Featured Grant Story: Friends of Camp Mary White
What is Friends of Camp Mary White? The mission of the Friends of Camp Mary White shall be to solicit members and resources supporting the preservation of the facilities, the natural environment, and the varied historical and cultural traditions of Camp Mary White for the safety, growth, and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Camp Mary White is a former Girl Scout camp located in the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico. The Girl Scout camp closed in 2006 and reopened in 2016 as a private nonprofit camp for girls. Throughout the rich history of Camp Mary White many West Texas girls attend the camp each summer.
When Camp Mary White reopened in July 2016 very few West Texas girls attended camp. Through research the team at Friends of Camp Mary White discovered most girls attend summer camps on camperships due to the financial needs of their families. Many of these girls are raised by their grandparents who are on a fixed income. Another factor in recruiting campers is girls who are Girl Scouts who sell Girl Scout cookies and can utilize their “Cookie Bucks” they earn to fund their summer camp experience.
The 2018 Camp Mary White camperships preserved the opportunity for underserved girls in West Texas attend a camp and experience growth. There are many ways in which these girls grew and changed from their experience at Camp Mary White, including:
Developing an affinity for nature and a respect for the environment
Grow healthy relationships and learning to work together as a team
Gaining confidence and becoming more independent
Nurturing a sense of belonging and a connection to the camp community
This project provided the financial means for 12 girls from Lubbock to attend Camp Mary White. Many of these girls have not traveled beyond West Texas. In addition, many have never been to the mountains or stayed overnight away from their home. This project improved the lives of these girls through experiencing the four core areas of camper’s growth at Camp Mary White. Campers learned by experience while enjoying the fun of camp. They tried new activities, were given opportunities to be more independent, and worked alongside other campers to plan activities and solved problems while also learning to appreciate and be comfortable in the natural mountain environment.
Friends of Camp Mary White in Action Many parents wrote to Friends of Camp Mary White and were happy with the camp experience their daughters received.
“She has learned so much about nature and working as a team to see the life skills she learned at camp put into action daily really make a world of difference.”
“I believe my girl should have a strong community with other independent females that is difficult to find in the community we live and outside the video game technology realm. She needs to learn that life does not exist inside a computer or television. Your camp provides that for her!”
“My daughter LOVED the camp! She came home replenished, connected to nature, and happy to help around the house!”