What it Means to be a Southern Girl: A Guest Post by Lita Waggoner

Discover. Connect. Take action.

I heard these buzzwords again and again as a Girl Scout, but now I realize they have carried over into my adult life. When I became a Girl Scout in 2002, I was a curious but shy first grader who was unaware of my own leadership potential. My twelve years as a Girl Scout were a time of discovery, not just of new places, people, and ideas, but a time of discovering myself. I discovered things that I never would have in school because I learned by doing in Girl Scouts. Whether I was working on my cookie sales pitch, meeting with advisors for my Silver Award project, or trying to reach the top of the camp climbing wall, Girl Scouts encouraged me to take risks, work hard, and improve my skills. I visited Savannah, Georgia on a council trip to see Juliette Gordon Low’s hometown; to Houston, Texas for the Girl Scout Leadership Institute as part of the 2011 Girl Scout National Convention; and to Chicago, Illinois to the 2012 Girls World Forum, hosted by WAGGGS. No other program has been as important to my development or given me more opportunities than Girl Scouts.

Which is why I have to give back.

Since graduating from high school in 2014, I have remained an involved member of Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, my home council. I joined a Girl Scout alumnae organization at The University of Alabama, called Crimson Carnations, where I volunteer with my local service unit and serve as a liaison between girls and higher education. Crimson Carnations connected me to young Girl Scout alumnae from across the country who wanted to continue taking action as college students. So far we have put on programs for girls about women’s sports, STEM, and career development. This fall, I will be the president of Crimson Carnations.

This summer, I am a content intern for al.com’s Southern Girls Project, a partnership of journalists, organizations, and creative talent across the South listening to girls tell us what it’s like to be a Southern girl in 2016. No longer am I a little girl afraid to talk to strangers on the phone; now I am a woman, interviewing Southern girls about their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their passions, and their aspirations. I want to make sure your girls have a voice in the conversation. If you know any extraordinary girls who would like to contribute to the project, please email southerngirlsproject@al.com about setting up a time to talk. I know Southern girls have the courage, confidence, and character needed to make the world a better place; I want to hear all about it.

For more information, check out our Instagram @re._.belle and our Tumblr.Written by Lita JPG

Lita Waggoner is a lifelong Girl Scout, writer, and Southern culture enthusiast from Pelham, Alabama. She is a student at The University of Alabama, majoring in Public Health with a minor in Civic Engagement and Leadership. Currently, she serves as a content intern for al.com’s Southern Girls Project.

Learn by doing. Realize your full potential. Become a Girl Scout and experience leadership first hand. Join today.

 

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