Today’s Girl Scouts: More than Paraffin

Memories are few from my days as a Brownie and Junior Girl Scout. I can still recite the Girl Scout Oath and remember the lyrics to Taps. I recall a craft project that involved pouring hot paraffin into milk cartons to make candles, which were later iced with whipped laundry detergent and topped with glitter. These brief glimpses and a mental picture of my mother as troop leader make up my memories of Girl Scouting. There were no life-transforming events; not even a photo of me in uniform.

As I started my career, the Girl Scouts appeared again. The organization was part of my newspaper beat and the leadership gave me an award for outstanding coverage. I accepted the award with a smile for the camera, but remained unimpressed.

So when Cynthia Pinkston from North Carolina’s Hornets’ Nest Council called to pitch a story on Sally Shankweiler Daley ’90, the council’s CEO, I was skeptical. Cynthia, however, knew just what to say. She talked about the opportunities available to today’s Girl Scouts and Sally’s largest project, the creation of the 700-acre Oak Springs camp. The end result is the story readers will find starting on page 12 of Bloomsburg: The University Magazine’s winter 2013 issue.

“Right now there are four main program focus areas: The STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), environmental education and leadership, community outreach and community building, and healthy living and well-being,” Sally told freelance writer Jack Sherzer. The overall goal, she said, is to help girls develop leadership skills.

Today’s Girl Scouting is so much more than paraffin candles. I’m wondering: Can I go back and try again?

—Bonnie Martin, Editor

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