As a Girl Scout alumna, you’ve experienced the lasting impact Girl Scouting can have on a girl’s life. As an adult, there are plenty of ways you can pave the way for our next generation of female leaders, like volunteering, becoming a lifetime member, joining the Girl Scout Alumnae Association, or donating to GSNWGL.
Building your first campfire at Camp Sacajawea, traveling to Chicago with your troop, learning how to ice fish on Lake Nokomis—every Girl Scout has special memories of the friends she made, the things she learned, and the fun she had. Share your story and inspire the Girl Scouts of today to make memories of their own. Send us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shauna Stoeger, New London, WI
When Girl Scout lifetime member Shauna Stoeger was a young girl, she was so shy she would whisper what she wanted to say to someone in her family and have them speak for her. As a young woman, Stoeger is outgoing and confident with little evidence of her childhood shyness. “Camp Birch Trails brought me out of my shell,” Stoeger explained. When she was in elementary school, a friend in her troop invited her to attend Camp Birch Trails’ biking wilderness trip program. She declined several times, explaining that she didn’t like biking. “Finally I caved, and by the end of the trip I had made a bunch of new friends. I couldn’t wait for the following summer to advance to the next level.”
While on the wilderness trips, Stoeger was introduced to leave no trace camping and became passionate about caring for the environment and became an avid biker. After completing the fifth and final year of the wilderness trip program, she and her best friend (whom she met at camp) biked the entire length of the Mississippi River from top to the bottom, then cross-country from the farthest western point to the farthest eastern point of the U.S.
“I learned everything I needed to know on the wilderness trips. We kept saying that the Girl Scout way is the only way! I didn’t just go through Girl Scouts and earn some badges. I really got the full experience and benefit. I really live it.”
Melissa McCafferty, Newberry, MI
Melissa McCafferty has been a Girl Scout since Daisies and is now a lifetime member. In high school, she earned her Girl Scout Gold Award. She attended the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut and earned her BS in government. She is now working for the Coast Guard, is a Truman Scholar, and is a potential Harvard Law School student. After graduate school, she plans to do business acquisitions and law for the Coast Guard. McCafferty has also been active in raising awareness of different cultures and belief systems among her Coast Guard peers, and is involved in Girl Scouts as a volunteer, bringing fun STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming to Girl Scouts in the Connecticut area.
Of the organization that has played such a vital role in her life since early childhood, she said:
“One of the most important lessons Girl Scouts teaches you is to be a creative problem solver in order to help other people. Not to care about people superficially, but genuinely. I don’t think you can find many organizations out there that are like that. But Girl Scouts is.”
Laura Kennedy, Greenwood, WI
Lifetime member and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Laura Kennedy has been in Girl Scouts since she was a Brownie. For her Gold Award, she created a Spanish language program for elementary school children. Her love of language and culture grew in college, where she studied abroad at the University of Nairobi in Kenya before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and English. She then earned her master’s in math education and pursued a Fulbright scholarship in Korea. She has been living and teaching in Korea since 2008. Laura explains the impact Girl Scouts has had on her life:
“I am a lifetime member and a strong advocate for the Girl Scout program. The lessons I learned as a Girl Scout are lessons that I still carry with me today. I learned to be an active member of my community. I learned to live a life of service and to care for those around me. I learned about leadership and strength of character. I don’t know if I would be the person that I am today had I not been a Girl Scout.”