Guest Editorial: Girl Scout Alex Stelter
My name is Alex Stelter. I am a senior in high school and a Girl Scout—since kindergarten. My Girl Scout experience has changed my life.
Since joining the organization 13 years ago, I have had many adventures, including traveling around the United States and the world. I have also gone to camp, whitewater rafting, and participated in leadership conferences and the Girl Scout Cookie Program—Girl Scouts’ main fundraiser. As you can see, Girl Scouts is not just about camp and cookies! It is so much more. It has helped me go from a quiet, sit in the corner girl, to an outgoing, independent leader!
Since I was 7 years old, my troop and I have done service projects for the community. We earned our Bronze Award helping the humane society wash, play with, and take the dogs on walks as well as taking dogs and cats to visit residents at nursing homes to bring a smile to their faces. When I was 12, we worked toward our Silver Award, creating a kids’ program for House of Bread, a soup kitchen in Dayton that provides warm lunch 365 days a year. Currently, I am working toward my Gold Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. For my project, I am creating a service club at my school to introduce students to a variety of places in their community where they can volunteer.
My favorite part of Girl Scouts are the travel opportunities it offers for high school-age girls through the Destinations program. There are around 30-50 destinations to choose from each year. Some include Germany, Costa Rica, India, China, Mexico, Iceland, the United States, and many more. I have been on Destinations trips to Costa Rica, Panama, Iceland, and Arizona. In all of these experiences, I have not known anyone before setting out, and I’ve come home with 20 new friends all over the world. None of my Destinations would have been possible without the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Each year I pay for my trip by selling Girl Scout Cookies. For the past 3 years, I have sold over 2,000 boxes each year.
All of my experiences have been amazing, but none of them beat spending time with my troop. Many of us have been together for 10 years and now we all go to different schools, so Girl Scout events are the only way we see each other. We go on campouts and outings monthly. Right now, most of us are seniors, so we are planning one final trip together before we all go off to college.
Girl Scouts has enriched my life in ways I could never have imagined and has allowed me to do things I could not have done anywhere else. I totally recommend Girl Scouts to any little girl or teenager, even if you have other activities you participate in. Girl Scouts is flexible and fun, offers many leadership opportunities, and prepares you for life in a unique way.
To join or volunteer, visit www.gswo.org/join.