Family Experience, Parents

What Girl Scouts Means to Me: Cassie Barlow

My family has had an incredible Girl Scout journey over the past twenty years. I wasn’t a Girl Scout growing up—I came to Girl Scouts at the age of 34, and my husband became a Girl Scout at the age of 36 through a very inquisitive little five year old, our daughter.

Our Girl Scout experience spanned Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Arizona, Germany, and England. The Girl Scout organization and experience contributed extensively to the confident, courageous woman my daughter has grown into.

As you might imagine, moving every two years as a military kid is not easy. Just when you get settled in somewhere, you’re picking up all of your things, saying goodbye to your friends, and preparing to go to a new school.

You may also imagine that military families look for constants in our lives in order to try to decrease the turbulence, especially for our families. As we moved from place to place and 13 different homes for my 17 year old at the time, the constants in our lives, no matter where we went, were our Church and our Girl Scouts. We knew that in both of these spaces, we would immediately find comfort and stability. I always reached out to our new location to find a church and a Girl Scout troop, so no time would be lost upon our arrival at our new home. 

My daughter has been a Girl Scout for 18 years and is currently a Lifetime Member. She enjoyed every minute of her scouting adventure! Some of her best friends to this day, are the girls she met in Girl Scouts. Through her experiences in Girl Scouts, she is a young woman of courage, confidence, and character. Looking back on my daughter’s many Girl Scout adventures, it was pretty clear to me where she first learned how to be part of a team; to make friends quickly, to lead, to present and speak with confidence, to manage money, and to take on and address her fears.

The leadership skills girls develop through Girl Scouts are creating change in our community, and will continue to improve the world long after all of us are gone. By building girls of courage, confidence, and character, we are supporting the next generation and making our world, a better place.

Dr. Cassie B. Barlow is the President of the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education. She was the 88th Air Base Wing and Installation Commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), OH. Dr. Barlow retired from active duty with the US Air Force as colonel in 2014.

Dr. Barlow was commissioned in 1988 as a distinguished graduate of Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Following graduation, she was assigned to her first of 13 assignments spanning the world. She earned a Bachelor of Psychology degree from Georgetown University, Washington, DC; Master of Clinical Psychology degree from Chapman University, Orange County, CA; and Ph.D. from Rice University, Houston, TX. She also earned masters degrees in Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, AL, and in National Security, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, DC.

Dr. Barlow is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and currently sits on the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Board.

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