Girl Scout Alum Inspires Patriotism in her Community
From participating in flag ceremonies to organizing drives for U.S. service members abroad, Girl Scouts have a long history of giving back to some of the country’s most selfless citizens, and every girl has her own way of honoring that tradition. For Gold Award Girl Scout alum Caileigh Travers, giving back means exploring a career in the U.S. Armed Forces.
A lifetime member of Girl Scouts, Caileigh first joined as a Daisy before going on to earn her Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. Now in her sophomore year at Norwich University, a private military college in Northfield, Vermont, Caileigh mixes her love of sports (she plays for Norwich’s basketball team) and her excitement for electrical engineering with her call to serve her country. “Girl Scouts definitely inspired me to be more adventurous, and I kind of found my love of engineering through that,” she says.
For her Gold Award project, Caileigh wanted to honor the sacrifices that veterans have made. She worked with her community to install a new flagpole in town, refurbish the World War I and II monuments at a local school, and spoke to young students about Memorial Day and Veterans Day. As she worked to inspire patriotism in her community, Caileigh realized that she gained just as much as she gave to her project. “Leaving your mark on a certain place or community will have such a big effect on your life,” she explains. “It’s the most humbling experience that you’ll ever take on, because when you go back home and you see the work that you’ve done, it’s a feeling that’s indescribable.”
From budgeting to mastering time management, Caileigh also built a foundation of competitive skills that made her college applications and résumé shine. “My Gold Award not only made my application stand out but helped increase the scholarship I received from Norwich University,” she shares. “I was more confident in what I had to put on my application . . . it definitely was a standout thing.”
Honoring those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country is close to Caileigh’s heart—her grandfather is a veteran of the Korean War—and as she started high school, she began exploring what service to the nation meant to her. “It was just something that felt right, and the more research I did, the more invested I became,” she explains. She hopes to join the military upon graduation.
Caileigh found that the lessons and values she learned at Girl Scouts were similar to those she’s learning at Norwich about serving her country. “I think it’s important to remember the core values that you were taught as, say, a Daisy: to be loyal, to be respectful, and to be all around a good person,” she says.
For fellow Girl Scouts interested in careers with the armed services, Caileigh advises that they “understand what they want to accomplish while serving the country.” And, most important, let their leadership skills shine. “Being a Gold Award Girl Scout definitely helps you later in life, as you learn skills that are invaluable and that you will definitely use in the college and career settings,” says Caileigh. “And being a leader is something you’re definitely going to be doing when you’re pursuing a Gold Award.”