Girl scouts promote camaraderie, skills for life

Eric Butler

Editor’s note: This is the 10th in a series of United Way agency profiles scheduled for publication each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday through Nov. 21.

Samantha Chambers, 17, is nearing the end of a Girl Scout journey that began when she was in Brownies. The Clovis Scout is also starting over as she works her way to the Silver Award — the highest given in Girl Scouts.
Chambers can describe almost every aspect of the organization, including its activities and awards. The only thing she doesn’t really know right now is her troop number.
“Oh, I can’t remember my number. I just joined this troop. My other troop was a military one and everybody started moving,” said Chambers, a senior at Clovis Christian school. “I’ve only met with them a couple of times. They’re pretty nice — not like my other troop, but it’s pretty good.”
Chambers believes the organization has a lot to offer girls.
“You actually do learn a lot of things through Girl Scouts. You learn friendship and skills you will use in life,” she said.
She enjoys the camaraderie. “I think mostly being able to hang out and talk to people who are kind of in the same age group as you,” she said. “People that won’t judge you for what you’re talking about, just being able to hang out with them and do the fun stuff that Girl Scouts has.”
The troops in Clovis are in District 5 — part of the Sangre de Christo Council based out of Santa Fe — and have approximately 130 local girls in their ranks.
The scouts are broken into divisions by age, from Daisies (4-to-6 years old) up to Seniors (14-to-17).
Activities for the girls can also vary widely — from performing arts and media-savvy education to sewing and cooking.
Along with traditional activities, according to regional membership director Becky Burress, the Girl Scouts of America are trying some new ones.
One program is called “Studio 2B,” in which scouts set their own goals in coordination with an advisor. Another is “Uniquely Me,” in which girls explore their own feelings.
“There’s a lot of reluctance from the older troop leaders, the ones that have been involved in Girl Scouts for years and years and years. They’re questioning it,” Burress said. “But our goal is to reach the girls that we’re not able to reach through our traditional programs.”

Girl Scouts of America

Phone: 877-906-3660 (local administrators)
Mission: To build character and skills, in a nurturing environment, for success in a real world.
Members on volunteer board: 10
Annual operating budget for Sangre de Christo Council: $995,000
Amount contributed by Curry County United Way: one-tenth of 1 percent