Friday, July 20, 2018

Camp Fury Hampton

Last week, a group of 18 go-getter Girl Scouts took part in Camp Fury Hampton, a summer camp hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and City of Hampton Division of Fire & Rescue to introduce girls to nontraditional careers for women, including firefighting, and provide them with experiences to try new things, develop teamwork skills and build self-confidence.

After a brief orientation, girls got started with firefighter training first thing on Monday morning. At Hampton Fire Station 9, they climbed an aerial ladder on a fire truck, rappelled four stories down a training tower, took part in fire extinguisher training and competed in a bucket brigade challenge. The entire week girls learned firsthand just how challenging firefighting can be. From learning how to tie knots to how to carry ladders, this group of leaders worked hard every day at camp. They also took part in CPR and first aid training, enjoyed a boat outing with the City of Hampton Division of Fire & Rescue and practiced search and rescue missions. Highlights of the week included touring the Nightingale helicopter, staying overnight at Hampton fire station and completing confined space training, a new addition to the Camp Fury Hampton experience this year.

Throughout the week, the Girl Scouts were faced with challenges that encouraged them to work as a team to overcome various obstacles.

“This gives me a sense of accomplishment,” fourth year camper Lavender Oman said. She keeps coming back to Camp Fury Hampton for many reasons, including the opportunity to talk to different people from the community.

In addition to learning about firefighting, girls at Camp Fury spent a day with the Hampton Police Department, where they learned about forensics, internet safety, defensive tactics and homeland security. They also watched a demonstration by the K-9 unit.

Girl Scout Cassandra Madden from Troop 1225 loved Camp Fury Hampton so much, she came back for a second year! She enjoyed the new additions to camp and loved the plan fire simulation at Norfolk International Airport.

The concept of Camp Fury originated in Arizona in 2009 with the leadership of Assistant Fire Chief Laura Baker and Fire Chief Cheryl Horvath who both still serve in Arizona. The camp was brought to the Hampton Roads region five years ago by Medic Firefighter Salvio and Captain Denee Nichols of Hampton Division of Fire & Rescue. Since the inception of Camp Fury Hampton, Medic Firefighter Salvio and Captain Nichols have helped fellow female firefighters start Camp Fury Chesapeake and Camp Fury Norfolk.

To honor five years of Camp Fury Hampton, Salvio and Nichols invited Horvath to join the celebration last week.

“To reach this five year milestone is a huge accomplishment,” Horvath said. “We need more women in public safety careers. The ‘why’ behind this program is more important now than it ever has been.”

Camp Fury is designed to immerse girls in a supportive, all-girl environment where they can develop leadership skills and confidence as they embrace the unfamiliar, take risks and discover what they are capable of.

“The first day was scary because I’m afraid of heights, but all of the people around me being encouraging helped me get to where I needed to go,” Girl Scout Cayla Duncan said. Cayla had a blast at camp and is planning to go again next year.

Congratulations Camp Fury Hampton on five years and thank you to all of the generous donations that help make the camp possible.