By Sydney Kofron
This semester, as a social media intern for Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, I had the unexpected opportunity to work with the Social Justice Department. At first, I was there to observe, making observations about the work of the troop leaders and the young girls. After a few trips there, I was asked by the department to continue to work with the girls, now as one of their troop leaders.
It was an easy transition, as the girls knew me before from the little work I had done with them. They began to respect me as a leader, listening to me when I would begin to take charge, chatting with me about their personal lives.
Before, I thought they had grown a lot in the two times I had met with them, but seeing how they are now is inspiring. The shy girls I had known before have gained a tremendous amount of confidence, completely different from the girls that were present on day one. They’ve acquired skills through numerous activities, like creating bird feeders, interacting with nature, learning how to lead games and the Girl Scout bylaws before the meetings. They slowly but surely began to speak out about their feelings, learning how to respect each other and what it means to be a sister to every Girl Scout. I watched friendships form between girls of all ages and I couldn’t be prouder of their progression.
Of course, there were conflicts between some of the girls. There were occasional issues, or girls not listening, and I learned what it meant to be a troop leader as I would sit down with the girls and problem solve with them. With the goal to keep a safe and judgment-free environment, I was able to connect with girls and earn their trust, making it easy for them to come to me with their problems.
As it comes to the end of my time with them, I could not be more thankful. The girls taught me so much about myself and what it means to be a leader. I know that each and every one of these girls benefitted tremendously from the program so far, and I know they will continue to grow when as they continue to be an active member of Girl Scouts.