Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Visit to Camp Apasus

If you keep your eyes open long enough, you can see a lot in just a few minutes.  Today I had the honor of taking a few photographs at my daughter’s Girl Scout camp, Camp Apasus. I drove through the cemetery where two of my great grandmothers are buried, and I walked into the camp with my daughter. I saw a lot in those short moments.

I saw dozens of girls wearing shirts with printed expressions like “smart girl” and “kind is cool.” I saw girls running with reckless abandon – jump roping and hula hooping.  I saw some girls who could jump rope while doing twists.  I saw some girls who couldn’t yet jump rope.  I saw the girls who excelled at jump roping encouraging their sisters who couldn’t jump rope well with tips like “keep your head up” and “pick up your feet next time.” No competition. No embarrassment.  Just genuine encouraging and supporting each other.

I saw two girls cry after having a disagreement as a strong counselor calmed them down and helped them through the disagreement.  I then saw them hula hoop off together again, the dispute quickly forgotten.

I saw girls with different hair, build, color and age come together to make pretend boats out of sticks.

I saw a team of outstanding strong young women leading these girls. These young women have their priorities straight, and they lead these young Girl Scouts by example.

I saw the girls line up for the raising of the Colors, and then they reverently raised the flag earned by a deceased veteran.  I saw the girls remove their ball caps and cover their heart with their hands as they pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  They watched the flag with wonder and respect.

I was only at the camp for about 15 minutes, and I saw ALL of this.  I left there with a full heart, for I know these young girls and young women are going to be okay.  I know that just this one week at Camp Apasus is going to make a difference in all their amazing long lives. This camp is made of the stuff that they will look back on in 20 or 30 years and remember - remember the fun, the freedom, the friendships, the go-getting, the risk-taking, and the leading that they learned how to do.  

Thank you, Girl Scouts. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging this generation of girls to be who they are.  You’ve done your job here, as you’ve been doing since 1912.  Keep on keepin’ on! 

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Kelly McMahon Willette, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Girl Scout Mom