When Hayley’s troop disbanded in the seventh grade, she thought she would probably quit, too. It didn’t seem like much fun to be a Girl Scout without a troop. But then her mom, who knew Hayley’s enthusiasm for Girl Scouting, took charge and signed her up to be a Juliette.
Since then, Hayley has learned the fun of doing Girl Scout activities and service projects on her own, including her Girl Scout Gold Award. To carry out the project, she organized a large team of volunteers to clean up an overgrown trail near her home. It involved several days of tough physical work and coordination of the removal of large piles of invasive buckthorn.
Rather than being a Girl Scout by herself, Hayley learned that being a Juliette was actually the opposite. By doing service projects, especially her Gold Award project, she developed closer relationships with her neighbors, friends and church youth group and built a community around her.
Although in the beginning, Hayley was unsure she would be able to pull off a project as large as the Gold Award, she gained confidence as she learned to delegate. She learned to be a more effective leader by letting people do what they signed up for instead of trying to control every aspect. She was thrilled to see everyone getting along on the first day, and the group made a lot of progress right away. Pride showed on volunteers’ faces as they worked, because they knew they wouldn’t have to fight branches just to get through the neighborhood trail anymore.
Coming out of the project, Hayley knew she wanted to do more. As a Girl Scout, she developed a passion for leadership, service and giving back to the community, which in turn influenced her college decision. She has chosen to study pre-med at Creighton University, a school that shares her values and passion for leadership and service.