A member of our inaugural class of ambassadors, Betsy Kirtland, has been active in advocating for grants on behalf of nonprofits since 2016. For the past two years, Betsy has advocated for Circle Camp, where she has volunteered as a counselor for several years. Here’s a short blurb from Betsy about that experience, and how the Foundation has played a role:
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“This August, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer for a week at Circle of Fleur de Lis. Circle is a week long free camp that is for young girls ages 7-17 who have lost a parent. Although what brings all of the campers to Circle is their tragic loss, the traits that they all share that stand out most in my mind are their courage, strength, and resilience.
This year I was placed with a group of five 14 year olds. On the first day, they told each other the stories of how they had lost their parent, and shared their feelings of anger, sadness, and confusion over what had happened. Less than an hour later, though, they all were jumping in the lake and laughing at each other’s silliest dives off the dock. This duality is what makes Circle so special. While the girls are at camp, they are encouraged to feel their grief while also feeling happy, to feel confused while also feeling understood, and to feel sad while also feeling safe.
Circle of Fleur de Lis cannot thank the Ascienzo Family Foundation enough for their generous grant this past year, which was enough to pay for six campers to attend. Circle truly is an incredible week for the campers, many of whom would not be able to afford to attend a summer camp otherwise. Circle is by far my favorite week out of the year, and I know that most of the campers would agree with me - one girl even said that she was going to super glue herself to her bunk bed so that she never had to leave!”
Thanks for sharing, Betsy! (And thanks to Kelly Mosher, another Circle Camp volunteer, and Betsy for the photos).