Archive for the ‘Girl Scouts’ Category

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My Return on Investment When It Comes to Girl Scouts

June 29, 2015

Girl Scout Troop

By Kenna C., Girl Scout Volunteer Troop Leader

When my friend, Rachel, wanted to start her own troop she asked me if I would be her co-leader. My split decision answer was, “Heck no!” I remembered when my mom lead our troop, how busy she was, how she always thought about the troop. I didn’t have time for that!

Then I thought about it, researched it, meditated on it, and said YES. I am a feminist, a mother of one son, a bringer of joy, and a human looking for a way to make a difference in the world. I was actually looking for volunteer opportunities at the time and Girl Scouts seemed like a great place to pour my energy. Rachel and I went through the calls, emails, and planning to get to that first parent meeting. We started our first meeting with seven girls and sat in a circle with our palms down. I introduced the game: say your name and age and turn one palm over, and then tell us something special about you and turn the other palm over. My name is Kenna and I’m 38 and I like to take care of my chickens. The first girl to my right said in the sweetest voice: My name is Juliana and I’m five-years-old and there isn’t anything special about me.

Be still, my little heart.

We found out that Juliana really enjoys sports. Around the table we went and met everyone and learned about them. Fast forward a few months and when we play this game, everyone knows that there is something special about them. Perhaps it’s that they are simply growing, developing, and becoming more aware of themselves as people, or that they feel safe and surrounded by their Girl Scout sisters and can share what is in them. Whatever the reason, I am a part of that growth and drink in every moment I have with them. The love I feel when parents tell me that their daughter had a choice between the first night of swim club and their Girl Scout meeting and they picked our meeting overwhelms me. It makes me feel like I am bringing joy to their lives, which is one of the most important and rewarding things any of us can ever do.

This year my Girl Scouts braved the rain to participate in part of the NC Science festival at Blue Jay Point Park on a bird hike and were able to see baby bluebirds in a nest. They bundled against the cold wind in front of Sam’s Club and sold cookies to people on Superbowl weekend. They won the council sponsored scavenger hunt at the Museum of Natural Science. They got to name a puppy at the SPCA and called her Scout; her forever family named her Daisy. I am so proud of these ladies. They bring me joy and make me want to be a better leader for them. They are sponges for learning and are just starting to tap into what makes them amazing. Their parents trust my co-leader and I to be part of that; to be an outside adult they trust to help their daughters find their place in the world is a great honor.

Volunteering as a Girl Scout leader has given me one of the largest Return On Investments of my life. There is no metric for the love I share with these girls – and it’s all because I get to listen to them, think with them, and cheer them on. My Girl Scout troop cheers me on too.  This year I raised funds for St. Baldricks, a group that raises money for childhood cancer research.  My troop families donated, my co-leader and her daughter, Olivia, who is in our troop, came out and cheered me on. My bald head was a great opener for a lot of their questions at the next meeting. We talked about cancer, how researchers and scientists help doctors and nurses help people, and ways we can help others.  I am always floored by their questions and responses and how they can share their own stories with ease. They love me completely and I am ready to keep that circle of friendship going as long as we all walk the planet.

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Leadership Grows at Summer Camp

June 15, 2015

Girl Scout Leadership Camp - North Carolina

By Tracy Sternberg, Chief Development Officer

I was fortunate to attend several different resident camps growing up. My experiences were life changing and many of my summer camp pals have become lifelong friends. I gained confidence and learned that I could try anything and succeed – or fail – and that was OK.

Join me in raising your hand if you too spent some amazing summers at camp during your youth. Since I can’t see your hands, I will assume many of you shared in memorable camp experiences and understand the benefits of outdoor and camp experiences.

Unfortunately, many girls in our community are not able to raise their hands with us. As each school year comes to a close, many girls see the excitement of their classmates who can’t wait to go to summer camp. They dream of what camp is like, and wish they could share their own camp story when the new school year begins. But when paying the bills is challenge enough for their families, they know that summer camp is out of the question.

But this is where Girl Scouting comes in. Each year, Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines holds Summer Leadership Camp for under-served girls. Our Summer Leadership Camp program provides the opportunity for girls from low-income families to attend a week of resident camp at no cost to them. Filled with traditional camp activities such as swimming, boating, and archery – activities many of these girls will experience for the first time – this week-long camp is unique in its focus on building life and leadership skills. Campers take part in sessions that help them build their self-confidence, learn how to form and maintain healthy relationships, define their value system, and understand the importance of giving back to their communities.

In addition to a camp group service project, each camper creates an independent project during the week through which she will “Take Action” in her community after camp ends. To help inspire the girls to achieve goals made during camp, area businesswomen and community volunteers mentor the girls on their Take Action projects. The camp culminates in a day-long visit to a college campus, where the campers engage with students and faculty.

Summer Leadership Camp doesn’t just teach – it activates! By providing this unique summer camp experience, girls having the opportunity to explore beyond their communities and can dream big.

You can help a girl create her summer camp story to share with classmates. Give her the opportunity to grow in confidence and know that her voice matters!

DONATE NOW to send a girl to Summer Leadership Camp.

Questions? Contact Emily Hill at ehill@nccoastalpines.org to learn ways you can help a girl discover that anything is possible.

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