EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – This has been a very difficult summer for girl scouts in southwest Indiana. In late June, a terrible accident claimed the life of a young scout at Camp Koch.
Eleven-year-old Isabelle Meyer was killed when a tree fell on her while a group of scouts was out hiking.
The camp shut down while troops, leaders and volunteers mourned their fellow scout and friend.
But it is now time to reopen.
Eyewitness News’ Shelley Kirk talks to Executive Director of the Girl Scouts of Southern Indiana about an upcoming event to benefit the organization.
Shelley Kirk: This has been a very difficult summer for girl scouts in southwest Indiana. In late June, a terrible accident claimed the life of a young scout at Camp Koch. 11-year-old Isabelle Meyer was killed when a tree fell on her while a group of scouts was out hiking. The camp shut down while troops, leaders and volunteers mourned their fellow scout and friend. But it is now time to reopen Camp Koch. And joining me now to talk about this is Aimee Stachura, the Executive Director of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana. Aimee, thank you for being here. My condolences to you, I know this has been a difficult time. I can only imagine how difficult it is for an organization to go through something like this.
Aimee Stachura: Well, of course. Obviously, we’re so grateful for the community support and so very proud to be a part of the Girl Scouts. We’ve had outpourings of love and just strength throughout the entire Girl Scouts nation. So, we’re very fortunate to have so many people around us to hold us strong and we’ve been very grateful for that.
Shelley Kirk: Ok, and I know you can’t talk about a lot of things here. But that has to be difficult for you to go through as an organization.
Aimee Stachura: It does, but I think it’s important that we try to get back to a sense of normal. It’s part of that healing process and that’s something that when we decided when we would reopen the camp, it was for our Mud Run. It’s our annual event that we do every year and we’ve been planning it for over a year, and we thought this is a great time to continue to do our mission and to serve girls. The Mud Run does support our outdoor girl adventures so, the more people that come and do that, the more they’re supporting the Girl Scouts.
Shelley Kirk: And that is this weekend, right?
Aimee Stachura: It is. It’s this Saturday, August 24th – you can still register. There are still spots available. It is at our camp, Camp Koch. You can go on our website, Girl Scouts of Southwestern Indiana – sorry it’s GirlScouts-GSSI.org, or check out our Facebook page, Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana.
Shelley Kirk: Now, describe what a Mud Run is.
Aimee Stachura: Our Mud Run is super fun and super tough. It really fits the name. We have a ton of manmade and natural obstacles, like an 11-foot warped wall, we have ice pits, we have balance beams, we have tire walls, and we have mud.
Shelley Kirk: We’re looking at a lot of the video from a Mud Run. That was just a puddle they had to crawl on their hands and knees – you’re going to get dirty; you’re going to get muddy.
Aimee Stachura: You are and it’s a lot of fun. I run it every single year and actually if you beat my time, you get a special coveted patch that says, “I beat the CEO.” It’s actually not a hard patch to get because I’m not a runner, but I have fun every single year. I run with a team, the same team every year, and we have so much fun. We laugh a lot, we cry a lot, we get through it, we bond, we have so many amazing stories through it.
Shelley Kirk: So, you don’t have to be an accomplished athlete to do this?
Aimee Stachura: You don’t. I mean if you want to get an amazing time, it’s very tough. Yes it’s timed, it’s very tough. People win through their age categories, things like that. But if you just want to have fun with your friends or try something different and new, it’s a really great event to do that.
Shelley Kirk: Where does the money go from the money raised from registration?
Aimee Stachura: So, all of the money stays local to do amazing things for girls right here in the community. It goes to supporting additional outdoor activities and experiences for girls.
Shelley Kirk: And it’s important for people to know, even though you went through a rough patch, it was more than a rough patch, it was horrible situation, but it’s important for people to know that this mission continues. Tell folks why that’s so important.
Aimee Stachura: We know how important it is for girls to have a safe place where they have friends where they want to be together when they learn and grow and that’s what Girl Scouts is. And I think it’s important, especially right now, to continue to support that. To support girl leadership, to support those individuals that make an impact in girls in our communities lives and we want to continue to do that and this is a great opportunity to show our strength and we’ll continue on and we’ll continue to serve girls in all their leadership goals and what they want to do.
Shelley Kirk: And we have a link to the information on our website, Tristatehomepage.com, where you can get more information on the Tough Cookie Mud Run, as well as signing up and registering for it. It’s this weekend, what’s the time again?
Aimee Stachura: The first wave starts at 2:00, then there’s waves every 15 minutes. Are you gonna run with me?
Shelley Kirk: I have to get syked up for that one, I don’t know.
Aimee Stachura: it’ll be fun. You get cookies at the end, you get a t-shirt, you get a special patch and of course, if you run the Tough Cookie you have to have cookies at the end. It’s really, really important.
Shelley Kirk: Absolutely! Aimee Stachura, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana, thanks so much for being here.
Aimee Stachura: Thank you.
(This story was originally published on August 20, 2019)