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SCOPE’s Hope

Ella Gitler will be returning to CT for her 8th summer as an LIT/Waitress along with her sister Ava, who will be back for her 2nd year as a Dillie! Ella recently attended SCOPE’s (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education)
Junior Leadership Council’s NYC training session; this is her report.

SCOPE is an organization that provides children in underserved communities with life changing opportunities through the experience of summer camp. Children in those communities who commit to staying in school are granted “camperships” to nonprofit, resident camps; which will allow them to develop to their full potential. SCOPE’s goal is to make summer camp accessible to as many deserving children as possible!

Attending the Junior Leadership Council (JLC) training session for SCOPE was a great experience, and I took so much away from just three hours!

There were 30 kids who participated, ranging from ages 14 to 16. We all live in different places scattered in the New York Tri-State area, and all spend our summers at different camps. However, everyone shared one thing in common: a love for camp.

All of us participating agreed that the overall camp experience changed our lives and shaped us into the people we are today. The JLC Training began by the group discussing the reasons we are so passionate about camp and what it is that draws us back every summer.

We got to collaborate in groups with campers from various camps and hear each other’s perspectives on the camp experience.

There are so many deserving kids that would shine at summer camp and have a very successful camp experience, but the opportunity is usually inaccessible. However, this opportunity can be met with the help of our contributions to SCOPE. The JLC Training helped me realize how fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to spend my summers at camp, and I will forever be thankful for my amazing camp experience.

An individual can make a huge difference in the lives of so many kids through SCOPE. Together at the training, we figured out that if all 30 kids in the room were to ask ten family members or close friends for just ten dollars, each individual would accumulate 100 dollars; and we would have 3,000 dollars in total. That is enough to send more than two kids to camp! I was mind blown by the impact a small action like that can have on the lives of kids. That statistic stuck with me.

At one point, someone proposed the idea that one may argue that there are worse issues that exist than not being able to go to summer camp. However, camp holds so much more than just the predictable activities you imagine when picturing camp in your head. It’s a place to let loose, create lifelong friendships, grow more independent, and try new things. It’s a place where crucial life lessons are learned and comfort zones are escaped.

Without the opportunity of going to camp, I would not have 18 of my best friends, now sisters, whom I keep in touch with every single day. I definitely was not as independent and open minded the first time I stepped foot on camp as I am now; 7 summers later.

All kids deserve these experiences, which is why SCOPE is such a great cause. My love and appreciation for camp is what motivates me to be involved with SCOPE. After finding the JLC training event especially inspirational, I was driven to start a SCOPE club at my school! I am really looking forward to introducing this amazing organization to my community, and I know that they will be just as inspired as I am. Knowing that my participation will result in children having the experience of a lifetime is incredibly rewarding already.

As a side note, Mitch is Board President of the National SCOPE organization. Jared Reiter, along with the WOC Team (Winter Office Crew of Matt Miller, Amberly Vazquez and Jon Penner) volunteer as well.

Learn more about SCOPE here!

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