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How Girl Scouts Prepared Me For Life

Olivia Lutter at Camp

As a Girl Scout you get the chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. With our unique programs, you will discover the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)™ in you and gain skills that will help build a steady foundation for every stage of your life. At Girl Scouts River Valleys, we encourage all girls to grow their passions and provide them a space to develop the skills they need as they build their own future.

A Girl Scout Journey

After 12 years of Girl Scouting, Olivia Lutter is ready to continue her leadership journey as she starts her first year of college at Gustavus Adolphus College this fall.

Olivia, who began as a Girl Scout Brownie, set a goal to earn all 101 badges when she was a Junior (even horseback riding, which she was “terrified to do!”), was awarded her Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards, and is now a Lifetime member, says Girl Scouts prepared her for life after high school. She will take with her the skills she developed in Girl Scouting as she pursues her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Olivia credits her Girl Scout experiences working with younger girls for solidifying her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.

“Girl Scouts prepared me for college because it has provided me with many necessary life skills: being prepared, determined, and a leader, as well as trying new things, going outside of my comfort zone, working hard, managing my time well, staying positive, and many other skills,” Olivia said. “All of these tools will help me get through my time in college. I’ll be better at making friends and getting involved in clubs too.”

As part of her Gold Award project, the highest award in Girl Scouts, Olivia wanted to give girls the opportunity to explore and discover nature away from the distractions of digital screens and electronics. Campers learned many life skills including how to work in groups, communicate, lead, and navigate the outdoors through nature scavenger hunts, cooking meals over the fire, and overnights in tents. The program has grown from 23 to 115 participating campers (and a waiting list!) in just three years! Olivia plans to continue to improve and enhance her camp, and believes it is great training for her future career as a teacher.

Olivia has been going to Girl Scout Camp since she was in fourth grade, and has been to all of River Valleys’ camps—her favorite activities are archery, canoeing, and kayaking. Since she first attended resident camp, Olivia had the dream of becoming a counselor when she was older. She went through the program aid, junior caddie, caddie, and counselor in training programs, and this summer worked as a counselor at Camp Lakamaga. Not to mention she is fulfilling her dream by leading a successful camp of her own!

“Girl Scouts has built my confidence and has made me a stronger leader,” Olivia said. “I can now lead over 100 people at cookie rally events, and at my camp this year I led a group of almost 200 people, including volunteers. Girl Scouts has taught me to have courage and to be confident when I am speaking and leading people.”