[Below is a guest post written by Gold Award Girl Scout Chris Belin]
My name is Chris Belin. I am a 38 year-old self-employed Health and Business Coach living in East Amherst, NY. Just over 20 years ago, I earned my Girl Scout Gold Award, and to this day, it is still one of my proudest moments!
I became a Girl Scout when I was 6 years old. I still remember our meetings in a church basement! Learning the Girl Scout Promise, selling cookies, and singing songs. Within a few years, I went to Girl Scout Camp and volunteered in the community at soup kitchens and homeless shelters. But, as I got older, it became more difficult to juggle my school work, sports, social life and Girl Scout activities. I wanted to quit. But, my Mom, not a Girl Scout herself, refused to let me. She knew the impact it had on me and the community. She said “this is your commitment and you are going to finish it!”
While in high school, I earned my Silver Award, and without much time in between, I began working on my Gold Award. My first two ideas were rejected by Council. I was so upset and shocked actually! But looking back, I see why. It would have been too easy! I really needed to push myself and do more for others. I began a project of Female Empowerment with young girls in my community. It lasted three months and was an amazing experience for them and me. I learned just how powerful one person can be, no matter their age! Nothing else could have better prepared me for college, and later….working full time, motherhood, and entrepreneurship!
I am now a wife and mom of two kids, an 8-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. Raising kids is a lot of work and it certainly “takes a village”. For that reason, and many others, we are and will always be a Scouting family. Girl Scouts is a great resource in teaching so many important life skills to my daughter, such as leadership, contribution, healthy relationships, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, etc. I am not aware of any other organization that does all that!
When I was a Girl Scout, I didn’t fully understand why we sold cookies. Through my daughter’s experience, I learned that the Girl Scout Cookie Sale is the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world! As an entrepreneur myself, I love that! It has taught my daughter how to be confident, how to talk to people, how to shake hands, how to manage money and deadlines, etc. She was her troop’s top seller this year!
I am thrilled to be part of my daughter’s own Scout experience. She is learning, growing, and having fun! If you have a daughter, I urge you to check out a local meeting, and find a troop that is right for her. You will be so glad you did!
Mompreneur & Founder, Design Your Days Nutrition