2010 Year End Appeal: Outreach
Girl Scouts Reaches Out:
'One Day Changed My Life, and My Life’s Direction.'
Angelica stood away from the rest of the group of teen girls, shoulders slumped, head down, arms clasped tightly around herself. When someone could finally coax a word or two out of her, she wouldn’t meet their eyes. To everyone present, it was apparent that Angelica was lost in a world of unspoken pain.
Just four days later, a different Angelica stepped off the bus that returned 50 girls back from Girl Scouts of Northern California’s Camp CEO, an outreach program where teen girls from underserved communities interact with successful female mentors in activities designed to build self esteem and make healthy choices about life beyond high school. Smiling, standing tall, engaged, energetic, and confident – the change in Angelica was drastic.
“It was great!” Angelica beamed when asked about her experience. “I liked it a lot.”
A few weeks later, Angelica’s court-appointed advocate wrote Girl Scouts, confirming the change the Girl Scout experience had created in Angelica.
“I can't go into details regarding the situation my advocate child was dealing with at the time she went to your camp -- I can only say that Camp CEO came at just the right time,” the advocate said. “When I picked her up on the day that she returned from camp, she was positive and happy -- a side of her that I hadn't seen in a while. She talked about all of the fun things that she participated in, the friends she made … I know that this experience touched her, and it is something that she will remember for a long time.”
Angelica’s co-participants at Camp CEO agree, and their words show that the impact of the experience will last far beyond the four-day camp.
“It meant a lot to me when a mentor told me, ‘Stay strong and beautiful,’” Ashley said. ‘Beautiful’ is not something that I get called. I came over a lot of stuff at Camp CEO this week, and I finally feel strong.”
From Morgan: “When I heard ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world,’ I had to think about what that meant. And then I realized that I can be anything I want to be.”
Ashley, Morgan, and Angelica are just three of more than 6,000 girls each year who might never have experienced Girl Scouting without outreach – where we reach out to girls in communities where Girl Scouting has not had a strong presence in the past: homeless shelters, migrant camps, juvenile centers, rural and urban communities. Places where girls deserve, and need, the lifechanging opportunities that Girl Scouts can give them, regardless of economic status or background.
Girl Scout outreach programs like our Got Choices detention center program, our Hispanic Initiative, Camp CEO, Migrant Day Camp, and many more simply wouldn’t be possible without support from our donors and volunteers who believe that Girl Scouting should be available for all girls, everywhere.
To measure the impact of Girl Scout outreach, you just have to look at Angelica’s smile, the way her shoulders stand straighter. Or hear it in the words of another girl, who joined Girl Scouts five years ago in a detention center. Out of the blue, Lindy called the Girl Scout office this year to report that she’s now in college, taking child development classes – all stemming from one impactful day she spent away from the detention center working with young girls at a Girl Scout day camp.
“One day changed my life, and my life’s direction,” she said.
Learn More:You've Always Wanted to Change the World. Here's Your Chance.Financial Aid: The Key That Opens the Door
Leadership: Growing Leaders at Every Level
Sally Biggin, Hoopa (Humboldt County)
Longtime educator, Girl Scout troop leader and board member
As a Girl Scout leader who helped organize troop activity on the Humboldt County’s Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation 30 years ago, Sally Biggin saw a number of young tribal members leave the reservation for the first time to experience lifechanging Girl Scout programs.
"They went on cross country ski trips, day camp programs in neighboring communities, sold cookies, and learned financial literacy,” Sally says. “Many of the girls in my troops went on to become strong, independent leaders in their community. They have become teachers in our schools, social workers, and business leaders in and outside of their tribal community.”
Today, Sally’s passion continues to be outreach into rural areas – like the small Trinity County community where her granddaughter participates in Girl Scouts.
“Girls need leadership opportunities in whatever culture they live in -- whether it be ethnic, social, and/or economic,” she says. “Girls Scouts is a vehicle to provide those opportunities. From opportunities come experience, and from those new experiences comes confidence and character.”
Sally firmly believes supporting Girl Scouts as a donor helps create leaders who in turn serve as positive role models.
“Juliette Low's personal biography is an awesome story,” she says. “She broke glass ceilings before that concept had ever been coined. I am proud to be able to support an organization that focuses on creating the Juliette Lows of the future."
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