Opportunity: “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” If you are a fan of our movement, I think you would agree opportunity is a synonym for Girl Scouts. If words had colors, opportunity would be colored Hunter Green. This summer punctuated this fact more than ever for me. Girl Scouts is always a beginning, never an end. It is the beginning of reinforcing character and courage; it is always a stepping stone to a large dose of confidence. Certainly, the opportunities and confidence that cookie entrepreneurship provides is the starting point to a life journey of good. But that is only a portion of the opportunity afforded. This summer, for example, the power of the cookie provided so many troops the ability to fly to far away destinations such as Greece, Germany, and Great Britain. This spring, Savannah was the destination of choice for troop trips. This is a huge reward of good cookie entrepreneurship. Today as I write this blog, I am visiting with Girls to Seattle, who made our troop-to-troop program such a success.
Girl Scouts open doors too. My troop will meet the penguin they adopted this weekend for Fall Sale. They will learn much about a penguin from the keeper. The Seattle trip also gave us an opportunity to meet Miss Washington. She is a motivated young woman on a yearlong campaign to raise awareness of autoimmune diseases among children. Fresh off her coronation this summer, she reached out to Girl Scouts because she wanted to connect with Girls. Opportunity earned. As another example, some Girl Scouts got to visit with the US Women Military soccer team this summer, and some continue to stay in touch with this incredible group of women athletes. Our reputation of good opens up huge doors for others to come through and meet our Girl Scouts. Soon our Tri-Cities astronomy club, our Space Scouts, will meet with Kayla Barron, a current astronaut. Girl Scouts is truly a rocket ship to opportunity.
And our largest opportunity provided every summer is camp, both resident and day camp. Over 1,200 Girl Scout camp touches happened this summer, a 15% increase from last year! Think of what camp provides—independence, fun, an appreciation of the outdoors, water experiences, to name a few—and friendships to last a lifetime. And all of this rolls together to do one critical thing—build confidence! Our Girl Scout opportunity always yields confidence. I saw this front and center in the Seattle trip this week. We visited the Space Needle, and one of the floors is glass, and it rotates. Two Girls were nervous about the heights, but by the end of the night—they both ventured out on the glass and took pictures. We asked them at the end of the trip what their favorite part was, and they said having the confidence to go out on the glass. That confidence will stay with them forever. This gift was made possible because of the opportunities and experiences Girl Scouts provides. One other special opportunity that Girl Scouts gives—the opportunity to meet so many friends. Lily, a West Plains cadette, affirmed this when asked what her favorite part of the trip was—“I liked all the new friends I made.” Girl Scouts...yes, a circle of friendship, but also a lifetime of opportunity!