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Girl Scout virtual summer camp brings joy to many

Girl Scout virtual summer camp brings joy to many

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Girl Scout Camp

Sophie Mellott monitors the chat window during June’s summer camp.

Two weeks ago, Greene County Girl Scouts offered a virtual summer camp experience that reached Girl Scouts across the country and even in other parts of the world.

Beth Mellott, Tabitha Cole and Grace and Sophie Mellott collaborated to offer summer camp to more than 500 registered Girl Scouts through Zoom and Facebook platforms. They offered songs, games and opportunities to showcase the work of the campers. The camp even provided the opportunity to earn a Journey at each level of Girl Scouting. A Journey is a program in which girls explore interests, learn skills and participate in a “Take Action” project. Journeys are required in order for a Girl Scout to earn the highest awards in Girl Scouting.

Planning for this camp began back in February when COVID-19 restrictions made the possibility of summer camp in its typical form unlikely. The team elected to offer a virtual program after the success of last summer’s shift to a virtual format.

“After last year, we felt comfortable enough with the technology to go virtual this year,” Camp Co-Director Beth Mellott said “We never anticipated having this many campers this year, though, so we definitely had to learn a few new things.”

With 540 campers aged 6 through 17, from 38 states, some from as far away as Oklahoma, New Mexico and Hawaii, and from countries like Qatar, Greene County Girl Scout Summer Camp reached Girl Scouts from all over the world even as summer camps across the country have opened up for in-person activities.

“A lot of camps were unable to open this year due to uncertainty about changing COVID-19 restrictions,” Mellott said. “Many of our families were unable to attend a local camp, but were still looking for connections with other Girl Scouts. Our program offered that.”

In order to make the camp available for as many campers as possible, Mellott enlisted the help of daughters Grace and Sophie to create song practice videos and to help during the live-streaming broadcast.

Grace discovered just how much the camp meant to those attending.

“I really enjoyed watching the excitement on the faces of the campers,” she said. “I miss seeing the campers in person, but seeing their faces on screen really gave me a lot of joy.”

While Greene County Girl Scout Summer Camp has had success in the virtual world, Beth Mellott said that “we can’t wait to get back to scheduling in-person camp next year.”

For more information on Greene County Girl Scouts, contact Beth Mellott at girlscoutsingreene@gmail.com.

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