The Times West Virginian

Local News

January 3, 2013

Girl Scouts’ mission: Leadership, self-reliance

United Way funds outreach program

FAIRMONT — The Girl Scouts of America do a lot more than sell cookies.

Not to say that the cookies aren’t important, because they make a big difference. They’re more than just a fundraiser, said Development Coordinator Suzanne Goralczyk of the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council, which covers the state of West Virginia.

It’s a part of the Girl Scouts’ mission to teach girls leadership and self-reliance.

“Girl Scouts of America have a wonderful reputation as ‘cookies, camping and crafts,’” said communications director Morgan Robinson. They do all those things, she said, but their real mission is making girls comfortable with being leaders.

Goralczyk said that the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is all about discovery, connecting and taking action. More specifically, it’s about discovering problems, connecting with peers and the community and then taking action on meaningful solutions.

Selling Girl Scout cookies, which will begin Friday, is a great example of the leadership program in action.

“It’s an entrepreneurial program for girls to allow them to begin their first business,” Robinson said.

Girls learn about networking and marketing as they sell the cookies, she said, and financial and management skills when it comes to collecting money and distributing product.

Robinson said that about 80 percent of women business owners are former Girl Scouts, and many credit the lessons they learned selling cookies with inspiring them to go into business for themselves.

“I think the best way I’ve ever heard it put is that it’s the girl’s first business,” she said.

There’s more opportunities to learn and grow beyond the Thin Mints. Goralczyk said that, in order to get their medals, Girl Scouts have to work in the community to be a positive influence.

For instance, Marion County Girl Scouts have worked with the Family Resource Network to donate items to baby showers, knit and crocheted hats and mittens to Scott Place, helped to maintain Woodlawn Historic Cemetery and much more.

It can be a real uphill struggle for young women who are interested in moving into leadership positions.

“I think that girls are sometimes not given the credit they deserve,” Robinson said.

Goralczyk is confident that the girls she works with are getting what they need to be successful in life.

“They’re going to be the people that are in charge of our community in a very few short years,” she said.

The United Way funds the Girl Scouts’ outreach program, which Goralczyk called “the program that’s most important to me.” The funding allows a special staff member to bring the Girl Scouts program to areas that otherwise the girls wouldn’t be able to participate.

At this time, they partner with the afterschool programs of Blackshere, East Fairmont, West Fairmont and Rivesville middle schools and Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission sites throughout the summer. The United Way pays for the membership costs for these girls, craft supplies and mileage and helps to pay for them to go on field trips with the rest of the Scouts.

“It’s an expensive program to run, and we absolutely couldn’t do it without their support,” Goralczyk said.

The United Way allows an additional 250 girls to be Girl Scouts.

She said that they’re always looking for other places to partner with.

The Girl Scouts will soon start the “Be A Friend First” (BFF) campaign to combat bullying in local schools.

To give to the United Way and help organizations like the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council, mail a donation or pledge to the United Way of Marion County, 112 Adams St., Suite 201, Fairmont, WV 26554; or call 304-366-4550.

Email Jonathan Williams at jwilliams@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @JWilliamsTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • UMA member sign marching-EG.JPG Labor rally opposes EPA’s Clean Power Plan: VIDEO AND PHOTOS

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Thursday.
    The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) members and their families along with other unions such as the Boilermakers Union and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW) marching through the streets.

    August 1, 2014 16 Photos

  • Bank Robbery Dog - CB.jpg Bank robbery suspect arrested

    Officers from the Fairmont Police Department and West Virginia State Police responded to an armed robbery Thursday morning at WesBanco in Marion Square.
    The call came through the Marion County 911 Center at 10:12 a.m.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farmington Poker Run to be held Saturday

    The Town of Farmington Poker Run is back.
    The poker run, which is scheduled for this Saturday, had been organized annually for about 10 years, and people expressed a lot of disappointment when it wasn’t held last year.

    August 1, 2014

  • State’s business climate concern for Warner

    The timing was nearly perfect.
    Kris Warner, GOP candidate for the 13th State Senate District, planned a press conference at the foot of the Ruskin facility in Pleasant Valley on Thursday because it was the last day the facility would be open before shuttering its doors and moving all operations to Kentucky.

    August 1, 2014

  • Farmington Poker Run Saturday

    The Town of Farmington Poker Run is scheduled for this Saturday.
     

    July 31, 2014

  • UMW Rally UPDATE: Roberts and Caputo arrested during UMW Pittsburgh rally

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorhead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fairmont bank robbery suspect in custody

    Officers from the Fairmont Police Department and the West Virginia State Police responded to an armed robbery Thursday morning at WesBanco in Marion Square.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMW leaders at rally: ‘We will stand up and fight’

    Several United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders spoke at a labor rally in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

    July 31, 2014

  • image.jpg HAPPENING NOW: UMW's Roberts says EPA rules will 'devastate Appalachia'

    During a press conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center United Miner Workers of America (UMW) president Cecil Roberts talked about the reason why 5,000 miners and their families are protesting the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alva Groves Family -ts.jpg After 63 years, remains of Korean War veteran coming home

    After 63 years, the remains of a Korean War veteran are coming home.
    Those remains are of Cpl. Alva Clifford Groves, of Four States, who lost his life during the Korean War. Groves will be brought home to West Virginia on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads