(COLORADO SPRINGS) – It’s Summer Heat time! We’re not talking temperature in this case, but the Summer Heat summer camp.
“It’s a girls firefighting camp, actually it’s a leadership camp using fire fighting as a medium,” commented Lieutenant Rachael Staebell, a firefighter and VP of Summer Heat.
The camp provides older scouts the chance “To learn,” according to a news release sent by the Girl Scouts of Colorado, “real fire and emergency rescue skills from female firefighters with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.”
On top of that, the camp works to build confidence and leadership values giving girls a chance to try out firefighting for a day.
“And if they like it, then it’s something they know they can pursue. And it’s a unique chance, allowing these girls to do something they’ve never done before,” continued Lieutenant Staebell.
This year, changing it up the camp is working with the Girl Scouts for the first time.
Which means today for many girls included climbing super tall ladders,working with the jaws of life to tear apart cars, learning the ropes when it comes to hoses, and figuring out the ins and outs of the firefighter’s yellow gear.
“We say our mission is to build women of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. So partnering with summer heat, learning real life leadership skills from women in strong, powerful careers fits in line with the Girl Scout’s mission,” said Anna Danila, outdoor program manager for the Girl Scouts of Colorado.
At the end of the day, these girls said they have a new perspective on the profession.
“I definitely feel like I could see myself as a firefighter,” said Ava Jakusovszky, a camp participant.
“Firefighting is never something I’ve ever really wanted to do. But today has given me a whole different perspective. I’ve got to see so many women and how they deal with the field, and it’s really inspiring,” elaborated Kennedy Gleim, another camper.
And the lessons learned, they say, can be used for any and everything, “We can apply the leadership and teamwork skills we learned to our future jobs or careers or to school,” said Alyssa Daly, yet another camper.
Even if these girls decide firefighting is not in the cards for them; organizers want to make it clear that there’s nothing these girls can’t do.
“We love when girls walk away from programs saying, ‘wow, I didn’t know I could do that,'” said Anna.
“My hope is that they will walk out of here more confident and understanding that, ‘hey, I just did that, imagine all the other stuff [I] can do,'” finished Lieutenant Staebell.
This year the Girl Scouts only participated in a one day camp; however, next year the plan is to go to Summer Heat for a whole week.
Eventually, Lieutenant Staebell hopes to expand the camp’s parameters to include other first responder and public service roles.