Posts Tagged ‘Girl Scout Lifetime Member’

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Lifelong Girl Scout Celebrates 80 Years of Building Confidence, Courage, And Character

June 12, 2017

In 1937, Lois “Lofi” Hirschman joined Girl Scouts when she was just 10 years old. Growing up with a learning disability, Lofi found it difficult to fit in during sports, dance, and school. But after joining Girl Scouts, she found her “safe place,” a judgement-free zone where she has continued to fully embrace the Girl Scout Promise and Law for the past 80 years.

Girl Scout Promise:

On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Girl Scout Law:

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout. 

Lofi felt a sense of belonging at Girl Scouts and the Movement gave her what she needed to feel encouraged and accepted during difficult times. Girl Scouts provided her and continues to provide every girl the Girl Scout Leadership Experience – a collection of activities and experiences girls have while they earn badges, sell cookies, go on exciting trips, explore the outdoors, and so much more that make the world a better place.

Throughout the years, Lofi continued her passion for Girl Scouts by serving as several roles including a member of the board, a service unit director, and a troop leader.

As a troop leader, Lofi was an advocate for diversity amongst the girls in her troop – whether that was ethnicity, age, or religion. She continues to believe that all girls can learn from each other and help them better understand others perspective.

“I want people to understand others and help other people”

“People are fascinating.”

Lofi served many troops throughout her many years of service and always vowed to allow girls to choose their journeys and to provide them with new opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to do. She believes in the power of learning by doing – when leaders take a step back and allow the girls to take charge, they will be able to learn from each other and “learn to respect others’ ideas.”

From impromptu activities on trips, to serving girls from seven different countries in her troop at once, to advocating and helping those with disabilities – Lofi has made an impact on not only on the girls she has served, but to their families, other volunteers, and the councils.

And at almost 90 years old, Lofi believes that the Girl Scout program is still just as important today as it was 80 years ago. As a lifelong advocate for the girl-led movement, she states that she “dreams in green” and believes that every girl is worthy of the Girl Scout experience.

Lofi continues to share many stories about her troops and how she implemented girl-led experiences and made the best of each meeting, trip, and journey. Her desire to see girls across many generations succeed and learn new skill sets continues to put a smile on her face.

Girl Scouts continues to remain a vast part of Lofi’s life as she displays her Girl Scout memorabilia and awards in every single room of her house.

 

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She continues to write about Girl Scouting, attend Girl Scout council events, and credits Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low, as one of the role models that has allowed her to have a social life, provided her with ethics for family, and showed her to always do what is right.

Lofi was recognized for her 80 years of commitment by Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines at the councils 10th Annual Meeting that was held on Saturday, March 4 in Greenville, NC.

 

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Why I Can’t Wait to be a Volunteer at Camp Graham this summer!

August 4, 2014

By Marsha Kitter, Lifetime Member, Alumnae, Juliette Low Planned Giving Society member

Girl Scouts - NC Coastal Pines VolunteerIn 1969 when I was 15 years old, I had my choice of going to Europe or going to Girl Scout camp. I choose Girl Scout camp.   Camp was the most fantastic experience I had ever had. We slept on army cots in round-up tents with dirt floors. My favorite parts were making new friends and singing songs at meals and around campfires. Many of the camp counselors played guitars as we sang. After two sessions of camp, I knew two things – I wanted to learn to play the guitar and I wanted to work at Girl Scout camp the next summer.

Buying the guitar and teaching myself to play was easy! By the time I went to the camp reunion that December, I was able to join in with the other guitar players as we sang our favorite camp songs.

Working at Girl Scout camp proved harder. Where I lived in New Jersey, you had to be 17 to work at camp.

I shared my disappointment with my high school French teacher. She promptly replied that her sister directed a Girl Scout Camp in New York and she was looking for camp staff. A few weeks later, I wore my Senior Girl Scout uniform to an interview at Girl Scouts of Greater New York. I got the job! I was going to work at Camp Andree Clark in Briarcliff Manor New York as a “Pack Out Clerk”.

The 1970s were thriving years for Girl Scouting’s membership. There were over 300 campers and staff and the dining hall was not large enough to accommodate all the people so two units had to cook out breakfast, lunch and dinner one day a week. As the Pack Out Clerk, it was my job to fill all cookout requests. I also assisted with dining room setup and cleanup. I loved it.

The following summer I returned to Camp Andree Clark as a unit assistant, working full time in a Brownie unit. I spent a total of seven summers working at camp from high school through graduate school. After finishing graduate school, I thought finding a full time job meant my camp counselor days were over …

Flash forward 38 years, and I’m back at Girl Scout camp!

Welcome back, Critter!Last week, I spent a week at Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines’ Camp Graham assisting with the Babysitting/First Aid, CPR and AED leadership unit. If it indicated how excited I was, I took a week of vacation from my full time job to do this!

I used the same camp name “Critter” from my summer camp days. I lived and slept in the unit with 29 girls in the Babysitting & First Aid/CPR group and 3 girls in the Lifeguarding Group. There were 3 other camp staff in my tent. During the first night’s “Meet the Counselor’s” event, I taught my all-time favorite camp song, “The Cat Came Back”. It was an instant hit and was sung at least two times a day for the rest of the week.

So in case you are wondering if going back to camp was all I expected, it was even more. As far as the campers were concerned, I was a counselor just like everyone else. At the closing ceremony in front of the parents, I was presented with a homemade plaque signed by all the camp staff and the girls in my unit that said “Critter, the cat who came Back.”

I can’t wait to volunteer again next year!

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