Senior Spotlight: Carolyn McAndrews

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Senior Spotlight: Carolyn McAndrews

Photo courtesy of Carolyn McAndrews

Photo courtesy of Carolyn McAndrews

Photo courtesy of Carolyn McAndrews

Photo courtesy of Carolyn McAndrews

Clare Mulvay '23

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Carolyn McAndrews is the subject for this month’s senior highlight. Carolyn is the director for a Western Pennsylvania Girl Scout Camp. I spoke with Carolyn about her experience with the Girl Scouts

Q: Can you give me a summary of what you do?

A: I am the Director of Girl Scouts Camporee for all of Western Pennsylvania. I currently am planning meetings, fundraisers, and Camporee. 

Q: What is Camporee?

A: Camporee is a Girl Scout camp that takes place during a weekend every May. There girls learn how to do badgework, about the environment, how to canoe, do archery and expand on the Girl Scout way.

Q: What is your position with Camporee? Who do you work with?

A: I am the Director of Camp. I work with the adults that run camp, counsel, and fellow high schoolers who signed up to be Camp Counselors.

Q: Does it take up a lot of time and effort being a leader like this? If so, how do you balance school work and Girl Scouts?

A: It does and it doesn’t. Overall each counselor earns about 100 service hours throughout the several months working towards Camp. I started planning this years Camporee about a week after we got back from the 2019 Camporee. I would say it’s a lot of hard work, but I love being in Girl Scouts and Camporee so it doesn’t feel like any work. It does definitely get difficult at times balancing school work, Camp work, and work from my other activities, but I somehow end up getting everything done. If there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ve made these commitments so I try working on everything a little bit each night so it eventually all gets done. 

Q: Why did you decide to be the head counselor? 

A: Funny story… when the adults originally sent out the form asking the five sophomores at the time, who wanted to go down the path of becoming the new director. At first, none of us responded. There was a group chat going around with the five of us, and when nobody said they wanted to step up to the plate I decided I should help out. So, the decision at first was because no one else would do it, but I wouldn’t change anything. At first there were times when I wish I could’ve been a unit counselor, but now I’m a counselor of all the units. I get to see all the girls and spend time with them all weekend.

Q: Was there an interview process, or was no one else up for the job?

A: Even though no one else wanted to become a director, I still had to interview with Miss Liz (the woman who runs Camp). I had to write an essay as to why I wanted the directors position and then had to meet face to face and answer some questions. She also told me what the directors position entails.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of being a counselor? 

A: The most rewarding part is helping girls grow as girl scouts and helping the other counselors become the best they can be.

Q: Who is someone who helps you out and supports you the most? 

A: The adults and the other directors help me out. The adults make sure I’m doing everything I have to, and the Assistant and Junior Assistant Directors help me make decisions and help me during the meetings. Along with my family, the adults and other directors all help with supporting me as well.

Q: What are some stressful things that come along with being the head counselor?

A: Some stressful things are probably just making sure everyone is doing well and I am constantly nervous that I’m either being too mean or I’m not being taken seriously. Since I love Camp so much I don’t think anything stresses me out that much, expect making swaps (but everyone has to make them so, it’s no different). Although there have been times where my parents tell me I’m stressed/look stressed when I didn’t think I was, so honestly I might always be stressed?

Q: How long have you been attending Camporee?

A: I have been attending Camporee since I was in the 5th grade as a camper. My parents didn’t let me go until then, and I have been going ever since.

Q: Do you think being the head counselor will help you get into the college you want?

A: I think it will, but I didn’t do it for that reason. I became the director because I love Camp and felt they needed someone to step up to the plate. If being the Director of Camp helps me get into college great, but if colleges don’t look at my position that’s ok too. I do it because I love it.

Q: What’s the best part of being a Girl Scout?

A: The best part is meeting new people and living the Girl Scout way and law. Girl Scouts has taught me an abundance of things and has given me many opportunities. I have also made lifelong friends from GS. GS gives me something to be proud of.

Q: What’s one piece of advice that you would give young Girl Scouts who want to be a good counselor? 

A: Ask questions. No question is a stupid question. Don’t be cocky, don’t act as if you’re too cool for Camp. Don’t be scared to show your love for Camp, when I talk about GS Camp it is the only thing I talk about. Don’t be afraid to try things out, I wouldn’t have been the director if I didn’t try it. And ultimately, just be the real you. You signed up for Camp because you loved it, the more you show the real you and the love you have the more the girls love you and Camp.

Q: Is being a head counselor what you expected?

A: Yes and no. I knew there was a lot of work to do, but not as much as there is. I try my best and hope I accomplish everything.

Q: Do you think you’ve grown as a person from doing Girl Scouts? If so, how?

A: Yes, I think I am the person I am today because of the things I’ve done in my life, girl scouts being one of them. I try to keep the Girl Scout Promise and try to follow the Girl Scout Law as much as possible. I try my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, responsible for what I say and do, respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place and be a sister to every Girl Scout. 

 

Carolyn puts lots of hard work into making Girl Scout camp run smoothly, and she is able to balance her school activities and homework. She shows the true meaning of being a Girl Scout. Carolyn has made herself a great role model and someone to look up to for younger girls.