Camp Ashwell at the Program Center is rocking it this summer! Our day camp girls have gone rafting, visited Riverside State Park, and hiked with Washington Dept. Fish & Wildlife. Overall, they have been doing some amazingly fun stuff, and at the same time, giving back to their community. July 1-3 was Lean On Me Week. This week focused on community service and learning about the community. Throughout the week, girls volunteered at 4 different organizations: River City Youth Ops, World Relief, SpokAnimal and Touchmark.
Each group of girls completed their own community service and all came together to help out River City Youth Ops. The Brownies held a car wash to raise funds for World Relief, a nonprofit that helps immigrants in our community. The girls also learned about what it is like to be an immigrant in Spokane. The Juniors went to SpokAnimal to help clean cages and keep the animals company. The Daisies and Cadettes baked cookies and then took them to the Touchmark retirement community. In addition to sitting with the seniors and hearing about their lives, the girls also sang songs for them, including classics such as “Baby Shark” and “There Was a Great Big Moose”.
On Wednesday, the entire camp went to the gardens of River City Youth Ops, a youth enrichment nonprofit that provides job training and education for youth in their neighborhoods. The youth leaders at the garden led our Juniors and Cadettes in harvesting kale, pulling weeds and composting. The girls were excited when they learned that some of the weeds were edible, such as chickweed and purslane. Some of the braver ones even tried it out. In the meantime, the Brownies cleaned up the neighborhood with Youth Ops and Daisies painted rocks to decorate the garden. Afterwards, Youth Ops gave the girls some of the kale and almost all of them were munching on it. “Once you get them out into the garden, they’ll eat their vegetables,” Rachael Fairbanks, the program director at Camp Ashwell, joked.
The week ended with the Leadership Luncheon at the camp, where women leaders from around the region came to talk with the girls. The girls made and prepped all the food for it. “It was an impressive week on their part,” said Rachael, “…It felt like we were really able to make a difference, you know, and all the kids learned that they really could make a difference and that’s so important.”