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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, March 11, 2013

Circle V Ranch Camp Receives Donation of 2,000 + Books and Art Supplies from 16-Year-Old Isabella Virgen

Ray Lopez, director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center gratefully accepted the donation of 2,112 children’s books and 453 items of arts & crafts supplies from Isabella Virgen, a 16-year old Girl Scout, daughter of Monica and Ramiro Virgen, who attends Ramona Convent Secondary School and is a member of Girl Scout Troop 581 of San Marino.


Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center Director Ray Lopez gratefully accepts the donation of 2,112 children’s books along with 453 items of arts & craft supplies from 16-year-old Isabella Virgen, member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles Troup 581 from San Marino.
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Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center Director Ray Lopez gratefully accepts the donation of 2,112 children’s books along with 453 items of arts & craft supplies from 16-year-old Isabella Virgen, member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles Troup 581 from San Marino.

Isabella made the presentation at recent meeting of the volunteer Camp Committee at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles Council office and told of her experience attending Circle V Ranch Camp three times as a Camper-in-Leadership Training (CILT). She stated, “I was so impressed with the programs, the staff with their genuine care and all the help given to the kids. I wanted to do something to address specific needs on the Camp’s wish list. So for my Gold Award Girl Scout project, I developed a plan to reach out to other kids and families to make needed donations.”

Isabella worked with Saints Felicitas & Perpetua School and Parish in San Marino to collect books and host a bake sale. She also assisted a second grade Girl Scout troop at the school in earning their painting badges. She requested they donate art supplies to help with her project. Isabella also requested help from a non-profit organization called Swirls for Girls to donate arts & crafts supplies such as construction paper, markers, crayons, chalk, glue sticks, paint & brushes and more. As a result of her efforts, Isabella has earned (and will receive at a ceremony in June) the 2012 Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor given in Girl Scouts since 1916—to inspire girls to find the greatness inside themselves, share their ideas and passions and undertake projects that improve their communities.

Camp Director Ray Lopez expressed his gratitude, “What a blessing to have all these books for our summer reading program as well as the supplies for our camp’s art & crafts program that is so important for creative expression. I am so grateful to Isabella for choosing Circle V Ranch Camp for her Gold Award project. Isabella reminds us that we can all make a difference!”

Sally Corlett, founder of the Friends of Circle V stated, “ ‘Friends’ are all volunteers who support the mission of Circle V Ranch Camp to provide a traditional, sleep-over summer camp experience in a safe, nurturing environment . There are no dues or fees to become a ‘Friend’ of Circle V, just a commitment to help. I am so impressed and filled with gratitude to Isabella and awed by her commitment and initiative to help kids with all these books and craft items.”

Founded by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles Council in 1945, Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center has been located on 30 acres in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley near Cachuma Lake since 1990. There are eight Circle V Ranch Camp summer sessions, each six days and five nights of traditional supervised fun for boys and girls ages 7 to 13. Campers enjoy activities including hiking, swimming in the pool, learning about nature, archery, arts and crafts, painting, photography, playing games of baseball, basketball, ping pong, foosball, soccer, miniature golf and of course, campfires, skits and songs. (There is no TV, radio or internet access to affect the experience.) Campers stay in air-conditioned cabins or traditional canvas tents. Three nutritious daily meals served family-style in the Dining Lodge offer not only food but also more camaraderie and fellowship. In 2012, the camp hosted more than 1,200 children for this time-honored summer experience. During autumn, winter and spring, the Camp & Retreat Center is available for rental to other non-profit groups and organizations. For more information on Circle V or to become involved in the volunteer Friends of Circle V, please contact Camp Director Ray Lopez at (805) 688-5252 orrlopez@svdpla.org. For complete information, visit the Camp’s new website www.circlevaranchcamp.org.

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