The girls have had the greasiest impact on me. When our troop attended convention in 2008 in Indianapolis, a third of the girls had never traveled out of state. Their experience, along with the sisterhood that developed with the girls with more experience traveling, was heartwarming.

However, my most memorable experience has been as a member of our council’s Gold Award committee. A few years ago I had an interview with a Girl Scout who had submitted her Gold Award Proposal. Her mom attended the interview with her and for the first half of the interview answered my questions while the Girl Scout sat silent with her back to me. I asked mom to allow me a few minutes with the Girl Scout. I was able to get a few single word responses from the girl in order to make sure the girl was in charge of the project and it wasn’t just mom doing the work in her behalf. The young woman’s project was educating her classmates on autism, a personal project since she herself is autistic. Although she was more verbal with me during her final interview when her project was done, the awards ceremony clinched this as my favorite memory. She not only walked across the stage to accept her pin, but stood on stage with our CEO and Board Chair for pictures. Knowing her full Gold Award experience had tears streaming down my face. This was a true example of the growth a girl should experience through the Gold Award process.