GSNMT had a year filled with innovation and success, far too many to share here. But, it is the Girl Scout experience that touches and forms our girls' lives and futures. One story we would like to share is of Mary, a Girl Scout since the age of five, as told by her mentor:
"Mary is the only child of a physically disabled single mother. When I met her, she was in the 2nd grade and already doing the cooking, cleaning, and worrying for her household. We did fun things - the zoo, the mall, amusement parks, birthday parties, and walking dogs - memories that her mother physically could not give her. At the end of the day, however, she always had to return to worrying and taking responsibility for herself and her mother's needs. Her moments with me to "just be a kid" were brief and fleeting. Every summer she talked endlessly about camp Rancho del Chaparral. To her, it was a home away from home, and something she looked forward to every year.
One day at camp Rancho, I turned to see Mary running towards me. She was skipping in the middle of her run, with wide carefree eyes, giggling and cheering for other girls to join her. She wasn't worried about taking care of getting someone from one place to another. She didn't need to worry about what she was going to cook for dinner. She didn't need to plan, in the back of her mind, for how she would balance her homework with household chores that night. She amazed me- I had never seen her so full of life.
Mary is 15 years old now and learning how to be a young woman in a world that asks children to grow up too fast. But, she will always have friends made around the campfire and fun stories of what happened that summer at camp. She will always have the smells of the Mystery Tree and the names of the horses she loved so much. Because when you ask her now what her favorite memories of being a child are - they are ALL about Girl Scouts and camp. It is because Girl Scouts and camp gave her a childhood, a place to feel safe for long enough to remember that she was a kid, a place to make friends, to dream, to laugh, and to recharge for another year of being an amazingly selfless young woman".
We are building girls of courage, confidence and character every day, so that they will make the world a better place. This is the most important work we do. This Holiday Season, please join us in giving a girl a childhood filled with hope and imagination to form her future and make the world a better place...