News > Blog > GSWISE Blog > July 2014 > A dad’s perspective: Why I spend my summers at Girl Scout camp

A dad’s perspective: Why I spend my summers at Girl Scout camp

When I fill out my vacation request form for work each year in late November, I put down that I am going to Girl Scout Camp. The next question I usually get is: “Why are you taking a week off for that?” 

It is a great question that usually gets asked by more than just my co-workers.

My initial joke answer is usually that my wife is the camp director and I do not really have much of a choice. But the truth is that spending the week together with my entire family at Camp Winding River is more than just a vacation.

Ever since my daughter Anna’s first trip to camp as a Girl Scout Daisy, I knew this was going to be a spring board to her and her troop’s future as leaders. 


Kyle and his daughter, Anna, at camp

In one of her first years at camp, there was a Program Aide with the camp name Superstar. Superstar led all of the girls in songs at the opening flag, did announcements and always seemed to be in the right spot at the right time when something needed to be done.  Even as a young volunteer, Superstar showed tremendous leadership abilities with the younger girls at camp.

In 2007, my wife was shadowing the outgoing camp directors and I was shadowing the outgoing canoe program area leader, Moose. Moose had been leading the canoe program for some time, but was ready to move on since his daughter was going off to college. My background as an Eagle Scout and my excitement for canoeing made this role a perfect fit for me.

So in 2008, I became the leader at the canoe station for one of the area’s largest volunteer run day camps, which brings me back to the original question of why I do this.

Although camp is a week-long exercise outside in the elements, it’s not just about playing games and building campfires. Camp is really about giving young adults the proper environment to become leaders, to set a great example and to take on responsibility for the stations that they lead.

I know most of the girls are in school extracurriculars or have jobs, but volunteering as a Program Aide at camp is a completely different type of responsibility. These young adults are helping mold the next group of girls that will be in their shoes a couple years down the road. They are setting the same strong example that Superstar set for my daughter years ago. It is a win-win situation for all of the girls involved.

From my perspective, anything that I can do to help promote girls and young women in leadership roles it is a worthwhile cause. If I can give my daughter, who goes by the camp name of Otter, just one more opportunity to be in the position to use her strengths to succeed, the better off all of the Girl Scouts will be.

— Kyle Bedalov (camp name K-Dog), canoe program area leader at Volunteer Led Day Camp
Posted: 7/29/2014 4:33:00 PM by Lauren Sieben | with 4 comments
Comments
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This really is genuinely excellent news. Thank you for sharing it with us!
9/1/2014 3:39:09 AM

Andy
As a dad with several scouts and a camp director wife, I didn't initially have your perspective. But having been involved for the past several camps and observed girls grow and mature in leadership ability, my perspectives have matured! Thanks for sharing your time and perspectives. (BTW..K-Dog is an awesome camp name) - Andy (aka Robin Hood)
7/31/2014 4:47:28 PM

RB
K-Dog, you rock! You're absolutely right...it's not JUST camp; it's a leadership opportunity, confidence-building, skill-rich, powerful, door-opening experience full of fun and camaraderie. Girls learn to be self-sufficient while valuing teamwork, happiness has its place with sadness, and success is nothing without a little failure too. Group living is a skill that prepares girls (and boys, too!) for success in other life landscapes. I applaud your enthusiastic support of your daughter's future. She and the other girls in her area are lucky to have you in their court!
7/31/2014 10:39:57 AM

Suzanne Lorenz
Thanks Kyle for volunteering (Michelle too!) Without volunteers like you the girls of PHSU would not get such a wonderful experience!
7/31/2014 7:03:58 AM

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