events and it was her first time ever being away from family.
In the weeks leading up to camp she expressed trepidation and anxiety about going, but we all kept assuring her she would love it. In the car on the way there last Sunday she said, “Grammy, I’m scared and I’m nervous. What if I don’t like it? What if I don’t make any friends? What if I miss you?” Again, we assured her she would make lots of friends and have a great time. We talked about the summer camps we went to as children and how much fun it was. We talked about how great the counselors are and how helpful they can be. And so, she went.
While waiting in line to check in, Sophia instantly began talking to other little girls in line. We made it through the lice check (YAY!), the medication check, the shopping, and finally arrived at her cabin, Wickiup. [Sophia’s counselor,] Mouse, immediately introduced herself which made Sophia laugh. She didn’t know they don’t use real names. As soon as she saw the bunk beds, she was up the ladder of the center bed. We tried to get her to pay attention so we could say goodbye, but…. she was WAY too excited. She turned around from her perch on top of the bed and said, “Ok, bye.” She then turned away and began talking excitedly to other Girl Scouts. So much for scared and nervous!
She just returned today. Dirty, tan, happy, and looking like a wild child with her hair sticking up all over and with a huge smile on her face. Her mom said she didn’t want to leave. She hasn’t stopped talking about how much fun she had and all the things she did. She has plans to stay in touch with all the friends she met and maybe attend other Girl Scout events with them in the future. She has already asked if she could go to camp again next year and of course we said absolutely! She is even thinking so far ahead as to be talking about becoming a counselor herself.
I want to thank all of you, the Girls Scouts organization, the staff at Camp Kachina, and especially Mouse and Cheddar for making a difference. For providing a safe, quality, fun experience for a Sophia and all the other children. For helping a scared little girl gain confidence, friendship, and memories for life.
Like countless stories before, Sophia’s camp story is a great example of what a girl gains from attending a Girl Scout camp. Leave a comment below regarding your first impression of Girl Scout camp or how it has shaped you or your Girl Scout into the people you are today. Is your girl already looking forward to her next camp experience? Keep an eye out for our Camp catalog coming in January. Service Units are also planning fall and spring camp-outs at our Girl Scout camp facilities – don’t miss out on the fun!