“I also wish people knew that Girl Scouts can’t survive on cookies alone. When I learned about planned giving through Girl Scouts, I was thrilled to know that I could make a truly substantive impact — more than I could during my lifetime.”
I am a third generation Girl Scout and Lifetime member, who has been involved with the movement for over 60 years. One of my most treasured keepsakes is a photo from around 1924 of my grandmother with her troop, all fully decked out in their uniforms. I am proud and thankful to have followed in her footsteps because Girl Scouting is where I learned the decision-making and leadership skills that carried me through my career.
Unlike formal education where we were told what to do, and how and when to do it, Girl Scouting gave me skills to think and make decisions for myself, as well as providing me opportunities to grow as a leader. It is where I found a love and passion for nature and, ultimately, what led me into a career in environmental education. Learning through Girl Scouting even continued into my adult years when I was a volunteer trainer and board member at the council level as well as an NVP at the national level. As a Girl Scout professional at three different councils, I learned about organizational development, board leadership and development, communications, strategic planning, project management and fundraising from annual appeals to capital campaigns. As an Encore Fellow with the Enterprise Integration Team at GSUSA, I fine-tuned my project management and communication skills and absorbed as much as possible from my fabulous team-mates.
What I love the most about Girl Scouts, besides the Promise and Law, is the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. I believe women should have a seat at every decision-making table, that girls learn best in an all-girl environment and that they can and want to do anything boys can do. I truly believe that involvement in Girl Scouting provides one of the best possible foundations for a young woman’s future. That’s why I keep coming back to Girl Scouts, and why it’s the experience I want to support for girls today.
I wish people knew that Girl Scouts is still as relevant and innovative as ever. This organization meets the needs of girls where and when they are. What we stand for has not changed, but our methods have in order to meet the moment. We have kept up with the times while maintaining our core values.
I also wish people knew that Girl Scouts can’t survive on cookies alone. When I learned about planned giving through Girl Scouts, I was thrilled to know that I could make a truly substantive impact — more than I could during my lifetime.
I do not have children, so in terms of generational involvement mine is the last. Girl Scouting is and was a way of life for myself, my sister, my mom, my grandmother, and my wife. Out of this way of life comes the expectation of service and support for the movement. It feels great to know that I can make possible for future generations of girls all of the amazing experiences I had through Girl Scouting.
If you want to make a transformational difference, leaving a gift in your estate plans can be life changing for both you and girls. And even if you don’t consider yourself wealthy, including Girl Scouts in your estate planning can enable you to make a much larger gift than you thought possible.
I am thankful every day for the amazing friendships and experiences I have had through Girl Scouts. Friendships that have spanned 45 years, and we can still pick up right where we left off. Experiences that shaped my direction in life and the person I became. I think of each relationship and experience as a gift. I encourage you to think about the gifts you’ve received through your involvement in Girl Scouts and the legacy you would like to leave for the future. Because if there is anything we know as Girl Scouts, it’s that if we empower girls, if we help them find their voice and their path in life, they will make the world better for us all.