When I was a little girl, I was short, skinny and had a
pronounced overbite. I was an extremely shy child. My family lived on a farm
and we had no close neighbors. My mother worked nights as an emergency room
nurse. I would see her in the morning when I got ready for school and on
weekends. There were not a lot of activities or social events for me growing
up. Money was always a concern for my family. I was the youngest of four
children and my wardrobe consisted of hand me downs and shoes that were a half
size too big. This did not add to my ability to be confident and outgoing. It
also limited the extra curricular activities that my family could afford.
There were not many affordable group activities available to
me, except Girl Scouts. Unlike all of the other activities Girl Scouts only
cost my parents $12 for the entire year. And what did that $12 buy their
daughter? Let’s start a list:
Girl Scouts showed me that I had infinite potential. Every
new adventure, every new challenge added something to me. I can honestly say
that I would not have the confidence or be the person that I am today if it
were not for my experiences as a Girl Scout. Another wonderful gift Girl Scouts
gave me is the friendships I made. I received my Girl Scout Gold Award in 1993.
It is now 2012 and I am still in contact with some of the girls in my troop.
Now it is my turn. I am a Girl Scout Leader. Both of my
daughters are Girl Scouts. I am now paying it forward. Girl Scouts is an
opportunity. No troop leader begins by saying, “I am going to change these
girls’ lives.” We do not do this because we know we are not the ones changing
our girls. All we do is provide our girls with the opportunity. That is the
wonderful thing about Girl Scouts. It is the girls who make the decision, make
the changes, make the difference. We have no idea what we are capable of doing
until we are given the chance. That is what Girl Scouts does for our daughters.
It gives them that chance.
Girl Scout Leader