Americorps Volunteers Lend a Helping Hand at Camp Whippoorwill

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Working to manage volunteers in Florida after the Gulf Oil Spill, rebuilding homes in areas of New Orleans that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and working with Habitat for Humanity in Connecticut are just some of the projects that fill the resumes of the Americorps Volunteers team stationed at Camp Whippoorwill.  For the past month, the experienced group has been working on a number of projects at the camp that have helped reduce overgrowth, increase the usability of trails, program areas, and campsites, refresh building interiors, and more.

“The work that this team has produced has probably advanced our timeline of improvements to the camp probably by a year just in the month they’ve been here,” Ranger Pat Turner, or ‘RP’ as the team calls him, said. “The work of volunteers is really invaluable, and helps us so much in making improvements here.”

The team’s work at the site has come with its challenges. A large amount of green briar and poison ivy in the overgrowth cleared from campsites and trails proved to be a “nasty adversary,” as described by Team Leader Sarah Scherer.

Other projects the team worked on assisted Girl Scouts with their Silver Award Projects at the campsite, including installing a fire circle outside of the Big House at the camp, and installing split rail fencing along the waterfront.

The team graduates from the Americorps program in February. Each has different plans for their future after Americorps, some planning to return as Team Leaders next year, others looking for jobs or returning to school. But all of them agreed that community service and volunteer work would always be a large part of their lives.

“I definitely plan to continue volunteer work after this year,” said Rachel Bixler, a volunteer from Clinton Arkansas. She recommended Americorps as an avenue for Girl Scouts who are interested in furthering their community service work. “Doing these projects and seeing the final result, like working with the girls and seeing the Silver Award projects here, is especially rewarding, and I’d recommend it to everyone.”

For more information about volunteer opportunities at any of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland campsites, contact Bill Ensor at 410.358.9711.

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