This week, 30 girls between the ages of 14 and 18 will gear up and work alongside the elite women of Southern Arizona’s fire and police services as part of Camp Fury, our annual high-adventure camp offering immersion experiences into public safety fields, including how to operate a firehose, dust for fingerprints, rappel down a building, and climb a firetruck ladder. This summer's campers include girls from across Southern Arizona, as well as girls traveling to Tucson from as far as Texas, Wisconsin, and Poland.
Founded in 2009 by Tucson Fire Assistant Chief Laura Baker and recently-appointed Tubac Fire Distict Chief and Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona Board Chair Cheryl Horvath, Camp Fury was developed to introduce local girls to a career in firefighting and public safety while encouraging leadership and physical fitness. From Tuesday, May 29, through Saturday, June 2, girls will receive training from officers and firefighters and get firsthand experience with search-and-rescue techniques like rappelling, aerial climbing, and how to perform CPR. The week will end with a recognition ceremony to commemorate the successful completion of the training.
This innovative partnership between public safety agencies across the community and Girl Scouts has grown to include participation from Golder Ranch Fire District, Greater Tucson Fire Foundation, Marana Police Department, Mountain Vista Fire District, Pima Community College Police Department, Rio Rico Fire and Medical, Sahuarita Police Department, South Tucson Police Department, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, Tubac Fire District, Tucson Fire Department, Tucson Police Department, University of Arizona Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol.
Additionally, there are volunteer instructors from the US Navy, US Airforce, National Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Drexel Heights Fire District, Green Valley Fire District, Avra Valley Fire District, Rural Metro Fire Department, Corona de Tucson District, Peoria Fire Department, and Phoenix Fire Department.
“Now in its tenth year, Camp Fury has empowered countless girls to look into male-dominated fields and find the sky is really the limit and there is nothing they can’t do,” says Debbie Rich, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona. “This program reaches girls at a crucial time in their lives and instills in them the ideal that their career choices are limitless, as well as shows them they are capable of overcoming any obstacle to achieve their goals. Future generations of female firefighters, police officers and federal agents will be the proof that girls can do anything.”
Camp Fury has become a model for others in the country, and has been replicated in Hampton, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; St. Louis, Missouri; and Chesapeake, Virginia.