First County Bank supports Darien Boy Scouts STEM camp

First County Bank presents a check to the Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust to assist with their STEM Summer Camp. Pictured with some of the happy campers are Steven Ferguson, left, FCB Business Development Officer, Aitza Cabrera, FCB’s Darien branch manager; Joellyn Gray and Richard Williamson, ASMT Trustees; and Pat Gentile, leader of STEM Venture Crew #353.

First County Bank provided a generous donation to the Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust to support this summer’s STEM-focused summer camp for elementary school boys and girls, held from August 13-17 at the Andrew Shaw Memorial Scout Cabin and led by STEM Venture Crew #353.

ASMT is the chartering organization for STEM Venture Crew #353, a Scouting unit comprised of high school aged boys and girls who are interested in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.

For the third year in a row, STEM Venture Crew #353 members worked alongside STEM-certified teachers to teach mathematics, computer coding, robotics technology and engineering at the fun and interactive camp. The children showcased their learning in a science fair on the last day.

Part of the mission of STEM Venture Crew #353 is to provide “Scoutreach” to children across local communities who may not ordinarily have the opportunity to attend extracurricular programs and summer camps. This summer, they worked with the Norwalk Horizons program to teach STEM activities to children in their six-week program as well as holding the week-long camp in Darien. The Darien STEM camp was open to participants across local communities as well. The donation from First County Bank helped to give full scholarships to 12 of the 27 children attending the camp.

“We realized there was a big need throughout Darien and inner-city communities in Fairfield County for hands-on STEM teaching,” said Pat Gentile, founder of STEM Venture Crew #353 and leader of the STEM camp. “This program focuses on youth teaching youth in a hands-on experiential learning environment,” said Gentile. “The rising first to fifth graders get an opportunity to learn by doing.” About learning from the STEM Crew, Gentile said, “The younger kids really look up to the older kids. When they see older kids in action, it really engages them.”

STEM Venture Crew #353 is open to high school boys and girls. For more information on how to join, please contact Pat Gentile at [email protected].