Silencing the Bullies: Building Confidence Through Girl Scouts

With a little backpack slung over her shoulders and shoes laced tight, Ashlynn Slay takes the long walk into school each day. School should be fun. Ashlynn shouldn’t dread the harsh words of other children. She should never come home crying.

But for her first year of school, this was the story of Ashlynn Slay.


Ashlynn picking strawberries in her favorite Girl Scout shirt

Reading felt like wading through mud for Ashlynn. The letters didn’t seem to make sense. Instead of encouragement, words like “stupid” or “dumb” were thrown at her by classmates. Ashlynn’s mother, Cheri, was distraught and angry. How could other children be so cruel? Cheri was regularly at the school advocating on behalf of her daughter, but nothing seemed to help. The bullying continued. It increased.

After months of relentless bullying, Ashlynn told her mother that she hated school.

“For her to feel like that, it broke my heart.” -Cheri Slay


Ashlynn and her mother, Cheri

When one of Cheri’s friends encouraged her to enroll Ashlynn in Girl Scouts, Cheri was hesitant. All Cheri knew of Girl Scouts were the famous cookies and camp. While both sounded fun, she wasn’t sure how being a Girl Scout would change anything. But in a desperate effort to help her daughter, Cheri took a chance and signed them both up with Girl Scouts of South Carolina- Mountains to Midlands.


When the time came for their first troop meeting, Ashlynn was hesitant. Her past experience with other children her age had been traumatizing. However, her new troop embraced her with enthusiasm and friendship. Ashlynn began to take more risks. She started asking questions. Her troop created a safe environment to try and fail.


Ashlynn Bridging to Brownies

Just a few months into Girl Scouts, Ashlynn received a reading scholarship through the Girl Scout Daisy Power Project. This scholarship meant everything to Cheri. This scholarship would allow Ashlynn to strengthen her reading and build her confidence.

Over this summer, Ashlynn worked hand in hand with a tutor.  When she started the program she was reading at a very low kindergarten level. By the end of this summer, Ashlynn was reading at a high second grade level.

Cheri is amazed by the positive impact of the Girl Scout Experience. Ashlynn has found her confidence again. She isn’t afraid to raise her hand in school. She takes risks. She leads like a G.I.R.L. Scout.


Ashlynn reading one of her favorite books


“Girl Scouts teaches me to read and always raise my hand. I love to read now!” -Ashlynn Slay, 1st Grade


Do you want your girl to become more confident? Give her everything she needs to lead with confidence and join Girl Scouts.







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