By Hannah Staller
I recall my first Girl Scout meeting. At six years old, I sat in a circle of girls I knew from school. I was a shy child, and felt nervous starting a new activity. My mind quickly changed when my Troop leader introduced me as a new member, and the circle of girls enfolded me in giddy hugs and excited squeals. I held my hands high in the Girl Scout Sign as I performed the Girl Scout Promise and Law, making commitments to respect and honor my fellow troopers, my country, and myself.
Girl Scouts was my first experience being part of something greater than myself. I learned the value of confidence, courage, and character; tenets that continue to inspire girls and women across the country. Last Friday I attended the Girl Scouts’ Women of Distinction Thin Mint Dinner. The dinner celebrated strong female leaders who have made an incredible impact in our community. From former news reporter Amelia Earhart’s keynote speech about being the youngest woman to fly around the world, to the seven Women of Distinction honorees, the evening illuminated the accomplishments of amazing women. I was inspired, and left with a greater understanding of how Girl Scouts promotes and develops strong, independent, and productive leaders.
One of the most powerful moments of the ceremony for me occurred when four young Girl Scouts posted and retired the Colors. Seeing these girls, no older than seven or eight, advance with confidence and poise, I could envision their strong futures. The posting of the Colors also reminded me of my days as a member of Troop 858. Although I have not donned my Girl Scout vest in many years, I am proud to be part of a long tradition of empowering girls, and I am thankful to belong to a community that supports and promotes women as leaders.