Friday, September 11, 2015

Girl Scouts Celebrate Independent Scouts

The Girl Scouts of Nassau County are celebrating independently registered members of Girl Scouts. Being an Independently Registered Girl Scout (IRG) allows girls to be active members of the Girl Scout community while gaining a more flexible Girl Scout experience. This option is especially popular for girls who have many extra-curricular commitments and still wish to participate in their favorite Girl Scout activities.

“Independently Registered Girl Scouts are still very involved in the GSNC community,” said Girl Scouts of Nassau County Executive Director and CEO Donna Ceravolo. “We are very happy that these girls and their families recognize the benefits of being a Girl Scout  even if their schedules are busy or there is a lack of a Troop in their area.”

This past year, the GSNC offered more than 200 programs for all Girl Scout members to participate. Madison from Melville, New York, is an Independent Girl Scout who participated in many of the programs offered and is actively a part of Girl Speak, Media Girl and Girl Scout Gardeners.

“I think being an independent Girl Scout is great,” said Madison. “You still get all the same opportunities as a regular Girl Scout but you can work at your own pace.”

Although Madison is not affiliated with a Troop, she continues to make friends through interacting with the Girl Scout council members and volunteering for a special needs Troop by assisting them with their meetings. Madison was previously affiliated with two different Troops but found herself looking to be more involved in a greater variety of programs when she decided to register as an independent Girl Scout and make the most of her experience at her own speed.

Alexandria from East Meadow, New York, is another independent Girl Scout who found herself so in love with the opportunities presented by GSNC she decided to register as an independent after her former Troop broke up. 

“The main reason I continued to be a part of Girl Scouts was the Girl Scout County Chorus,” said Alexandria. “I loved being part of an organization where I could make friends and have a place to go where I don’t feel judged. The chorus is basically my Troop, it is just a great environment.”

GSNC Chorus directors Catherine and Jennifer Azzara are big supporters of Alexandria and have helped her through her transition to an independent Girl Scout as she continues to participate in chorus-related programs and volunteers her time at Girl Scout cookie booth sales.

GSNC’s heavy involvement with the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiative for women is what influenced Dessie to become an independent Girl Scout.

“I joined Girl Scouts because I found out they had a FIRST Robotics team, something my high school was not offering,” said Dessie. “Once I joined, I was excited to find out about their science program at the Pall Corporation, their summer science research internship at a local hospital and also a financial literacy program on Wall Street.”

Dessie encourages other girls interested in STEM education to join Girl Scouts as an independent to have access to all the wonderful STEM-related programs geared toward women and to make friends with girls who have the same interests. Dessie’s family is very supportive of her involvement in Girl Scouts and even held many of the lengthy monthly meetings for the FIRST Robotics team in their basement.

Lauren of North Hempstead, New York, is an independent Girl Scout who continued her journey beyond her former Troop because she feels Girl Scouts provides her with valuable skills and, above all, it is fun. Lauren enjoys being registered as an independent Girl Scout because although she is not affiliated with a Troop she still gets all the benefits of being in a Troop, without the commitment to monthly meetings, by participating in many programs and making connections with her fellow Girl Scouts.

“I just started the “Amaze” Journey and I am an active member of the Ceremonial Unit,” said Lauren. “I am also a part of the PB&J Gang; we meet once a month for a few months to make sandwiches for a soup kitchen and in the Fall I'm planning on joining Girls Speak.” Girl Speak is a program offered by GSNC that allows girls to meet and discuss topics that are important to them and design projects to inspire change.
Lauren says she participates as often as there are programs and when she is interested in an Association or Council Event. She attributes her continued success in Girl Scouts to her family who help her work on her skill-building activities and earn badges.

Chloe has been a Girl Scout since 1st grade and belonged to a Troop until last year when she entered 9th grade. Chloe decided to register as an independent Girl Scout because she enjoyed many of the programs offered by GSNC, however her school and extracurricular schedules were too full to include regular Troop meetings.

“I like participating in the GSNC programs because it allows me to experience many new things I would otherwise never have the opportunity to do,” said Chloe.

Chloe has participated in many programs since registering as an independent Girl Scout, and she has almost finished completing all of the requirements needed to earn her Gold Award, the highest leadership award in Girl Scouting.

“I strongly encourage girls, especially those in high school, to continue participating in programs by becoming an independent Girl Scout,” said Chloe. “It allows them to attend unique opportunities and programs without having to sacrifice time for homework, clubs and sports.”

We’re the Girl Scouts of Nassau County: We’re 27, 000 strong – 27, 000 girls and adults who believe every girl from Nassau County can change the world. It began more than 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low, who believed in the power of every girl. Today, we continue her vision of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place by helping them discover their inner strength, passion and talents. And with programs in Nassau County, across Long Island and throughout the United States, there’s a chance for every girl to do something amazing. We’re the Girl Scouts. To volunteer, reconnect, donate or join, visit www.gsnc.org or contact Donna Rivera-Downey at 516 741-2550.   

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