Girl Scouts Beyond Bars

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars

So much more than a hockey game.
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When my dad said that we were going to go to a Blues hockey game with a bunch of St. Louis Girl Scouts, I didn't quite know what to expect. I definitely didn't anticipate that these girls would be some of the most kind, deserving, and utterly grateful people I've ever met, and I couldn't have enjoyed the time I spent with them more.

After first meeting the girls, I led them up the elevator to the suite from where we would watch the game. A few of the girls clung to me in the elevator, and I felt closer to them already. Literally. But what happened next blew me away.

Right as we walked into the suite, which overlooked the arena, the girls gasped, and then some began to cry. Happy tears, I promise! For they had never been to a hockey game before, and after seeing the piles of food in front of them, they were so overwhelmed.

When my dad told the girls that they could have as much food as they wanted and eat until they were full, their eyes and mouths widened in shock, and they ran towards the food table, squealing with glee.

And after my dad (named Barry), one of the troop leaders, and I ordered Dippin' Dots for 12 (which was a personal first and hopefully not a last), the chorus of "thank you Mr. Barry"'s was all that we needed to hear to know that our gift had touched these sweet girls.

Partway through the first period, they gave my dad a gift...a Girl Scouts tote filled with a mug, cookies, and a T-shirt. But as my dad rummaged through the bag, he found something that nearly brought me to tears. The girls had all made him handmade thank you cards. I could see the gratitude in my dad's gradually widening smile and I could tell that he knew that they had made a difference in his life (and mine!) just as he had done for them.

They're just normal girls. They play with hair, play phone games, and love chicken fingers. I cannot emphasize that last one enough. They're also aspiring gymnasts/dancers who love to do splits and show off their swagger. And they loved cheering for the little kids who played hockey during the first intermission.

They also say fun things to me like, "You look like you're either 11, 12, or 15." Honestly, I can't disagree.

While they might not be the most financially privileged children and while they aren't able to live with their moms, these girls truly live beyond bars. They showed that kindness and a good heart matter more than any sum of money, and it's the times you share with the people who care about you that really matter. Watching the camaraderie with the girls and their troop leaders, I could tell that they weren't just a group of girls; they were family.

I'm so lucky I got to be a part of their family for just one night, and I hope I can spend more quality time with them soon.

















Cover Image Credit: Kayla Steinberg

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Due To The Achilles Injury That Kevin Durant Has Sustained, This Will Affect His Free Agency And Game

What is next for one of the greatest players in NBA history?

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Let me start this article off by saying that I am not a Golden State Warriors fan. I am not a Kevin Durant fan, and I have not been since he left the OKC Thunder in 2016. I have an always have been an OKC fan and yes I hated Kevin Durant with such a passion. That is until Monday, June 10th. That is the day when I saw the toll being an NBA player takes on the humans that play the game. Each decision they make is judged so harshly that even if they get injured, the fault has to fall on someone, even if no one is to blame.

Game 5 showed us that Kevin Durant is very much human and clearly understands that. I have no respect for the Raptors fans who started cheering when he fell to the floor clutching his Achilles. As a fan base, I understand the stakes of the game but that doesn't make it ok to cheer when a player might be out for the rest of the series. That is a reflection I know the Raptors or the NBA don't want.

The NBA is a business and the reaction of these fans makes it seem like it's all about the completion and nothing about the game that has changed and affected so many people's lives. It also makes it seem like the fans do not show empathy for anything but the win and that the players must do everything to get the win.

As for Kevin Durant's future, it is up in doubt because an Achilles Tear has been a devastating injury to players in the past. The Achilles is the biggest tendon in the body and tearing such an integral component will clearly rob KD of the some of the length and athleticism he plays with because the surgery and the rehab are so long and difficult to complete. We may never see the person who completely took over the finals and carried his team to victory or score 30-50 a night with an insanely high-efficiency rate. All of that goes up in doubt because of this one horrible and career threatening injury.

As for his free agency, I think that this injury will help KD understand the fan base he has around him and his teammates who need him just as much as he needs them. The Raptors have stolen the finals from KD and the Warriors and this might compel him to stay another season and compete for a 3rd championship instead of going somewhere such as New York.

As for New York, they might as well start preparing for a losing season as they do not have the 1st overall pick to get Zion Williamson and Kyrie Irving has stated that he would much rather play for the Nets than the Knicks. That has to hurt a franchise who was looking to build a big three with the edition of KD and attempt to compete for a championship. All in all, I want to wish KD the best of luck in recovering and becoming a top 3 player in the NBA again.

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