In the ‘90’s I served as a Girl Scout cadet troop leader. My position as a Public Health Nurse focused on prevention programming and engagement of youth, which introduced me to motivated and challenged youth who sought to make it through the next year, month, day, hour or moment. Girls where especially challenged with bullying, lack of confidence, and dream-crushing life circumstances. The girls that overcame those life trials all had a positive female role model. Sometimes this supportive adult was a relative, sometimes not related, always reminding the girl of her potential, working through day to day issues, and reinforcing the ability to attain a future of her dreams.
When I was asked to be the “non-mom” leader for the group I asked questions like “who will my co-leader be” (yikes! this was all new to me) and “how we could make a difference for these girls”? After agreeing to the new challenge in my life, I met with my co-leader and the troop. We set out to stretch the limits of “planned” risk taking activity to build confidence, expand dreams, while creating opportunities to trust and rely on each other. We learned how to build a dog sled team and run a course, each girl learned and then lead. There were opportunities for camping, volunteering and rock climbing… on an actual rock – no climate control climbing for us! 🙂
On our trip we learned how to care for and organize the work involved with racing dogs. Full wrap-around care, if you want to race dogs, you feed them, care for them, find shelter (when needed) and you identify a leader and followers in the line-up. Our expert was outstanding and the girls fully engaged in the process. When it was time to go out and run the team, the expert demonstrated leadership on the way out and the girl was to lead on the return trip. The excitement was palpable as the teams went out and as the girls returned the level of confidence was clear, they could do it and they knew what it took to achieve success.
One girl returned and called her mother as she pulsated with excitement she exclaimed “Mom, this is the best day of my life, ever!”
That is the moment when you know life is really great!
I am supporting the Girls Scouts River Valley to raise money for the local camp in Rochester. This is one place where girls have an opportunity to explore experiences in STEM, healthy living, financial education, leadership, community service, environmental education, and so much more!!! Your support will provide more opportunities for girls to overcome the stats and grow into confident leaders! Join the exceptional team from WSU-Rochester and donate at https://www.firstgiving.com/team/324480