On Friday, August 24, 2018, Girl Scouts—North Carolina Coastal Pines (GSNCCP) volunteers, friends, and staff gathered to honor Margaret (Peggy) Pickard Sirvis, whose legacy gift is helping make possible wide-spread improvements to Camp Graham. Sirvis was a Girl Scout for nearly 80 years who experienced and witnessed the powerful effect of the outdoor experience on the development and wellbeing of girls. Her gifts through the Margaret Pickard Sirvis Fund will ensure Camp Graham remains a place for girls to continue to explore, learn, and grow.
Sirvis was dedicated to the Girl Scout Movement and started as a girl member in Chapel Hill. She also served as field director for the Centinela Valley Girl Scout Council, served as a troop leader in addition to other volunteer roles both there and in Connecticut. She returned to Chapel Hill in the mid-2000s and renewed her involvement with Girl Scouts as a generous donor, a guest star at troop meetings, and a member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society for planned giving donors. Until her passing last spring, Sirvis continued to inspire girls and her fellow Girl Scout volunteers through her adventurous spirit and commitment to making a difference.
Attending on behalf of Sirvis’s family was her daughter, Barb Sirvis, who is also a dedicated Girl Scout who has served as President of the Vermont Girl Scout Council and is a National Volunteer Partner with GSUSA, a donor of GSNCCP, and Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio. Other guests in attendance included GSNCCP Board Chair Bonnie Hancock, GSNCCP CEO Lisa Jones, NC Representative Terry Garrison, and Senior Program and Property Director at GSUSA Sharon Baade.
Sirvis’s legacy gift of $300,000, along with donations made by 20 of her Girl Scout friends in her name, made possible several improvements that will enhance the experience of campers, volunteers, and staff. The new Sirius Astronomy Hub (named after Sirvis’s camp name of Sirius) will house print materials and stargazing equipment including a telescope and “Sky Scout Personal Planetarium,” a digital device that helps girls identify celestial bodies. The first Stargazing party took place on Saturday, August 25, and girls were able to use the new telescope to look closer at the full moon and learn more about astronomy from camp staff and local experts. Additional camp improvements include renovations to the Camp Office, a cabin unit, a bathhouse, a swinging bridge, and the staff house.
Additionally, we have the privilege of announcing that a future bequest from Sirvis’ estate, supporting pilot projects and seed money for new initiatives. Funds from this six-figure gift will be used for transformational projects that help across our council’s 41-county footprint experience the life-changing benefits of Girl Scouting.
The generosity of Girl Scout volunteers and donors like Sirvis make it possible for Girl Scouts to build girls of courage, confidence and character that make the world a better place. The Girl Scout Leadership program inspires girls to try new things and take risks in areas like the outdoors, STEM, entrepreneurship, and more. These opportunities help them to discover their passions and become their best selves.
Join us in our mission of empowering girls and learn more about Girl Scouts and the Juliet Gordon Low Society by visiting www.nccoastalpines.org.