Our family started scouts later than most, our son started the earliest as a Cub Scout, our oldest started as a 1st year Junior and our other daughter started as a 1st year Brownie. I started scouts as a Leader for my daughter’s Junior Troop of 2 girls! I have been a Troop Leader for 5 years and now have a mixed Troop of 5 Cadettes and 2 Seniors. Our children all LOVE summer resident camp. My girls went to summer camp at Small Valley their first 3 years of scouting with the support of financial aid. We couldn’t afford to pay the camp fees for both of our daughters, so I applied for financial aid and asked for 50% in aid for each of the girls. At that time a short summary was required as part of the financial aid packet. We explained to the girls the only way our family could afford summer camp was through the acceptance and approval of the financial aid application and that we would do our part to complete the packet if they chose to compete the summary part, of which both my girls eagerly completed on their own for three summer camps. We wanted our children to understand they too had a role in the financial aid application, that this was an opportunity for them to be active participants in the process even at their young ages. We also wanted them to experience and understand that using resources wisely often leads to desired and productive results. As parent of 3 scouts we simply couldn’t afford send them all to summer resident camp, the combined costs was over $1,700 in camp fees, supplies, and travel costs. We could however contribute to the collective costs and explained to our girls that we were only asking GSHPA to meet us half-way and so we asked for 50% in financial aid. Then in our 4th year with Girl Scouts the financial aid matrix was revised and we learned that we were no longer eligible for financial aid, not even a percentage of aid would be considered as I was advised by GSHPA. That ended our daughters’ summer camp experiences. To say our girls were devastated is an understatement. They both had made friends at summer camp and looked forward to that week catching up with their sister scouts from other Troops in other communities and the loss they felt about not seeing their sister scout friends was tremendous. There was nothing we could do, our strict family budget was extended as far as it would go and while we may have sent one of our children to summer camp we would not allow the other two children to feel as though they weren’t worthy of our finances.
And then came along Jodi and Jeannie with SU-416 and the opportunity for both our Service Units to collaborate on a joint summer camp weekend at Golden Pond. This collaboration meant summer camp was again a reality for our daughters! Our family will forever be grateful to SU-416’s Jodi Vender and Jeannie Peters; they have no idea how much their inclusion of SU-422 has positively impacted at least one family, our family! Thank you for being such wonderful and amazing stewards of Girl Scouts.
40160 Troop Leader
Service Unit 422 Co-Lead