Guest blogger: Elizabeth Klosky, Troop 48 in Cornwall-on-Hudson.
For more than 12 years, Girl Scouts has been a place where I Discover who I am and what is important to me, where I Connect to people in my community and the world who share my interests, and where I Take Action by leading meaningful projects alongside other Scouts and dedicated volunteers and staff. My vest may be heavy, but my heart is light – I love how Girl Scouts gives everyone who gets involved the chance to make the world a better place!
Imagine if you will, a girl who started out very nervous about speaking in public, but with news and a project she was burning to share with the whole world. She tried approaching important people she thought could help, but the words froze right in her throat. Nevertheless, she persisted. She persisted because she knew what she had to say was important, and she persisted because she knew there was a whole sea of people wearing trefoils who had her back. Over time, she gained the skills she needed, gathered an awesome team of helpers, and she led a project that was successful beyond her wildest imagination.
You don’t actually have to imagine. That scenario happens every single day in Girl Scouts.
My Gold Award project allowed me to tackle the decline in bee populations worldwide. Because bees are responsible for about one out of every three bites of food we eat, this issue is vital for all of us! My “Worker Bees” and I took action to Educate, Legislate, and Populate! Educating with presentations, hands-on workshops, articles, and online information about bees and their plight; working with state and local lawmakers to pass legislation to help the bees; and populating the state (and beyond!) with bee helpers, bee homes, and bee-friendly forage. And though I have earned my Gold Award, my project is still ongoing – I want to make New York is a Great Place to Bee a non-profit because this important work needs to continue even after I go north in the fall to begin my degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Cornell University – a connection that Girl Scouts helped me strengthen through my work on badges and Journeys like “Sow What?” and of course through NY is a Great Place to Bee!
From planting flowers and hikes as a Daisy, to animal studies and campouts starting as a Brownie, to removing invasive plants in area forests as a Junior and Cadette, and raising Northern Bobwhites, to competing at West Point Camporee and finding myself dancing along with international rock stars who helped me bring my save the bees message to the crowd at a big Bethel Woods concert, I persisted, and I discovered through Girl Scouts that the world is a place to make friends, dream big, have fun, learn skills, work hard, get dirty, make plans, achieve goals, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, a world where strong women mentors and girls in the lead are everywhere.
I persisted because community leaders like you cared enough to make sure I had the examples and support I needed. Thank you all for making New York a Great Place to Bee!