2010 Year End Appeal: Leadership
Growing Leaders at Every Age Level
Decked out in barettes and her Brownie vest, seven-year-old Lynette walks from cube to cube through her mom’s office, selling nuts and magazines for her Girl Scout troop. When asked what she is going to do with the money she earns, you might expect to her to give a typical second-grader response, like a pizza slumber party or trip to a theme park. Instead, without hesitation, she begins talking about environmental activism.
“We want to help save the rainforest, especially the cotton-topped tamarin, that’s my favorite,” Lynette said. “And so we can help save the Bay.”
Instilling leadership at every age level is a cornerstone in Girl Scouts’ commitment to helping girls learn to make the world a better place -- and that’s just what Lynette’s troop intends to do when they voluntarily donate a portion of their funds to environmental organizations. Lynette is one of thousands of Girl Scouts ages 5 through 17 across Northern California who notice issues and then take action. From a troop in Chico who helped build fences for rescued horses to those who are planting trees to recognize Girl Scouts' Forever Green 100th anniversary, leaders are being created from Gilroy to the Oregon border through Girl Scouting.
Take 11-year-old Marisela. When working on the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award for their age level, her troop turned their love of animals into action. The girls wrote letters to veterinarians and medical supply companies asking for donations to a local animal shelter, and they also decided to donate some of their own money raised from cookie sales to their cause. The result: two large boxes of supplies, blankets, and toys plus a $325 donation that would help to spay or neuter 20 adoptable animals. Even better: after receiving their Bronze Awards, the troop was so inspired by the work they’d done and its impact at the shelter that the girls now volunteer there each month.
“We learned that fundraising can be hard, even when it's for a good cause,” Marisela said.
“Helping is just what Girl Scouts do. Even if you are busy, something little can make a big difference in someone else’s life – a person, plant, or animal!”
The Girl Scout Leadership experience allows girls to lead in their own way, whether they prefer an in-charge style or a collaboration working with others to accomplish shared goals. Jackie, a twelfth-grade Ambassador Girl Scout, did lots of both in earning Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the Gold Award – she took initiative herself and motivated others to take action through her Random Acts of Kindness project. Jackie convinced a local teen club to join her in getting donations to fill backpacks of winter supplies for homeless people in her community. Once filled, Jackie and the group trekked through the January rain to give tarps, blankets, hygiene supplies, and coupons for hot meals and beds at a local mission to dozens of people.
Your donation to Girl Scouts can help us create leaders today who will make a better tomorrow.You've Always Wanted to Change the World. Here's Your Chance.Financial Aid: The Key That Opens the DoorOutreach: "One Day Changed My Life."
Beth Leonard, Sunnyvale
Donor, Lifetime Girl Scout, former High Adventure Girl Scout leader
As a Brownie, Beth Leonard’s troop met a woman who received her 65-year Girl Scout membership pin, and right then Beth vowed she would grow up to get her own -- for 100 years. Today, she’s nearly a third of the way toward her “ultimate goal in life,” and her support for Girl Scouts is stronger than ever.
“That goal helped me remain a Girl Scout through those difficult teen years,” Beth says.
During college, she involved the Society of Women Engineers with Brownie troops to help them with science badgework.
“My Girl Scout training leading camporees and Junior-Senior overnights made the college leadership roles natural and easy for me,” she recalls. “We need publicity? I can do that. Need to negotiate a discount on 100 sub sandwiches? No problem. Girl Scouts taught me all that.”
Beth, who also led rappelling, snorkeling, and other adventure activities for Girl Scouts, looks forward to her daughter attending the Girl Scout camps she visited as a child.
“I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford to make a meaningful financial contribution to Girl Scouting, which helped positively shape who I am,” Beth says.
“I want other children to benefit from the extraordinary programs offered by Girl Scouting, like camps and the programs for children of migrant workers. These programs don't happen without additional financial support, and I am proud to be able to help.”
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