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Why I'm still a Girl Scout

Most of the girls I know who are in high school are involved in some type of extracurricular activity, whether it be a sport, choir, school club or just their own social lives.
But what I do not see a lot of are Girl Scouts.
I have been involved in Girl Scouts for 11 years now, ever since I was a Daisy. I can honestly say that sticking with the program has been one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life.
Throughout the years, our troop has dwindled in size, losing girls to other obligations or programs.
I’m in a troop of seven girls (see photo), all very diverse, intelligent, creative and intuitive people.
And although we are all incredibly busy with our own priorities, such as water polo, tennis, cheerleading, band, horseback riding, school, friends and family, we all have found time in our busy lives for Girl Scouts.
Probably the biggest underlying reason we are all Girl Scouts is because of the wonderful friendships we have made over the years.
Junior Ashley Reddy from Newbury Park High School says, “The troop I have been with has given me a home away from home.”
And it’s true. We are all there for each other. We all know each other so well and complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
The beautiful thing about our relationships is that, even though we are not all best friends and do not hang out all the time, we can come together at the end of the week and have a fantastic time together.
Along with the tight-knit family we have become over the past decade, the girls in the troop think that Girl Scouts is a great gateway to get involved in the community.
Cassidy Anderson, a junior at Thousand Oaks High School, expresses the importance of Girl Scouts in terms of her involvement in the community.
“ It has opened doors that would have remained shut had I not done Girl Scouts,” Cassidy told me. “We get to do some really awesome things that many people our age do not and will not ever get to experience.”
Some of the events we have been involved in include stuffing care packages for troops in the war, hosting annual fatherdaughter dances and decorating Rose Parade floats. At the same time, we work individually toward earning our Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.
Our amazing leader, Betsy Anderson, has inspired and motivated us all to try our best in everything we get ourselves into and to never give up because something good can come out of any situation.
We all have earned multiple Presidential Service Awards along with our very own Conejo Valley Youth Recognition Awards for the volunteer and community service work that Mrs. Anderson has encouraged us to participate in.
I think all of the girls in the troop can agree that Girl Scouts has taught them incredibly significant skills that they will carry through the rest of their lives.
Amanda Licthl from TOHS said, “Girl Scouts has taught me so many important values that have matured me as a person.”
These values include being considerate, caring and responsible for what you say and do; being respectful to yourself, others and those in authority; and making the world a better place. These are just a few of the key qualities listed in the Girl Scout Law, and they carry over into real-life situations.
All of us are better off because of being Girl Scouts.
Although it may not be a “cool” thing for a 16-year-old girl to do, we can all say that we are proud to be Girl Scouts and we would definitely not be who we are today without it.
Anna Lindberg is a junior at Newbury Park High School.
As submitted to the Thousand Oaks Acorn