Melody Biringer is shy. Though she is super confident, full of amazing ideas and usually thinks BIG, which helps her put on events for hundreds of people through her company, CRAVE, she is still far from thrilled to be in the spotlight.
“I am petrified to stand on a stage in front of people,” she admits.
But there she was, dressed in jeans and a fun T-shirt, pink highlights in her hair and a smile on her face, standing in front of 500 women at Urban Campfire, an event she created to bring women together to share their stories and inspire each other. She was on top of the world to be hosting such an awesome event, but was still really, really uncomfortable when it came time to welcome everyone. But that didn’t stop her from getting up on stage, and giving it her all.
“I have learned how to embrace the uncomfortableness,” she laughs. “And I want to teach others to do the same. It means you’re alive!”
We were incredibly excited and honored to be selected as the nonprofit partner for Urban Campfire, and five of our girls were invited to hand out cookies to all 500 women! That meant that some of the girls in attendance now had fears of their own to address – just like Melody did.
Girl Scout Kathryn M., from Troop 41046, tackled a big fear of hers that day, and we’re so proud of her!
“To have the chance to excite women about Girl Scouts was amazing,” she said, “but at first I thought my anxiety disorder would stop me from going. It was nerve-wracking at first to have to walk into such a big crowd, but once I received such enthusiasm and friendliness, it was easy to overcome my stage fright. Everyone was so open and welcoming, and I loved making them happy!”
Kathryn was joined by her fabulous troop mates, Lauren, Berkleigh, Ally and Kes!
A big reason for having Urban Campfire, says Melody, was to show women that we can see ourselves in other people’s stories. But we only really know that if we SHARE our stories. And by sharing, we see that we’re all much more alike than we are different, which helps us connect to each other. How cool is that? A room full of 500 women learning the very thing most Girl Scouts learn every day! To be a Girl Scout means to support others, to share your time and your talents and to find the confidence and courage within yourself to make a difference in the world. To be able to do that, though, sometimes means we have to face some of our fears. It’s scary to do that!
Melody agrees, which is why she wants to encourage people to do the things that scare them. “People often don’t open up unless someone else does,” Melody says, “but I want to hear your story!”
Urban Campfire featured several inspiring women speakers, who shared their stories about losing and gaining self-confidence, figuring out the meaning of friendship, finding success and facing fear.
Kathryn, along with her Girl Scout troop mates, was really moved!
“I loved the speakers,” she said. “Each one brought a new and positive viewpoint to the table that inspired and empowered me.”
All in all, Urban Campfire was a total success – for the women attendees, and the Girl Scout staff and troop members who shared their time to help out. We all learned just how wonderful it is when we figure out what we’re passionate about, work past our fears and share our dreams with each other, whether at a campfire with 500 women, or out in the real world, where all of those things will help us make a true difference!