Hands and Hearts: Hopes and Dreams

Posted: Jun 24, 2011














In a low income community in Phoenix, Girl Scouts were having fun, making friends, and dreaming big at Twilight Camp. 

Twilight Camp, held in the twilight hours of 5 to 9 p.m. during one week in June, provides girls of Troop Sombrero and neighboring troops with transportation, meals, and of course, plenty of exciting outdoor activities!

Twilight Camp was created to provide girls, whose families might not otherwise be able to afford camp, the chance to enjoy the camp experience and the Girl Scout program.   After nine years, Twilight Camp continues to thrive, reaching hundreds of girls every year. This year, 216 girls participated in this opportunity.

Susan Murphy, Member Services Executive with Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, heads up the program.

“Twilight Camp is unique because it is entirely planned and delivered by volunteers with a few staff members as anchors for support,” she said.

Each year, Twilight Camp has a theme to get girls engaged. The theme of this year’s Twilight Camp was the newest Girl Scouts Journey, “It’s Your Story, Tell it.

This Journey is a coordinated series of activities focusing on personal growth and well being.  Through this Journey, the girls learned how to write and share their own stories and how to listen to others tell theirs.

A particularly special activity this year, the “Hands and Hearts” wall, allowed the girls to express their wishes for the world and for themselves. Each girl wrote her wish on a paper shaped in either a hand or a heart, which was then applied to a mural. The end result is not only beautiful, but is a powerful example of how girls everywhere desire and deserve an opportunity to dream big. By adding their wishes to the wall, girls took the first step to achieving their dreams by realizing they exist.  

Some girls’ wishes bring laughter: one girl wishes to marry her crush someday, and a younger girl wishes that Ariel and Flounder from “The Little Mermaid” would come to life. However, other wishes reveal that these girls are searching for something stronger: Hope. 

Below are some examples from the mural.
  • “I wish to move away and live my dream.”
  • “I wish to graduate from college, work and get married.”
  • “I want to write poems.”
  • “I want to help people as a Doctor or Physician’s Assistant.”
  • “In the future, I want to have a good paying job. I want a nice husband, a nice home and kids.  I want a non-hectic lifestyle.”

In many of the girls’ wishes, the Girl Scouts was front-and-center. Many girls wished they “could stay in the Girl Scouts forever” or “be a Girl Scouts teacher” because, as one girl said “Girl Scouts is in my heart.”

The mural is proudly hanging in the council administrative office.