by Juliette Nasarenko
Girl Scouts have been thriving since 1924! The Girl Scout program in Ventura County fall under the Girl Scouts of the California Central Coast (GSCCC) which is comprised of Ventura County, Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, San Benito County, San Luis Obispo County, and Santa Barbara County. The Central Coast has a membership of 5,700 girls and 4,500 adult volunteers. Girl Scouts is an organization that empowers young women to serve their communities, gain leadership skills, and provide girls with opportunities to step out of their comfort zones and explore new interests. Girls participate in volunteering for organizations, camping, individual creative projects, and council events. These are some of the opportunities that inspired me to be a part of Girl Scouts at age five as I finish out my last and final year of Girl Scouts as a senior in high school.
Being a Girl Scout in Ventura with Troop 60852 for 13 years has taught me to become a leader, manage my time, and become more socially responsible. When I was young, I was extremely shy. Standing up in front of the class to give a presentation was a debilitating experience. Now I have the confidence to lead group presentations and advocate for ideas and others. As the years have passed through my various scouting activities, projects, and achievements I have developed a strong leadership skill set. I have earned the Bronze, Silver, and recently earned my Gold Award this year.
For the Bronze Award, my troop and I created a CD with all our campfire songs and passed it along to younger troops. With my Silver Award, I built a bell and implemented it at Camp Arnaz where we host our annual camping weekend each year. Lastly, I earned my Gold Award by creating a program called Bringing Memory and Strength to Senior Citizens. Integrating music, physical exercise, and dance movements, I hosted a week-long summer camp with seniors at local assisted living homes.
I also coordinate monthly performances at the homes with my high school music department. Through Girl Scouts I have enjoyed hosting Camporee (the annual camping trip at Camp Arnaz), volunteering at Food Share and Assisted Living Homes, and lastly, taking fun trips with the Girl Scout money we earned from selling cookies. Community service is so necessary in today’s society and most organizations as public entities cannot run efficiently or at all without volunteers.
Through Girl Scouts, I have built memories for life and gained skills that I will take with me into the future.