Sometimes, the idea of travel is as much a summer camp takeaway as tradition or confidence building.

And, if you ask any camp director, they often can share a story about a campers' journey, or a camp initiative to help them achieve success as they travel through life.

Last week, JoAnne Morak, the development director for the Girl Scouts of the NYPENN Pathways, discussed summer camp adventures and figurative roads being paved for camper success at her agency which receives campership funding from the Observer-Dispatch's Operation Sunshine charity.

Getting there

"…We will be sending a few girls to Trefoil (camp) out of Rome this Sunday (one of the opportunities we are offering through Observer-Dispatch’s Operation Sunshine funding). I plan to be there to see them off in our skinned Girls Scout van," Morak wrote in a statement last week.

Among chatter surrounding camp activities this summer, Morak added a bit of color about the people headed to camp in the van.

"Becky (LaGasse) has been a troop leader for four years and decided after she retired, this was something she wanted to do after attending a (Girl Scouts) event. Becky says she loves being a troop leader and doing things with the girls ... The parents of the girls were also very appreciative as they said goodbyes to their children and boarded the van to Trefoil in Harrisville, New York," Morak wrote.

Because camp organizers note that campers often return for multiple summer camp experiences year after year, some of the campers in that van might benefit from a project the Girl Scouts have in store for upcoming camp seasons.

The road beyond

Morak said the Girl Scouts are building a solar-powered STEM lab at Amahami Adventures Camp in Deposit, New York.

This is a development that is made possible in part through gifts – a reality that many camp directors say is key to being able to provide more rewarding experiences for campers.

"We are planning to build a Solar STEM lab at Amahami … thanks to the generosity of two Girl Scout Alum families and capital grants. We are in the final planning stages and hope to break ground this Fall 2019. The Solar STEM lab will be for Girl Scouts and the community as we hope to bring more youth and young adults to what is sure to be an amazing state-of-the-art facility for the area. Although Amahami is in the southern region of our council, we have many youth from throughout the council attend each year," Morak writes.

Contact reporter Jolene Cleaver at 315-792-4956 or follow her on Twitter (@OD_Cleaver).