Soldiers volunteer to help Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i prep for summer camps
A group of U.S. Army support soldiers who were training on the Big Island did more than just sharpen their skills during their trip, they also gave back to the community.
Several men and women assigned to the 25th Division Support Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, volunteered Jan. 24 to fix windows and perform other maintenance projects at Camp Kilohana to help prepare the Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i for summer camps on the Big Island.
The 6.83-acre camp perched on a mountain slope near Pōhakuloa Training Area, where the soldiers were training as part of an annual exercise, is used for monthly and annual Girl Scout activities and includes several cabins, covered areas and a main lodge.
Chelsea Ahern, Big Island coordinator for the Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i, said campers’ experience depends on maintaining the camp.
“We can’t have those camps if everything is overgrown and the girls are tripping over the grass,” Ahern said. “So, having the military come in and do that work for us just gets this camp ready for the girls to be here.”
Many soldiers enjoy the opportunity to volunteer and spend time making life a little more enjoyable for other people. Pvt. 1st Class Domenique Harper, assigned to C Company, Division Sustainment Support Battalion, 25th Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, said volunteering isn’t a one-way effort.
“It definitely benefits both sides,” Harper said. “It helps the soldiers get out there, and it helps the Girl Scouts get a jump start on what they have going on this summer. Anything that benefits both sides can’t be wrong.”
Ahern said the volunteers’ help was just what Camp Kilohana needed.
“Having the muscle the military can offer is terrific,” Ahern said. “We always love having the military here.”
Harper shared his thoughts about how Army life can be more than barracks and motor pools, and can make life a little better for someone else.
“Volunteer more if you get the chance to put a positive impact on the community,” Harper said. “There’s not enough goodness going around the world, but as long as we, as a community, have each other’s back, I feel it’s a step in the right direction.”
The volunteer effort follows the unit’s annual exercise, Operation PIKO, at Pōhakuloa Training Area. The operation is a series of tactical exercises that simultaneously maintain weapons proficiency and strengthen the brigade’s air, land and sea deployment capabilities.
“We’re happy that the 25th Division Support Brigade was able to support this community service project,” said Pōhakuloa Training Area Commander Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin. “Giving back to the community and being good neighbors is a priority for us.”