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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Girls build friendships at third annual YWE Camp

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  • Swoosh! Arrows randomly cut through the air piercing into targets with a wham.
    Thirteen girls and their mentors whipped fresh arrows out of their cases and got their bows into position for an archery lesson Aug. 7 during the third annual Young Women's Executive Camp at the Girl Scouts Catron Camp & Retreat Center in Nebraska City.
    Girl Scouts from all over the state and professional women from eastern Nebraska were paired up together for a one-on-one leadership experience at Catron Camp. Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska Fund Development Director Wendy Hamilton of Omaha helps with pairing the girls and women up together for camp. Hamilton said her organization works with different companies that sponsor the camp. Professionals from those companies are selected to be mentors for the high school freshmen through seniors.
    Campers arrived at camp on Aug. 5. The camp ran until Sunday, Aug. 10.
    On Aug. 7, the mentors had arrived to meet the girls. It had only been about an hour since they had met, but there was already a connection building between them.
    "She's somebody that wants to be strong and capable. So she's here to build that," The Learning Exchange owner and President Laura Roccaforte said about 15-year-old Maddie Helm.
    Before camp, mentors and Girl Scouts were given biographies about each other. Roccaforte said that she had already known that Helm was a vegetarian, and much like herself, Helm wants to become an entrepreneur someday.
        "I've learned a lot of things from her," Helm said about Roccaforte.
        Another thing both had in common was they both live in Omaha.
        "Which is really cool. We'll be able to see each other again," Roccaforte said.
        Senior-level Girl Scout Kathleen Howland, 14, of Columbus was paired up with Dawn Green of Lincoln. Howland, whom wants to become a lawyer, said that she was impressed with how Green had to work her way up the ladder to become the branch manager of Great Western Bank. Howland also learned that Green loves to run.
        Green competes in the Lincoln Marathon, and Howland plans on joining the track and field team during her upcoming freshman year. Green was equally impressed with Howland.
        "I could tell that she's a very kind person. She's always thinking of other people and letting them go first. She's really motivated," Green said. "She's a little more of an extrovert than maybe I am, which is going to be good for me because I would be more of the quiet one."
        Terri Rich is an inventory analyst at Nebraska Furniture Mart in Omaha. She has been a mentor at the YWE Camp before. She said that she lucked out in being able to come this year because a co-worker got sick.
    Page 2 of 2 -     "I'm just happy to be here. It's fun. It's a good time. There's a lot of fun activities," Rich said.
        Campers and mentors got to zip-line, swim, participate in team-building activities on the challenge course, cook food outside and walk the trails of the 107-acre campground. But many of the girls and women agreed that archery was a favorite.
        "I like archery the most because it's not something that I don't get to do everyday … not in a city," Helm said.
        "I'm not really good at it. But that's OK. That's what this is all about. It's just coming and trying things that you don't usually do for (the girls) and for you," Roccaforte said.
        "I liked meeting all of the new people here, and also the archery. That's fun too," Howland said. "I'm having a lot of fun."
        Rich was paired up with 14-year-old Clarissa Czarnick of Columbus. Besides playing softball, Rich and Czarnick shared another thing in common.
        "I learned that we're both shy at first when we don't know people," Rich said.
        "We're learning to come out of our shells," Czarnick added while giggling.
        "I taught her, ya fake it 'til ya make it," Rich said. "Eventually it all works out."
        They may be shy about meeting new people, but they both go full-speed ahead when it comes to new adventures.
        Czarnick, who wants to someday be a teacher or a FBI agent, and Rich were excited about the ropes courses on Aug. 8.
        "We've got ropes courses (Friday) and those are my favorite," Rich said.
        The storms that hit the Nebraska City area on Aug. 6 didn't scare the Girl Scouts away from camp. In fact, Hamilton said the only thing that was interrupted was having the campfire. So they improvised and had S'mores indoors instead.
        "Everybody's open-minded and open-hearted and engaged in willing to try new things," Hamilton said. 

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