Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Guest Post: Why I Love Girl Scouting

In this ongoing series, we ask Girl Scouts, volunteers, staff and more to share what makes Girl Scouting important in their lives. Today to celebrate the 102nd birthday of Girl Scouting, GSSJC Volunteer Michelle R. shares how her own journey in Girl Scouting led to her daughters becoming her family's third generation of Girl Scouts (we love that!) and how she hopes to help build girls of courage, confidence and character as a Girl Scout leader.

By Michelle R.
GSSJC Volunteer

After a 25 year hiatus from Girl Scouts, I find myself back in the land of badges, handshakes and opportunities. As a girl, I was a Brownie and Junior Girl Scout. My mom, a former Girl Scout herself, started the Brownie troop at my elementary school so I could be involved. But when I began junior high, there wasn't a Cadette troop for me. I had outgrown my local troop options, so my involvement fizzled out to make way for sports, high school and then college. Now, with my own girls at the age to enjoy Girl Scouts, I find myself planning Daisy meetings, ironing badges and remembering the words to the Brownie Smile Song and "Make New Friends".

My husband and I moved our family from Atlanta to Houston last summer when we transferred jobs. Moving our 5 and 8 year old girls to a new community and school was a challenge. For my shy, older daughter, joining an existing Brownie troop helped her establish new friendships at school. She has learned how to make healthy snacks, decorate homemade clay pottery, pet a hissing cockroach and hike around Houston. She had so much fun this fall as a Girl Scout that my youngest daughter started to ask when she could join.

It wasn't until I was reviewing performance goals for my employees in October that I made the Girl Scout connection. The same qualities that Girl Scouts embrace and promote – honesty, kindness, courage and responsibility – are the same ones that I value in my high performing employees – integrity, determination, innovation, ingenuity and equality. If I were to develop a pathway to future success for my daughters, would it not mirror the Girl Scout Law?

So I found myself at a recruitment event in November looking for a Daisy troop for my kindergartner. Unfortunately, there were no openings in the existing troops in my area. They were all at capacity. Even with my busy schedule, I agreed to lead a new Daisy troop. I thought it was important that my youngest daughter have Girl Scout experiences too.

I see my involvement in Girl Scouts as an investment in my own girls and the other girls in my troop. Years ago, I was fortunate to have others invest in my future success. Now, it’s my turn to return the favor...and I get to have a lot of fun while I’m doing it.

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