Some people get enrolled into a sports league or an art class as a child, but I got put into my local Girl Scout troop when I was in kindergarten. Since I was an only child at the time, my mom wanted me to socialize with other kids my age. Being in Girl Scouts would help me break out of my little shyness bubble. A lot of people assume that Girl Scouts is all about selling cookies, but it is much greater than just a box of cookies.

Girl Scouts is all about learning new skills and more about yourself. Since I started off at a young age, I was able to grow a lot as a person. The different activities and the camp experiences in a way helped me realize that not everyone is the same. Some girls never followed the rules whilst others were always willing to contribute to the troop. Some girls hated going to the meetings because it was being forced upon them by their parents while others never wanted to leave. Every troop I was in had their own diverse group of individuals. Through Girl Scouts, I learned different life skills like how to properly create a fire pit and spark a fire. For instance, the older girls were normally in charge of setting up the campfire during our camping trips while the younger girls would be in charge of setting up breakfast in the mornings.

We had a lot of fun times. My first concert was actually with my Girl Scout troop when we were in elementary school. All the girls’ parents took us out of school early to drive to San Diego for the concert later that night. It was a radio station concert so there were different artists from Aly & AJ to Rhianna at the start of her career. There were also some rough times too. My original Girl Scout troop consisted of a lot of us who were within the same age range. Once we were in middle school, everyone wanted to quit. I, on the other hand, wanted to continue. I had committed so much of my life already to Girl Scouts that I could not just let it all go. I managed to get into a new Girl Scout troop where I was able to extend my Girl Scout experience to my senior year of high school.

One of the most memorable experiences was when my troop and I went to a firefighter camp. We went through the same workouts and training as the firefighter candidates. We had to flip large tires, run up and down stairs, learn about fire safety, and drag along a dummy mannequin. I remember the majority of the girls were unable to pull it across the obstacle course on their own, but I still decided to give it a try. I surprisingly was able to drag the dummy on my own and beat one of the high school guys helping with the camp. #GirlPower

Throughout my 13 years in Girl Scouts, I met a lot of great and some not so great people. If it was not for this empowering organization, I would have never met my best friend, Gabi. We met in first grade and have been friends ever since.

Girl Scouts has shaped me into the person that I am today and I am thankful for all that I learned throughout the years. Here is a song that we would always sing together at events and meetings that I still like to go back to even though I am in college now:

Make new friends, but keep the old

One is silver and the other gold

A circle is round, it has no ends

That’s how long I want to be your friend