The Connecticut Camping Association established the Annual Bernie Moore CCA Scholarship back in 2000 to provide assistance to students pursuing a career in the field of camping, recreation, outdoor education, or a related field.
Bernie Moore was a founding member of Connecticut Camping Association; Bernie helped to begin an organization dedicated to children’s well-being while they are at camp. Bernie directed Camp Maria Pratt in Torrington for the Girl Scouts. She began the program at Camp Workcoeman, a Boy Scout camp in New Hartford – all while raising four children. Bernie was a wonderful role model for so many. Over the course of her career of more than 35 years, she touched thousands of girls’ lives, several of whom followed her path in professional Girl Scouting.
The scholarship was set up as a way to honor her memory. Those chosen to receive this scholarship are dedicated to the lives of young people through camping and recreation. This is our 12th year of handing out this scholarship.
This year’s scholarship goes to Ayaa Elgoharry from Winding Trails Summer Day Camp. Ayaa worked at Winding Trials this past summer as an assistant unit director. In that time period Ayaa has proven to be a counselor that is well liked by the campers and respected by the staff. The experience she had as a counselor was a very significant one in her life. Her family is from Egypt and her parents made a decision to move to the United States when she was six years old so that their children could have opportunities not available to them in Egypt. Ayaa was never able to attend camp as a child and never got to have the camp experience we all know so much about. Her first camp experience came this past year at Winding Trails and it was a decision she says was “one of the best decisions in her life.”
Ayaa understands what the camp experience is all about and how the friendships you establish in camp will be lifelong and the experiences are priceless. After her experience at Winding Trails she had the opportunity to take a college course at UCONN in working with individuals with developmental disabilities. She was then fortunate enough to be a part of a resident camp experience at Camp Horizons during the fall semester. This experience, in her mind, solidified the fact that after college she would like to pursue full time work in the camping industry. One of her goals is to provide summer camp experiences for children who were in circumstances that were similar to hers in coming to this country at a very young age and trying to adapt. Ayaa is one of those people who are moved by their experiences in life and then have the capacity to act.
Ayaa is the recipient of 2013 Bernie Moore Scholarship.
For more information on the Bernie Moore Scholarship, visit the CCA website.