Camp Sugarbush Capital Project Expands Outdoor Opportunities For Girls – Business Journal Daily
KINSMAN, Ohio – Keira Orr confidently paddles the canoe she rides with her fellow Girl Scouts on Camp Sugarbush Lake.
Five years ago, the canoe intimidated the prospective fifth-grader at local schools in Mathews. But his time at Camp Sugarbush alleviated those concerns.
âI thought we were going to tip over and I would fall into the water,â she says. âBut they put a life jacket on me. So I knew I wasn’t going to sink or anything. So I was safe.
In addition to boosting her self-confidence, the Girl Scouts taught Orr to respect nature and love being outdoors, she says.
âI learned how to really have fun and not just play on your electronics all the time,â she says. âYou could just go out and be free. “
These experiences are at the heart of Camp Sugarbush, one of three camps run by the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio – the others being Camp Ledgewood and Camp Timberlane. Sugarbush is the only camp in Trumbull County.
From canoeing to archery, the camp gives girls the chance to experience what they otherwise wouldn’t do, says Shelley Taylor, Scout volunteer and co-owner of Paige & Byrnes Insurance in Warren.
Taylor’s own daughters enjoy what she calls âcreekingâ.
âThey come down the stream and look for salamanders and frogs,â she says. “They can come to places like Camp Sugarbush and experience these things in a way that they can find a love of the outdoors, a love of nature, and an appreciation for things like this.”
To expand its offering, the Girl Scouts of NEO will soon be launching a $ 100,000 capital upgrade at the camp. Taylor is co-chair of the project with Mary Jeanine Pipino, a volunteer and former troop leader for 25 years.
At the heart of the upgrade is the three-acre lake expansion, up from about one.
âThe lake is too small to offer a big adventure for the taller girls who scout,â says Taylor.
Other upgrades include a new lodge and waterfront dock, the purchase of additional canoes and kayaks, and the construction of a storage shed.
Images in the gallery include the Camp Sugarbush sign, entrance, lake, and bus stop, as well as photos of Boy Scouts canoeing and crafts. (The last three images provided by Girls Scouts of NEO)
The council is also considering setting up training for Sugarbush staff, as well as scholarships for Boy Scouts so they can attend camp regardless of their income, Taylor said.
The project will allow Girl Scouts from NEO to bring more children from other counties to Camp Sugarbush “and send paid staff there to run the programs,” she says.
The importance of the project is not lost on Pipino.
Ten years ago the camp was threatened with closure, says Pipino. But peaceful protests involving Girl Scouts and troop leaders from Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties saved the camp, Pipino said. And now a project is underway to improve the camp.
âWhen they asked me to chair this, I was thrilled because Camp Sugarbush is such a gem,â she says. “And we’re going to make it shine a little brighter and give girls and leaders the opportunity to experience a bigger lake and what Camp Sugarbush has to offer.”
Support at the camp means a lot to Taylor as well. She is delighted to see the project completed.
âMy mother came here to scout. I came here as a scout. And I love that my kids love coming here, âshe says. “It’s really special to me that this is passed to the next generation.”
Fundraising for the project is underway. To donate to Camp Sugarbush’s fundraising campaign, visit GSNEO.org/sugarbush, or go to GSNEO.org/donate and select “Camp Sugarbush Capital Campaign” from the designation menu.
Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.