POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, HAWAII – Lightning Support Soldiers assigned to 25th Division Support Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, volunteered to help prepare the Girl Scouts of Hawaii for summer camps on the Island of Hawaii, Jan. 24, 2023.
The volunteer effort follows the unit’s annual exercise, called Operation PIKO, and allows the Soldiers to give back to community. Operation PIKO is a series of tactical exercises which simultaneously maintain weapons proficiency and strengthen the brigade’s air, land and sea deployment capabilities.
“We’re happy that the 25th Division Support Brigade was able to support this community service project,” said Pohakuloa Training Area Commander Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin. “Giving back to the community and being good neighbors is a priority for us.”
Camp Kilohana is a Girl Scout site perched on a mountain slope near Pohakuloa Training Area, which is used for monthly and annual scout activities. The camp includes several cabins, covered areas, and a main lodge, surrounded by trees, grass and beautiful views.
Chelsea Ahern, Island Coordinator for the Girl Scouts of Hawaii, said that the campers’ experience depends on maintenance efforts.
“We can’t have those camps if everything is overgrown and the girls are tripping over the grass,” Ahern said. “So, having the military come in and do that work for us just gets this camp ready for the girls to be here.”
Many Soldiers enjoy the opportunity to volunteer and spend time making life a little more enjoyable for other people. Pvt. 1st Class Domenique Harper, assigned to C Company, Division Sustainment Support Battalion, 25th Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division said volunteering isn’t a one-way effort.
“It definitely benefits both sides,” Harper said. “It helps the Soldiers get out there, and it helps the Girl Scouts get a jump start on what they have going on this summer. Anything that benefits both sides can’t be wrong.”
Ahern said the volunteers’ help was just what Camp Kilohana needed.
“Having the muscle the military can offer is terrific,” said Ahern. “We always love having the military here.”
Harper shared his thoughts on how Army life can be more than barracks and motorpools, and can make life a little better for someone else.
“Volunteer more if you get the chance to put a positive impact on the community,” said Harper. “There’s not enough goodness going around the world, but as long as we, as a community, have each other’s back, I feel it’s a step in the right direction.”