COMMENTARY: Girl Scouts a great way to get jump start in life

We walk in the doors at 7 p.m. Next, we greet our fellow Girl Scouts and leaders. We walk to the middle of the room and make a circle. I then stand tall with the three middle fingers on my right hand raised and recite;

“I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.”

The meaning of Girl Scouts is listed within the lines of the aforementioned Girl Scout Law. As a Girl Scout, the law is not something I brainlessly recite at our annual meetings; it is inextricably bound into my daily life. For example, the phrase that starts the law: “I will do my best.”

Our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, declared that “Scouting rises within you and inspires you to put forth your best.” This applies to my school work, clarinet and band, chores at home, and speaking in front of my class at school. This standard set by Girl Scouts has allowed me to build a great record

Eryne Jenkins

Eryne Jenkins

and an exceptional activity résumé.

After all, I started out as a second-grade Brownie and now, I currently serve as a non-voting teen member on the council’s board of directors. From touring the White House to performing as the mistress of ceremonies in front of many important leaders at the council’s Women of Distinction event, Girl Scouts has given me life-changing opportunities.

I am much more comfortable with trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. I have met many important state government leaders, including the governor, and held conversation with them. I would not be able to testify to these amazing opportunities had I not been a Girl Scout.

Similar trends resonate with my sister Scouts as the Girl Scout Research Institute reports that 90 percent of parents believe that because of Girl Scouts their daughter is more confident, and 95 percent of Scout parents support that Girl Scouts offers new, positive experiences.

Other Girl Scout terms are used to prepare female leaders of tomorrow for a competitive and innovative world too. For example the three Cs of Scouting: courage, confidence and character or the motto; “be prepared.” These terms help us in a trial and error world, in which we must try things out to see whether they are successful or not.

Girl Scouts is a great way for your daughter to get a great opportunity to “learn by doing,” ultimately gaining problem-solving skills and resilience through hands-on activities.

Girl Scouts is bound to change everyone who is involved within the scouting journey. It is a magnificent opportunity for parents, aunts and uncles, and people in the community to rise up and lead girls in the right direction.

There are a plethora of opportunities to make a change for Delmarva’s girls. While I encourage you to start a troop, there are many other ways you can help. Whether you become a cookie parent in a troop, teach a skill at a meeting, or buy a fall program magazine subscription, you are supporting your local community. You will not only be giving to Girl Scouts; you will be funding projects in your community.

As a Girl Scout, I have completed take-action projects that have directly made Delaware a better place. My first sustainable project was remodeling the Felton Community Center, and building a ramp to make sure it is accessible for everyone. Secondly, I planted and presented a sensory garden to give those with vision disabilities a great recreational activity. In other words, helping Girl Scouts will without a doubt make the world a better place.

You do not have to do it on your own! Become a co-leader and run a troop with other parents. Then, your daughters can grow together and the parents can support each other, as well. In addition, 62 percent of our thousands of volunteers believe Girl Scouts has helped them professionally.

Girl Scouts is about making connections and support systems to propel each other to the utmost success. So, there are positives for everyone to get involved!

Another way to support the work of the largest girl-ran organization, is by donating. Currently, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, your local council, is building a new resource center.

The campaign is called Build the Beacon, in which our council is raising money to build a state-of-the-art building fully equipped to foster outdoor and indoor opportunities that were not previously available. To view the plans for the new building, find information about tours, or to donate, go to www.gscb.org/beacon.

With all of the benefits of Girl Scouting now and our potential for the future, I encourage you to join a group or start a troop today! Go to www.girlscouts.org/join for more information.

Editor’s note: Eryne Jenkins is a Girl Scout Senior and a 10th-grader at Caesar Rodney High School, and serves as one of two teen members on Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay’s board of directors.

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