Guest blogger, Amelia Chikota is an Ambassador Girl Scout in Troop 01033 from Chappaqua. She is a member of the GSHH Media Team. She shares her story on 10 years of community service through Girl Scouting.
For roughly ten years, I have been a committed Girl Scout. It’s hardly just about the cookies. Our focus early on was building a community and learning what it means to be a “sister” to other girls. We did arts and crafts at our leaders’ houses and planted flowers in local gardens. We sang songs and went on camping trips with the rest of our local Girl Scout community, uniting as one girl.
With time, the focus shifted towards expanding on that friendship in order to better the lives of others, and our service projects have grown dramatically in significance. Instead of doing projects from the comfort of our leaders’ house, enjoying our creations but never really letting them see the light of day, now we are eager to share our work, and most of it proves very hard to hide, as we are always out in the community making a visible difference.
As I’ve grown older alongside my troop, the number of Girl Scouts my age has dwindled continuously. This group of older Girl Scouts has been whittled out to a few strong survivors. I wish the girls who left Girl Scouts could see, could feel, the rewarding nature of continuing the Girl Scout program even when you are much older, when your mind is more developed and your perspective on the world is wider.
Every year since joining high school, with my troop, I’ve visited local veterans on Veterans’ Day each year to let them know they’re appreciated, and cooked three-course dinners with local produce for nearby homeless people.
Continuing Girl Scouts has also allowed me to work on the most rewarding project of my life. Starting in my junior year, I’ve collected thousands of books for my Gold Award, a final project for Girl Scouts to which I’ve committed over 80 hours of service. I have worked with the worldwide organization of United Way, where I have found great mentors and guidance.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that in giving, you receive. This almost lifelong activity is a part of my identity, and if I were to relinquish this activity, I would feel void of some part of myself.
If you’re interested in going for your Bronze, Silver or Gold or community service, check out Girl Scouts Highest Awards.