Dear Members and Friends of Girl Scouts,
It's summer and camp and travel adventures are in full swing!
In this update, I have included news about:
- Travel - a record number of girl adventures this summer
- Our wonderful camps
- Camp Improvement Campaign for Bothin/Arequipa and Camp Butano Creek
- Camp Milestones: Sugar Pine's 75th and CampCEO's 10th Anniversaries and Ground-Breaking for North Commons project at Camp Butano Creek
- Summer tech camps for daughters of farm workers
- How you can help keep our campfires burning bright
Girls are exploring caves, climbing rock walls, producing plays, backpacking to pristine mountain lakes and traveling the world! During the month of June, troops from around the council traveled to Mexico, Europe, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and 8 states. We also have more girls travelling than ever before to Girl Scout Destinations, including Andes Trekking-Peru, Journey to Japan: Summit Mt Fuji-West Pacific, Channel Islands Adventure Expedition, and Advanced Space Camp.
When planning money-earning activities to earn the money needed for your travel budget, be sure to include what girls can earn through council sponsored product sales! The Girl Scout product sales program is the nation's leading business and financial literacy program for girls and can make the difference with financing a troop's travel dreams. Become the global leader of tomorrow by exploring the world with Girl Scouts today!
This summer, over 12,000 girls will attend Girl Scouts of Northern California day and resident camps as campers and program aides. And at least 305 of these girls will receive financial support from our Campership Fund, thanks to generous support from our donors.
In May, I announced our $5 Million Camp Improvement Campaign, to raise funds for health, safety and program improvements at two of our most-used camps: Bothin / Arequipa and Butano Creek.
Donations of $20 or more receive our 2014 Camp Improvement patch, celebrating the recently completed shower house at Camp Bothin. Thank you to the 652 donors who have donated $19,080.02 to get us closer to our goal. A special shout out to these troops for their generous donations (which earned a patch for every girl in the troop):
- Troop 20219
- Troop 31010
- Troop 32216
- Troop 33283
- Troop 33629
- Troop 60245
- Troop 60318
- Troop 60564
- Troop 60759
Since my May update, we have completed restoration of the wonderful old dairy barn at Camp Bothin - our summer arts and crafts headquarters. Congratulations on the projects completed and underway at Bothin and Arequipa thanks to generous donations since the start of our Campaign:
- Adventure Course
- Arequipa gathering area / fire circle (completion during 2015)
- Art Barn Restoration
- Bush Unit - new ADA shower house
- Interpretive trail connecting Bothin and Arequipa (completion fall 2014)
- Organic garden
This summer we celebrate important camp milestones: Camp Sugar Pine's 75th Anniversary, the 10th Anniversary of CampCEO and the ground-breaking for the new North Commons lodge and open air cabins at Camp Butano Creek.
- Camp Sugar Pine's 75th Anniversary
Saturday, June 26, 2014.
Sugar Pine's campers and alumnae will celebrate 75 years of camping. This photo shows John Muir seated at the base of the camp's majestic Sugar Pine. Sadly, the arborists tell us that the tree has out-lived its expected life. So, in addition to celebrating Camp, we will be celebrating and saying good bye to the Sugar Pine as we have known it. We're hoping to be able to do something wonderful with the trunk. All are welcome to join the Anniversary celebration.
You can click here for additional information.
- 10th Anniversary of CampCEO.
This August, 80 at risk high school girls and 30 mentors will experience CampCEO at Camp Sugar Pine. This will be my 9th CampCEO - 3 as a mentor and 6 as GSNorCal's CEO. I love seeing the girls discover a new self and sense of purpose during their 4 days at camp. Many arrive from tough circumstances - in the foster care system, involved in the juvenile justice system, dealing with homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse and/or abusive situations.
We always determine early on the girls who need more one-on-one attention, and a few years ago Natalie was one of those girls. She was on leave from a detention center program, and she made it clear that she was way too cool for camp - too cool for new friends, silly songs, meal capers, archery, crafts, or mentors. But fun is contagious and fresh air, tall trees, and clear starry nights, are healing. The last day, we went for walk together and Natalie asked me to take her picture. She was wearing a tie dye scarf she made at camp and we captured in her photo, an openness that I don't think she realized existed within her. She loved the photo and kept looking. I think she saw a girl who had been a stranger to her. Natalie spoke at a Girl Scout event a few months later about her participation in our Got Choices program and CampCEO and her mom was there, too. They both spoke about what a life- changing experience Girl Scouts was for Natalie, providing an opportunity to see and move beyond her current circumstances. I wish I could say that Natalie's story has a perfect ending. It does not, at least not yet. A few months after Natalie and her mom spoke, her mom was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer, and Natalie, overwhelmed by the turn her life had taken, acted out, violated her probation, and ended up back in a detention center.
We will keep working with the Natalie's of the world and appreciate the many mentors and donors who have supported CampCEO, with their time and dollars during the past 10 years. You have helped hundreds of girls imagine new futures, see themselves in a new light and build skills to set goals, seek help and learn from their mistakes.
- Ground-breaking at Camp Butano Creek.
August 15, we will celebrate the last day of our 2014 volunteer-run resident camp at Camp Butano Creek, and get ready to start construction on the new North Commons Lodge and Open Air Cabins with a ground-breaking celebration. These flexible new buildings will, maintain year-round camp capacity, replacing facilities that we can no longer use during the winter and spring rainy season, and will provide an infirmary, meeting and sleeping space for our summer resident camp. We have raised $1 million towards this $2.5 million project. You can help us build the future with a donation to our Camp Improvement Campaign designated for Butano Creek.
Each summer, for over 30 years, Girl Scouts has brightened summer days for daughters of farm workers who travel to Santa Clara County to help with the summer harvest. Most of us driving south on 101 past the Gilroy outlet stores aren’t aware of the migrant families living at the Arturo Ochoa Migrant Center and at other housing projects in an around Gilroy and San Martin. At the request of families, our Daughters of Farmworkers day camps, combine summer fun with environmental science, Girl Scout Journeys and a family literacy program. This summer thanks to generous support from Dell’s Powering the Possible for Youth Learning Initiative, 44 (4th- 8th grade) girls in our Daughters of Farmworkers program traveled to the National Hispanic University in San Jose for a week-long Girls Go Tech summer program in video game design, where the girls learned about careers in technology, met role models, and learned how to code while creating a fun game. Over 100 girls will participate in Daughters of Farmworkers Day Camps this summer – all supported by our generous donors.
Even if your camp days are behind you, there are many ways you can help us keep the campfires burning bright for campers today and tomorrow.
- Participate in product sales - revenue from the fall sale and cookie program are the primary source of revenue to pay for camp operations and maintenance.
- Donate to our Tents and Trails Campaign - Your donation will be earmarked for camp maintenance, and you may also designate a specific favorite camp.
- Donate to our Camp Improvement Campaign - Your donation, your troop's, your Service Unit's -- all will support our $5 million Campaign for Camps - supporting major health, safety and program improvements at two of our most-used camps: Camp Butano Creek and Camp Bothin/Arequipa. Donations $20 and up to the Camp Improvement Campaign receive our 2014 Camp Improvement Patch celebrating the recently completed shower house at Camp Bothin.
- Donate to our Campership Fund - Help finance camp for a girl who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
- Help out at a camp work party - A great troop activity - these are free, you earn a patch and get to know one of our camps. Check out the fall dates:Rent one of our camp properties and let other nonprofits know about our properties.
- Fall Camp Work Party Dates 2014
- Hidden Falls (Santa Cruz County): Saturday, Oct. 4th
- Bothin/Arequipa (Marin County): Saturday, Oct. 11th
- Butano (San Mateo County): Saturday, Oct 11th
- The Cove (Napa County): Saturday, Oct 11th
- Twin Canyon (Contra Costa County): Saturday, Oct. 18th
- Skylark (Santa Cruz County): Saturday, Nov. 1st
- Spring Camp Work Party Dates 2015
- Skylark (Santa Cruz County): Saturday, March 21st
- Cordelia (Solano County): Saturday, April 4th
- Butano (San Mateo County): Saturday, April 11th
- Rainbow's End (Santa Clara County): Saturday, April 11th
- Twin Canyon (Contra Costa County): Saturday, April 18th
- Hidden Falls ( Santa Cruz County) : Saturday, April 18th
- The Cove (Napa County): Saturday, May 23rd
- Bothin/Arequipa (Marin County): Saturday, April 18th
- Sugar Pine (Calaveras County): Memorial Day Weekend
- Deer Lake ( Nevada County): Friday, June 19th to June 21st
- Fall Camp Work Party Dates 2014
Thank you for all you do to help girls get outside, get messy, explore and be brave!