A West Chester teenager led lobbying efforts to have her service dog join her at a Girl Scout camp. She ended up changing Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania for good. Rita Giordano covered the details for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Fifteen-year-old Summer Laurin was invited to attend camp. After some convincing from her grandmother, Harriet Laurin, she decided to accept.
But she needed Echo, her service dog in training, to attend as well. Service dogs can be trained to summon assistance as needed or to wake their person if he/she is having a nightmare.
With the help of Malvern-based Main Line Deputy Dog, Summer has been working with Echo to help her process trauma from earlier in her childhood.
“Echo is not just a cute dog I wanted to bring to camp,” said Summer. “She helps me.”
Her grandmother set up a Zoom call with Camp Wood Haven director Ashley Booth and other Girl Scout leaders. After her four-legged helper was approved, several more meetings followed, ironing out the logistics.
The resulting trip was a full-blown success. Echo helped Summer as well as some of the other campers.
Now, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania is organizationally open to considering service dogs at their camps in the future.
Read more about Summer Laurin and her service dog in The Philadelphia Inquirer.