Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines is seeing an increase in financial assistance requests by girls and families for its 2015 summer camp program. Since February, over 200 girls have applied for financial aid to attend a summer camp session, representing a 40 percent increase in requests as compared to the 2014 season. The Girl Scouts Council serves nearly 2,700 girls in one camp season.
Great Outdoor Provisions and Carolinas IT, along with three community individuals, have partnered to present the 2015 Campership Challenge so that any girl can have the life changing-outdoor experience that Girl Scouting provides. By participating in the Campership Challenge, more girls can hit the bull’s eye on the archery range, navigate that turn in the canoe, or climb to the highest peak of the Alpine Town at Girl Scout camp this summer.
“We know the excitement of going camping. We see it daily on the faces of our customers who are gearing up for their next adventure,” said Chuck Millsaps, president of Great Outdoor Provision. “We are thrilled to participate in this challenge so that girls with financial need can have the time of their lives at camp this summer.”
With this support, all campership donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar until Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines has reached its $15,000 fundraising goal. Gifts to the 2015 Campership Challenge must be made between April 27 and May 31 in order to qualify for the match.
“Several of our team members as well as my daughter have been greatly impacted by their Girl Scouts experiences. Our company is proud to support opportunities for future leaders to experience the benefits of camp,” shared Mark Cavaliero, CEO and founder of Carolinas IT.
According to a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, More Than S’mores (2014), girls who regularly spend time outdoors eclipse their peers who spend less time outdoors in environmental stewardship, more readily seek challenges, and are better problem solvers—all important traits in twenty-first century leadership. Outdoor experiences are also particularly beneficial to girls of comparatively low socioeconomic status (SES). More Than S’mores finds that lower-SES girls who have regular outdoor exposure through Girl Scouts are likely to credit Girl Scouts with helping them become leaders.
“We are committed to making the remarkable experience of attending summer camp accessible to all girls who want it, regardless of their background or financial situation,” said Lisa Jones, CEO of Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. Proceeds from the annual cookie sale program help to subsidize the cost of providing programming, including summer camp, throughout the Council’s 41 county region.
Girls and their families pay less than half of the full cost incurred to deliver a week of camp adventures. For example, the council’s total expense for a week at one of its three Girl Scout resident summer camps exceeds $600 per girl. Families are only asked, on average, to pay $265.
Today, Girl Scout camps offer a wide range of sessions — everything from STEM camp and surf camp to Hogwarts camp, farming and sustainability camp, and Camp CEO. Girl Scouts is committed to pursuing its mission through the camp experience, offering an astounding array of innovative, fun, and memorable camp activities that allow girls to build courage, confidence, and character, and make the world a better place.
“Getting girls outdoors is part of their healthy development, and we are happy to send girls to camp who might not otherwise have this opportunity,” said Charles T. Wilson, Jr., president of C.T. Wilson Construction, who is also an individual camp challenge partner.
And it’s not just local businesses stepping up to the challenge. Pam and Jeff Duncan of Brunswick County and Rachel and Albert Blackmon of Johnston County – all longtime supporters of the Girl Scout organization – also recognize the value of Girl Scout camp experience.
“Girl Scouting gave our daughters so many unique opportunities for adventure, community service and leadership that we hope our support of the Campership Challenge will ensure that more girls in southeastern North Carolina can experience the same,” shared Pam Duncan.