Sunday, April 24, 2016

Camp Fury Chesapeake

Chesapeake Firefighter Paramedic Mandy George faces new challenges every day that she’s on the job. When an emergency call comes in, she races to scene, not always sure of what she and her coworkers will find there. The job can be physically demanding, and there’s always something new to learn in the fields of firefighting and medicine. Now, with five years of experience on the job, George is taking on a new task—leading Camp Fury Chesapeake, an emergency preparedness and firefighting skills camp for girls in middle and high school.

The concept of Camp Fury originated in Arizona and started locally a few years ago in Hampton. Last year, George volunteered at the five-day Camp Fury Hampton and wanted to help bring the experience to girls on the Southside. Through a partnership with Chesapeake Fire Department, Norfolk Fire-Rescue and Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, it has become a reality. Starting August 8, girls, whether a member of Girl Scouts or not, will travel to various fire and police department facilities in Chesapeake to learn firefighting skills with real fire department equipment and gear and learn about nontraditional careers for women.

“Women in nontraditional fields are the ones who can best show girls that they can do the jobs,” George said. “To be honest, I didn’t always want to be a firefighter paramedic. I was a theatre and English major in college. But, I chose this career because I thought it would be a challenge, and it is.”

Jaidyn and Alyssa at last year's
Camp Fury Hampton
This summer, George has plans to introduce girls to a world of nontraditional careers. In addition to working with female firefighters, George has arranged visits from women who work as an FBI agent, a sheriff and a naval aviator. Firefighting skills, however, will still be the core of the camp. Girls will take part in an aerial climb on the ladder truck, rappel out of windows and learn CPR. They will also learn how to carry ladders, connect hoses to hydrants and use a self-contained breathing apparatus.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting the campers and seeing how they’ll grow and change over the five days they’ll be with us,” George said. “I love seeing young ladies set goals and overcome challenges.”

Camp Fury Chesapeake is open to all girls in grades six through 12. The camp will run August 8 to 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and includes one overnight stay at a Chesapeake fire station. Pick up and drop off will take place at A Place for Girls, located at 912 Cedar Road in Chesapeake. The cost for the week is $185. An additional $15 membership fee applies for non-Girl Scouts. Registration can be completed online at or in person during business hours at A Place for Girls. Financial assistance is available. For more information, call 757-547-4405.