My Girls are College Bound . . . A Letter From a Proud Leader

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May 6th 2013

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My name is Krystin Beban and I have been a Girl Scout leader for 13 years.  It has been a wonderful journey and I have been very blessed to work with such amazing girls.  When I first considered being a leader I thought okay, I can do this for a few years.  As I watched the girls grow and really embraced the program I started to think, wow, I might be here for a few more years than I expected.  By the time my girls hit middle school I knew we were all in this for the long run!  We have always been a pretty active troop and giving back to our community was very important.

I knew that my girls really flourished when they were working with younger girls, so when the skills camp that they had attended and worked at, was shutting down we came up with an idea to run a skills camp for HBSU1 called Groovy Girls. We worked hard training girls just a little younger than us and then working with them to teach Bridging Brownies and all Juniors outdoor skills.  This was definitely one of the things that I believe helped keep these girls in Scouts. Not only having the little ones look up to you and getting to lead and make a difference, but watching those little ones eventually become the staff themselves, really shows what Girl Scouts is all about. We just held our final skills day for about 200 girls and it was a huge success.

We also went on a few great adventures.  Part of growing in Girl Scouts is stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things.  We whitewater rafted, camped, and took a few trips.  One of our two favorite trips would be our "Mock Overseas Adventure" where we went to San Diego on the train and explored the city using public transportation.  We stayed in a youth hostel in the Gas Lamp District and spent the days and nights enjoying all kinds of local activities.  The other favorite would be our “College or Bust” trip where we spent 3 days on a road trip visiting 7 colleges from Orange County to San Francisco and back.  I really wanted the girls to see all types of colleges so they would have a better idea of what kind of college they wanted to go to.

Being a Girl Scout Leader is my favorite volunteer job!  I was given the opportunity to be a mentor, a friend and a leader to wonderful girls.  When we are together they know they can be themselves, they are safe and they also know that I truly care about each of them. 

I really think they stayed in Scouts because we worked together, adjusting schedules when needed and did what it took to make it happen.  I wanted them all to participate in whatever activities that they wanted to experience in High School, so we had to be flexible.  I made sure they knew I would work with them, that staying in Girl Scouts was an important choice not an impossible one.  I did not want them to feel overwhelmed and let scouting go – so, like I said, we were flexible.

It is really important for the girls to know that this is important to you as a leader.  I shared in their success as well as worked with them when they thought they could not finish.  I wanted them to breathe and have Scouts be a part of who they were, not another thing that they had to stress about.  As leader you will be what makes or breaks the girls experience in scouting.  Embrace it, you will never regret the lasting relationship that you will build with these girls...they are lucky to have you!

~ Girl Scout Volunteer Krystin Beban

A few fun facts about Krystin’s troop – their schedules are so busy, that the only time they can find to have meetings is on Sunday mornings at Krystin’s house – at 7:00 a.m.! The girls just show up in pajamas and sweats and have their meeting. The other fun fact is that all of Krystin’s girls are going to college, they have been accepted at: Stanford, Merrimack College (Andover, MA), University of Miami, Long Beach State, Cal State Long Beach Conservatory of Music, UCI, USC, Soka University, Northern Arizona University and Colorado State.

We want to hear your volunteer story!  Email your volunteer experience to Darcy Reed at dreed@girlscoutsoc.org.