You may have seen Tierney on this year’s Girl Scout Cookie spotlight on New Day Northwest. In addition to her compelling cookie pitches and impressive amount of badges, Tierney shared with us her experiences in Girl Scouting from third to eleventh grade, including leadership, travel, service, and Girl Scout friendships. Younger Girl Scouts often get more media recognition, but the opportunities and achievements possible only grow as you get older!
Why Girl Scouts?
I joined Girl Scouts in third grade. At the time, I lived in a small town in Oregon and there were not many people my own age to play with. I thought it was a good way to get out of the house and make friends. I really liked being able to give back to the community, and I loved the camps and the activities. When I moved to Washington at the beginning of sixth grade, Girl Scouts was still an easy way to get to know people. I’ve made a lot of friends through Girl Scouts, and troop meetings and activities are a good way to consistently see them and hang out with them.
Becoming a Leader
When I was younger, I went to Girl Scout camps in Oregon. I thought the camp counselors were really cool and I looked up to them a lot. When I was old enough, I became a program aide (PA) and found it a lot of fun. The first year I was a PA, a lot of younger Girl Scouts told me they looked up to me. I just remember thinking that I had those same thoughts about my camp counselors, and it made me really happy to see that I was influencing younger girls in that same positive way. I’m so honored to be someone they can look up to, talk to, and strive to grow into as they go through their Girl Scout journey.
Now, as the oldest member of a multi-level troop, I have constant opportunities to lead and look after the younger Girl Scouts. In meetings, I help out the troop leader, guide younger Girl Scouts through examples, jump in and encourage them to try new things, and make sure they’re being safe. It feels less like a club and more like one big family because we try to do most things together and work on badges that are similarly themed. Since I’m the youngest girl in my family, Girl Scouts provides a way for me to play an older sibling role and be a leader. I think of all my younger troop mates as my little Girl Scout sisters. It’s important to me to give back, show them how to be good Girl Scouts, and be a torchbearer who keeps them motivated to evolve into leaders—like I have done.
Proud to be a Girl Scout
Even beyond my troop and local camps, Girl Scouts has given me opportunities to lead, travel, and do things I’m proud of. During the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, I earned my Silver Award by creating a tech-inspired superhero comic book warning kids about too much screen time. I’m excited to start working on my Gold Award soon. I don’t know how many badges I’ve earned, but I did just buy a new sash to put my badges on since I ran out of room on my vest.
Last summer, I was able to go to Europe with a neighboring Girl Scout troop. We visited two Girl Scout Centers, Our Chalet and Pax Lodge, where we learned about the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and international friendship, and how Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the globe positively impact their communities. I also participated in the Climate Summit for three years, learning about how we all can make a difference to save the earth.
I have also been a top cookie seller repeatedly during the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program. I like to use booth sales as time to educate the public about how older Girl Scouts are the glue that keeps programs running for younger members. This year, I also got to share about my badgework, cookie success, and Girl Scout leadership in an interview on New Day Northwest alongside Andrea Anderson, our council’s CEO. That was definitely a super highlight!
My goal in the future is to do something in law enforcement. Girl Scout forensics badges have been some of my favorites to earn, and we also got to tour a firefighter’s station. I’m very thankful to have had so many opportunities to learn, grow, and try new things through Girl Scouts—not to mention all the friends, mentors, and mentees I’ve made along the way.
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