We recently got in touch with Girl Scout CSA member Ella B. from Ooltewah. Ella, a five-year Girl Scout member, won the 2017 Summer Camp Patch design contest for Camp Tanasi! Every girl who attends a session of Summer Camp will receive this cool patch (featured below). This G.I.R.L (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) took the time to share about her eventful Girl Scout experience.
“It’s really fun,” Ella said about her troop experience, “I learn a lot of new things and make stronger friendships with the girls at my school and in my troop. We take a lot of trips and have earned many of the badges. I love all the adventures we have been on. It’s fun to look at our vests at the end of the year and remember everything we have gotten to do! Our troop is also starting to do more community service. We all love animals and have been working on projects to help the Humane Society and earn our Bronze award.”
Ella had been camping with her troop every year but was excited to go to summer camp for the first time without her mom or troop. Going in knowing one friend, she ended up with many! Between the platform tents, delicious food, waterfront, and her counselors’ fun camp names, she knew she would really miss camp when her mom picked her up. Kayaking won as her favorite camp activity!
For her winning patch design, Ella was inspired by her time at Camp Adahi. She knew Tanasi had a lake, so she added that in her design with a few canoes.
“Then I came up with this cool idea to add the word ‘Camp Tanasi’ in the trees,” said Ella, “but the whole phrase wouldn’t fit. So I added a cute bear in to say ‘Tanasi,’ and wrote ‘Camp’ with the shapes of the trees.”
We love the creativity!
So why camp? The outdoors promotes play and exercise which leads to confidence. Nature is proven to increase concentration, curiosity, and sense of discovery. Because of Girl Scouts…
- 71% tried an outdoor activity for the first time
- 71% improved in an outdoor activity
- 29% overcame a fear of an outdoor activity
- 48% helped other girls do an outdoor activity. Examples of outdoor activities include camping, outdoor cooking, canoeing, hiking, and ropes courses.
“Ella has enjoyed Girl Scouts especially because of the unique experiences she’s had and the stronger connections she’s made with the other girls,” said mom Kelly, “She and her friends have given me the privilege of being one of their troop leaders, and I treasure that opportunity. It has been incredible seeing how much they have grown in their capabilities and relationships from first through fifth grade. I want them to grow up knowing that they can come up with an idea and resourcefully create a way to make it happen. With each activity, there are girls who are confident and ones who are trying it for the first time. I love seeing each girl leading at times, and being brave enough to learn and try new skills and experiences sometimes as well. I also love the bonds forming between girls and their families when we spend time together. They’ll eventually go off to college, move to a new city, and somehow or another be on their own. Having had the prior experience of going to camp and independently navigating a totally new place with new people will give them the confidence in the back of their minds that they can do it!”
Kelly and Ella are wonderful examples of how Girl Scouts has educated and transformed lives for generations, starting all the way back to its founding in 1912! They show that the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, character, and who make the world a better place works! Thanks for sharing, G.I.R.L.s!
Check out more of the Girl Scout camp study here.
Every Girl Scout’s experience is unique, special, and what you make it. If you want a chance to be featured and share YOUR Girl Scout story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.