ST. LOUIS — The heat is not keeping some girls from reaching the sky. Dozens of girls are attending a popular summer camp that inspires them to become first responders.
Camp Fury has been around for six summers and is through the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. The week-long camp is aimed at allowing girls to see what it takes to be a paramedic, police officer, or firefighter.
As well as make sure these fields have a bigger female presence.
“I believe it inspires girls to seek out nontraditional career paths,” said Catie Carr, co-founder of Camp Fury.
Carr is also a firefighter with the Metro West Fire Protection District and she said the camp was inspired by her own story.
“When you look around fire trucks in St. Louis County, you don’t see many females, ” said Carr. “We work in a male-dominated career. I wanted to provide mentorship and introduce girls into male-dominated careers of fire fighting, law enforcement, and EMS.”
In 2022, girls get to learn skills from the DEA and FBI agents. Girls get to also live the life of a firefighter, climbing the ladder provided by the O’Fallon Fire Department.
“I’ve seen a lot of girls out there today, work together in ways that I see at the firehouse too. It’s great to see how young they are starting at and being a team,” said Heather Gump, a firefighter of the O’Fallon Fire Protection District.
Carr said the camp is making sure the girls are staying safe in this week’s record-setting heat.
“We are very flexible, and we roll with the punches. So, all the activities that require the girls to be in full firefighting gear,” said Carr. “We’ve moved those activities to the mornings, so we can try and get it done before the heat exposure in the afternoon.”
Camp attendee, Harper Wood, said she just graduated high school and wants to be a firefighter. After attending the camp for a couple of years.
“There can be a lot of things, that you think you can’t do, but it just takes a little encouragement from people around you, especially here at this camp,” said Wood.
Carr said not only does she hope to motivate girls but to give them courage for a lifetime.
“I believe they gain courage, confidence, and character. Those are themes in the Girl Scouts but those are also themes and being a first responder,” said Carr.
The camp has touched the lives of 125 girls over its six-year existence.