An Iowa-based charity that focuses on giving girls the gift of summer camp is celebrating its 100th birthday today. The National Tri-T Society was first organized by six women at a meeting in Mount Pleasant back in 1911. Carrying on the tradition a century later, Cheryl Thevenot is a Tri-T member from Des Moines.
“We send girls to camp who would not normally have the opportunity to have a camping experience,” Thevenot says. Each chapter raises money to buy clothes, equipment and supplies needed for camp. Thevenot and about 500 other Tri-T members from across the region are taking part in the group’s national convention in Cedar Rapids through the weekend, which will include a trip to Mount Pleasant. Thevenot says she’s involved in the group today because Tri-T sent her to camp in the mid-1970s when she was just nine years old.
“I was one of the lucky girls who got to go to Eden Valley, Minnesota, to camp up there,” Thevenot says. “I got to go for two weeks. They are my fondest memories of my childhood.” She says she learned to swim during her time at camp, overcoming a longtime fear of the water.
The “Ts” in Tri-T stand for Time, Talent and Treasure. The non-profit group has more than 4,000 members nationwide with chapters in 81 Iowa cities and in 14 states. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is among the members.
The group has sent some 22,000 girls to camp over the decades, including 488 this year alone. Learn more at: “www.nationaltttsociety.org“