When asked what the inspiration behind her decision to choose a particular career path was, Mary Margaret Smith’s response was simple – it was her experience in Girl Scouts. In addition to the joy of shooting and hunting with her father, the leadership opportunities and extraordinary experiences in Girl Scouts led her to becoming a career officer in the Army.
Mary joined Girl Scouts as a Brownie in first grade. Her troop was very active supporting their community and going on trips. After catching the ‘travel bug’ in sixth grade, the girls decided to plan a 16-day adventure to Mount Rushmore. As Cadettes, they visited Calgary, Alberta and even went camping near Sullivan Lake. In addition to traveling, another fond memory was that of earning her Silver Award.
The girls’ Silver Award project was the organization and implementation of an annual summer camping outing called “Mom and Me Camp” at Camp Four Echoes. Mary’s love for camping led to her becoming a Program Aide (PA) during Summer Day Camp at Liberty Lake, as well as volunteering to be the Site Director when she was a Senior. With the collaboration of her Girl Scout sisters, the troop put their event planning skills to use when they prepared for their big month-long trip to Europe.
Just before the girls bridged to adults, Mary and her best friend, Andrea Hoyt, obtained their Gold Awards by designing and building the first cabin in Sherwood Forest at Camp Four Echoes. This project initiated an area-wide cabin-building campaign.
Like a Girl Scout, Mary continued to influence lives, embrace opportunities, and persist through challenges during her adulthood. In fact, after graduating from the University of Idaho she was soon commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Army. She was later selected to join the Military Police Corps and became the top graduate for her class, earning her recognition as Distinguished Military Graduate. Upon advancing from Officer Basic Course at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, she was immediately sent to Iraq as a Platoon Leader for the 194th Military Company. While she was serving in Al-Kūt and Karbala she helped facilitate the return of a young girl to her family after she had been kidnapped.
Mary has accomplished many more amazing things in her life, including being sent back to Iraq for a second and third time, where she spent her time making sure all the Iraqi detainees were given their fair rights and taking the position as Battle Captain. Amidst all of her worthy actions and honorable mentions, Mary’s proudest role has been that of being a mother to her daughters, Angelina Rose and Leilani Marie. As she raises her beautiful daughters, she hopes to instill the same values and characteristics that were bestowed upon her during her time with Girl Scouts.
Thank you, Mary, for all you have done for this world. As a mother, a protector of this country, and a Girl Scout Alumna – you make us proud.