Kellie Lewis is a leader of Troop #65434 in Highlands Ranch, CO.
We began expanding our middle school troop for one simple reason: we wanted to give girls that wanted to be Girl Scouts a home.
Our troop of nine Cadettes in Highland Ranch, CO is a great group. Four of our troop members have been with us since first grade, and the rest of our members have joined over the years, either because they moved or because they needed a new troop when their original one disbanded.
Girl Scouts is valuable for girls to be a part of beyond just elementary school. Our troop is like a family, and I think that being a part of this Movement gives girls an additional support system—one outside of their actual families or schools, should they need it.
Our members are surrounded by friends who are going to cheer them on as they try new things or test out new skills. Our troop leaders are here to support the girls in working on badges or awards, as well as to be an additional adult role model present at a critical developmental stage. Especially at this age, girls create their own identities, and I see Girl Scouts playing a role in that. It is awesome watching our girls navigate middle school, explore who they are as individuals, and try new things.
As Cadettes, our troop has had so many opportunities open up to them. Just a few weeks ago, we visited a ropes course and completed all the high elements. It was amazing to watch the girls conquer their fears. We also make sure to honor troop traditions, year after year. Since its inception, our troop has held a rededication ceremony at a local corn maze at Chatfield Botanical Gardens. The girls look forward to it every fall.
Of course, tackling Girl Scout accomplishments beyond badges is on everyone’s to-do list. The girls are getting ready to earn their Leader in Action award, which will require everyone to work with a Brownie troop to help them earn a Journey award. A few of our girls are preparing to start their Silver Award projects, too. These experiences are great for the girls because they learn how to be part of a team that is willing to embrace challenges. It also teaches them how to be leaders in their communities.
As a leader of a middle school troop, I would encourage other middle school girls to stick with Girl Scouts at a time when so many drop off. Being members of this organization has truly helped our girls develop courage, confidence, and character. They are sisters who support each other. Even though our girls are very different in some ways, they care about each other, recognize each other’s strengths, support one another, and have fun together. Watching them grow year after year, I am honored to be a part of their Girl Scouting adventures.
Don't go it alone! Here are 4 people to put on your Cookie Squad this year.