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Camp Encuentro

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There I was sitting on a bus filled with the excited chatter of 30 Latina girls ecstatic to see each other after a whole year. I could feel the anticipation and the excitement amplify as we traveled to the campus of George Mason, where camp Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts would be held. On the bus my friend and I were the only non-Latina girls and I was in an environment I had yet to experience. The girls told us about themselves and how happy they were to participate in this camp again; the excitement was obvious from the radiant smiles they gave. At the camp, I worked as a counselor for 3 days with around 300 Latina girls. During these few days the girls bonded over group activities such as yoga, defense classes, and the banquet on the last night. I even bonded with the Latina Chicas by showing off some my Spanish speaking skills. Finally all my years of Spanish had come to use in somewhere outside of the classroom and it was very beneficial because some girls knew minimal English. This camp was a chance to learn more about a culture during the short amount of time through interacting with the young Latina girls from Frederick County and surrounding counties.
On the last night, I had the pleasure of hearing stories from Latina women in various careers like entrepreneurs and company presidents from around this country and other countries talk about their successes and how Girl Scouts was an influential tool in their lives. I think the young girls were able to envision how Girl Scouts could fit into their lives and help them become more driven, hard-working women in society. Seeing how this organization has grown and spread throughout other parts of the world and is still able to connect us all together is amazing and inspiring to me. Some girls that came were not girl scouts at the beginning of the camp, but by the end of the camp I am certain they wanted to become a part of the worldwide sisterhood. I think the girls enjoyed this camp immensely because it was solely focused on them. All the discussion topics, the speakers, and activities were concentrated on them and helped build their confidence as well. When a younger girl shows interest in becoming a girl scout it is a good feeling knowing that this organization is being kept alive for upcoming generations. I owe so much to Girl Scouts and with my volunteer work through them, it has helped mold me into the goal-driven, hardworking, and supportive person I am today.



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