According to Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute, friendship is one of the most frequently cited positive aspects of Girl Scouting. It’s no surprise that the person referenced in our last month’s featured story - who was particularly friendly, inclusive, and welcoming to a fellow Girl Scout alum and member of camp staff - was Marcy Mastel, Girl Scout of 33 years.
You may know Marcy as Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho’s Outdoor Program & Resident Camp Coordinator. But, did you know she has been employed 14 years as a council staff member, seven years as a summer camp staffer, five years as a seasonal employee with Girl Scouts of the San Fernando Valley, three years at Girl Scouts of Western Washington, and one year during an internship at Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland? Most importantly, did you know she is a Gold Award Girl Scout?
Marcy’s Girl Scout story began in 1975 when she joined the organization as a Brownie in San Diego, California. A few years later, she proudly became a Cadette in Newport, Washington anxious to embark on camping adventures. Marcy quickly adapted to the Pacific Northwest’s scenic beauty and recreational offerings through her desire of exploration, thirst for outdoor adventure, and deep appreciation for nature. She also had the privilege of helping start the first Daisy troop in the local area’s history. Being the go-getter she was born to be, Marcy went on to earn her Silver and Gold awards in two consecutive years.
In addition to friendship, the earlier referenced alumnae report illustrates that former Girl Scouts display positive life outcomes to a greater degree than non-alum on several indicators of success, including volunteerism and community work. Once Marcy got a good taste of her ability to contribute to the greater good of society through her Silver Award project, she knew she was capable of doing even more. For her Gold Award project, Marcy helped organize the 1986 Special Olympics. Over the span of 10 months, she created opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to discover new strengths, skills, and successes, while simultaneously inspiring people to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. Even after her project was complete, she continued with her service work as she helped to recruit coaches and support the athletes in their events.
Marcy’s commitment to social welfare has played a huge part in her life beyond her years as a Girl Scout. In 2006, she became a First Aid Instructor through the Red Cross and continues to offer her services to volunteers and staff at GSEWNI. She also volunteers with her church by teaching children’s classes, leading in the ministry’s woman’s organization, and assisting with events.
Along with friendship and volunteerism, Girl Scout Research Institute’s study indicates that longer-term Girl Scout alumnae have higher rates of relationship satisfaction. The study suggests that one’s Girl Scout experience leads to positive effects later on in family life, highlighting parenting in particular. If you ask any one that knows Marcy – they’ll tell you she’s a phenomenal mother. In fact, a mother to another Girl Scout. Makaila, 10.5, enjoys selling cookies, attending camp, and engaging in weekend events and activities. She’s currently brainstorming ideas for her Bronze Award project. Associated with her diagnosis of dyslexia, she sometimes struggles with reading and worries her challenges will get in the way of future success. Marcy always steps in to encourage her by reminder her she’s accomplished other fears at camp, like canoeing to the nearby marsh, sleeping under the stars, cooking her own food, and swimming from dock-to-dock. After a little pep talk, Makaila usually finds the courage to try something new… like a Girl Scout.