This summer has been rich for me as I have visited all the Day Camps in our region, made possible by an incredible staff and a legion of motivated volunteers who want the best leadership experiences for their Girl Scouts. Our crown jewel remains Camp Four Echoes where camp director Marcy Mastel has given a dynamic summer that has included everything from Fourth of July Fireworks to theme nights that always stretch our Girl Scouts’ imaginations. For those campers able to attend, the first question asked at the end of camp: “When can I go back?”
The Spokane Day Camp led by Cory Ulrich has been similarly successful. The high attendance numbers every week at Day Camp is emblematic that the varied programming keeps bringing them back week after week. Last Friday, I was blown away by a series of Rube Goldberg projects our Day campers created using their engineering skills and imagination. Marbles, balloons, dominos and needles can lead to some fun, fun projects! The Expo was out of this world Friday afternoon!
150 miles south of here volunteers and the TriCities Girl Scouts were doing equally inspiring projects building solar ovens, going geocaching and learning Girl Scout traditions. Taking on 100 degree heat, our Girl Scouts team had an outstanding Twilight Camp. At the same time, 80 miles north of here, Sandpoint volunteers replicated feats of imagination leading a camp on Mirror Lake with discussions of tree identification, water purification and the ecology of bats, all the while enjoying the lake. The common thread in all these Camps was a richness of programming. That is a credit to the traditions of our 106 year legacy of excellence and to all the volunteers who came together this summer to help our Girl Scouts learn. In most places, summer is a time off; not so in our proud program. In Girl Scouts, we fuse fun and learning so our Girl Scouts enter the next school year as better citizens!
This week, Spokane Valley’s Service Unit started up its day camp at Liberty Lake. Jodi Walter and I visited and yet again the programming was stout with archery, fire safety, young leader training and canoeing. What humbled me the most though is the commitment of the “family of volunteers” who have made this camp for 70+ Girls their life story for 30 plus years. I met Rozanne Caruso, camp name “Chipper,” and she helped run it since 1987. That is why we succeed as a Council—our volunteers are our backbone of strength and consistency over the years.
I met Ann Maxwell, a volunteer in Sandpoint, who been raised by Girl Scouts for 5 generations; she now proudly watches her granddaughter move ahead in it. I asked her why she is so proud of it…she paused, reflected and said, “I learned way back when I was at Camp Four Echoes the things that made me who I am today. Simply, Girl Scouts makes good people.” Well said Ann, and because of it, that is why Girl Scouts lead the way!
-Brian Newberry, GSEWNI CEO