While many of us think of Girl Scouts as the group that brings us the tasty cookies each year, the organization does a lot more for the community than just sell baked goods. Time Warner Cable News reporter Rebecca Vogt takes a look at why young women are still joining and what it means to be a part of the organization today.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Their promise is pretty straightforward.
"On my honor; I will try,
to serve God and my country..."
In Western New York, thousands of young women have been making that promise for a century. Girl Scouts in our region started as four legacy councils, and merged to form the Western New York council in 2008.
"We end the year at around 15,000 girls with 7,000 adults. That breaks down to around 2,000 troops in WNY," said Alison Wilcox, Girl Scouts of Western New York COO.
Their ranks include the likes of Libby Overfield, who's maneuvered her way through the ranks and is now an ambassador. While their signature cookies make up a big part of their core, Western New York is on track to sell 1.7 million boxes this year, verfield will tell you Girl Scouts means more than just selling Thin Mints door-to-door.
"Gives me a sense of confidence that I can be who I am, and that I'm doing something for my community when we do service hours. Makes me feel good about being a girl," said Overfield.
Camping, skill building events, and the chance to work on service learning projects are just some of the activities these girls work on throughout the year.
Senior Girl Scout Ni'eisha Chambers said joining helped her grow leaps and bounds.
"I was kind of shy, but ever since I got into it and learning about courage... I started making more friends, I started being more outgoing," said Chambers.
Wilcox said the scouts reached peak enrollment about 10 years ago, but has dropped a little bit since then. Reason being, girls are that much busier these days. To combat this, she says they've implemented things like flexible meeting times. The Girl Scouts also added science and technology into programming to meet girls' needs, too.
"What's stayed true is we've had volunteers in the community mentoring young girls, teaching them leadership skills, giving them the confidence to try new things," Wilcox said.
"You're doing something special and bigger than yourself. There are people in other parts of the country/the world that don't have this opportunity and I'm really thankful for it," said Overfield.
From the great outdoors and cookies, to now STEM and trips abroad, the number of Girl Scouts involved in our area proves the organization stands the test of time, and will continue to do this...
"To help people at all times,
and to live by the Girl Scout Law"
... for years to come.