Amelia Mayabb’s eyes sparkle when she talks about Girl Scout camp.
The 8-year-old’s mom, Sarah Mayabb, said Amelia would go to camp all summer if she could.
And she came close in 2019. Amelia attended two different resident camp sessions at Camp Molly Lauman in Scioto County, plus she did two weeks of day camp.
Amelia’s love of camp was her motivation during the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie program. She spent hours outside in the cold Ohio winter standing at cookie booths so she could reach her goal of 2,019 packages. That milestone comes with earning a free week of resident camp.
“Because I wanted to go to camp, but I didn’t think there was enough (reward) cards to pay for camp and then I also didn’t want to use all of mom and dad’s money to pay for camp,” Amelia said of her motivation.
Amelia, who lives in Columbus, so badly wanted to attend camp she also chose reward cards at almost every prize level so she would have more money toward multiple sessions.
It was all worth it to Amelia. After previously only hearing about her big sister Harper talk about resident camp, she got to experience the fun herself for the first time when she participated in the Slime Time and Ponytails sessions.
Her favorite part at being at Camp Molly Lauman?
“Meeting new friends and riding horses for the first time,” Amelia said. “I got to tack them on my own, I got to bathe them, and I love horses and it was really fun.”
During Slime Time, Amelia mixed up slime, exploded soda geysers, made ice cream and so much more.
The weeks of camp left a lasting impact on Amelia and she said she is looking forward to another trip.
“I’m already thinking of things I would like to do, either more horses or something different,” she said. “I don’t know, but I’m definitely doing two weeks again.”
But going to resident camp was not Amelia’s only motivation during the cookie season. Sarah, who is also one of Amelia’s troop leadership volunteers, said the girls also decided to donate cookies and personal items to LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence in Columbus[AN1] [MD2] .
The troop spent $250 of its proceeds on diapers, padlocks, laundry detergent and other items from CHOICES’ wish list.
Sarah, who was a Girl Scout all the way through high school, said the cookie program is great because it allows the girls to “take ownership of the program.”
“They get to decide,” she said. “It really helped that we had a couple girls that were really motivated because then it trickles. The troop becomes more motivated.”
With so many motivated girls[AN3] [MD4] , the troop earns more proceeds that are then used to power more experiences for the girls.
Girl Scouts is more than just the cookie program to Sarah, Amelia and their troop. Amelia said it’s a way she meets new people and does fun activities with her friends.
“We get to go to camp, you get to see fun sites, you get to learn things you don’t already know,” she said. “You get to do archery and you get to do art projects and you get to do lots of fun stuff and it’s all with your friends and it’s not just all cookies.”
Sarah said that Girl Scouts really is a build your own adventure for each girl.
“Girl Scouts is what you make out of it. If you want it to be STEM or if you want it to be outdoors or if you want it to be arts,” she said. “Every girl and every troop can craft an experience that’s tailored to them.”