Girl Scout hand-builds library to combat ‘summer slump’

The new facility at Camp Inawendiwin was unveiled on Oct. 1

Courtesy of Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey
“We built everything using wood and nails, which was nice, because I got to learn to use hand tools,” Girl Scout Wyn Bremner said of her project.

There is a new library at Camp Inawendiwin in Tabernacle thanks to Wyn Bremner, a 14-year-old Girl Scout from West Berlin.

Bremner a freshman at Camden County Technical School, attends Camp Inawendiwin during the summer and wanted to do something to help her peers combat the loss of reading skills, or what she learned was called the “summer slump.”

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Through research, Bremner learned kids in grades three to five lose about 20% of their school-year gains in reading and 27% of their gains in math, according to Scholastic. The same source reports that only 48% of parents with students between the ages of 6 and 17 have even heard of summer slump. The best way to combat summer slump is by reading, according to

That’s why Bremner thought of building a library for her Girl Scout Bronze Award project. She took matters into her own hands – literally – by hand-building her own public library with the help of family and friends. During the process, she organized several donations of books through her school and camp and was able to fill the shelves of her hand-made bookcases.

The library officially opened on Oct. 1 with an unveiling celebration. Bremner is currently a Juliette in the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey, and joined the Scouts as a Daisy.

“I like it a lot,” she said of the organization. “It’s always fun, because there’s always activities you can do and it’s always helpful when we learn new skills as well.”

Learning new skills is exactly what Bremner did with her own library.

“We built everything using wood and nails, which was nice, because I got to learn to use hand tools,” she noted, adding that the new skill was the most challenging part of the project.

For her effort to make reading available for all, Bremner earned her Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest award for a Girl Scout and designed for sixth, seventh and eighth graders to research an issue, make a plan to address it, and then take action to improve their communities.  

Bremner, who is a self-described book worm and has had a passion for books since she was young, related that she “felt pretty good to realize that my work was going to help others.”

Camp Inawendiwin, 71 Powell Place Road, is available to the public all year round and has a permanent book dropoff location. Bremner is constantly restocking it with fresh books.

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