Scouting fun for adults

‘Campout’ raises money for Girl Scouts

The U.P. Campout Gala was held by the Girl Scouts at the U.P. Masonic Center on Saturday evening. Over 100 guests had the opportunity to earn badges, play games, participate in silent auctions and catch up with friends at the fundraising event, which supports Girl Scouts across the U.P. (Journal photos by Cecilia Brown)

MARQUETTE — Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, Upper Peninsula region, held their U.P. Campout Gala on Saturday evening. The U.P. Masonic Center in Marquette hosted the adults-only fundraiser for Girl Scouts across the Upper Peninsula.

“We came here for fun and fellowship, we came here because we all believe that girls can find fun and fellowship in Girl Scouts — all proceeds will support our financial assistance program which covers membership, uniforms, volunteer training and camp for local girls,” said Angela Thoune, chief development officer for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, U.P. region.

The event was held in the spirit and spoof of Girl Scout Camp, giving the 100-plus adult attendees a chance to experience some of the fun that occurs at camp each year. Guests were encouraged to wear a mixture of camp attire and gala attire — plaid shirts and denim appeared alongside sequins and glittering jewelry.

“The goal of the event is to support our 2,000 Girl Scouts and 500 adult Girl Scout leaders across the U.P.,” explained Leslie Bek, fund development manager for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes.

In the true spirit of Girl Scouts, each attendee was given a sash to fill with badges earned at stations such as Campfire Sing-Along, First Aid and Knot Tying. Laughter, conversation and campfire songs filled the Masonic Center as attendees made the rounds between the badge-earning stations, played games, entered raffles, caught up with friends and bid upon silent auction items.

Many attendees shared the positive impact Girl Scouts made in their own lives, as well as the lives of daughters, sisters and friends.

“My experience in Girl Scouts is extensive — my biggest love is the camping, the sing-along we do (here) brings back memories of camp as a kid,” shared Carol Romback, chair of the U.P. Campout Gala Committee and 50-year veteran of Girl Scout activities.

Kristy Burt and Melissa Wilson, co-troop leaders of Troop 5002, highlighted the role of Girl Scouts in providing girls with opportunities to work hard, give back to their communities and take on responsibility. Their own troop members have earned trips to Washington D.C. and New York City, spent time with local veterans, served the community and engaged in many other activities that help girls build courage, confidence and character.

The U.P. Campout Gala, which is held every 18 months, was hosted at the U.P. Masonic Center for the first time this year. Carol Romback, chair of the U.P. Campout Gala Committee, thanked the U.P. Masonic Association and Marquette Lodge #101 for their partnership in this year’s event.

“More than anything, we want to thank the Masons,” said Romback. “The Masons have been wonderful to work with, so helpful and giving us a lot of ideas.”

Romback said the Masons not only provided a venue, but also volunteered their time to prepare dinner and help with event setup. Thirty-plus volunteers from Girl Scouts, U.P. Masons and Kohl’s contributed to making Saturday’s event a success.

Organizers noted the event was a very successful night for Girl Scouts, thanking guests, donors and major sponsors, which included the U.P. Masons, Eagle Mine and Range Bank. With the U.P. Campout Gala giving U.P. Girl Scouts a successful fundraising start for 2018, leaders reminded guests that Girl Scout cookie sales will begin Friday.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is