Tell us about your history with the Girl Scouts. I was a Girl Scout when I was young and had an amazing experience. I always wanted to share that experience with my daughters. Both of my girls have been in Girls Scouts since starting elementary school. I have enjoyed volunteering and spending time learning new and exciting things with both of my daughters. Let’s face it, I wasn’t an outdoor girl, but now I am camp certified, can start and put out a campfire properly, know how to tie various knots, cook in a Dutch oven, and am looking forward to be trained in archery, canoe, and kayak. Last year, an opportunity became available for me to join the staff of Girl Scouts of Gateway Council and continue to share my passion and love for being a girl as a troop support specialist for St. Johns and Flagler counties and parts of Duval County.
What kind of activities do the Girl Scouts in St. Johns County get to do? Girl Scouts in St. Johns County can do all kinds of things! Right now, girls are really focusing on the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which not only helps them finance amazing adventures and new experiences but also helps them develop five essential skills (goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics) and supports them in making the world a better place. Girl Scouts also explore science, get outdoors to camp and hike, and participate in all kinds of community service projects. Girls participate in the annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade, World Thinking Day, the annual Discover San Augustin and Ximenez-Fatio House reenactments, Journey Camp, camporee, mother-daughter events and daddy-daughter events, as well as community service projects like serving the homeless and adopting families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, plus a variety of other community and council events. They really get to lead their own adventures and do the things that interest them the most!
What are the easiest ways for a girl to get connected with and join her local club? Any girl in kindergarten all the way through high school can join Girl Scouts at any time! The easiest way to join is for a parent or guardian to visit www.joingsgc.com and sign up their girl. You can find troops near you and join the one with the most convenient location and meeting schedule. Girls can also tag along with their current Girl Scout friends to events and activities to see what Girl Scouts do!
What can a new Girl Scout expect from the weekly meetings? Every troop operates a little differently, so meetings aren’t always the same across the board. As they get started, girls can expect to learn some of the important Girl Scout traditions that are infused in everything we do, and many troops use their meetings to earn badges, work on service projects, plan new adventures, and get involved in their community.
How do you think Girl Scouts benefits girls both while they’re in the program and in the long term? Girl Scouts sets girls up for a lifetime of leadership! Being a Girl Scout helps girls thrive in five key ways. They develop a strong sense of self, seek challenges and learn from setbacks, form and maintain healthy relationships and learn to identify and solve problems in their community. As girls develop their leadership skills, they can take action at home, in their classroom, and in their community, then as women they can apply those skills to their continued education and professional life.