Gerald Vanlandingham has a dream for his daughter. A dream so many of us have for our own children. To have an unforgettable childhood, to have opportunities to discover their full potential, to become the kind of adult who makes the world a better place. More than just a hope, Gerald decided early on to do everything he could to make this dream happen for his little girl, Elizabeth. See, Gerald shares our Girl Scout DNA. When he saw the experiences the Girl Scout Leadership Program would allow his daughter to have, he didn’t stop at signing her up, he signed up as well. Gerald Vanlandingam is #manenough to be a Girl Scout.
“I have this goal for my daughter to be independent and self-reliant. To be open to new ideas. As much as possible, I want to prepare her to stand on her own as a woman that is unafraid to speak up and chase her goals. If I can have some small part in helping her, and helping other girls grow into self-reliant, empowered women, I will be happy.” – Gerald Vanlandingham, Elgin, SC
Initially, Gerald thought he would play more of a “behind the scenes” role in the troop- making supply runs, driving the girls, etc. Until one day when the troop leader couldn’t make the meeting and Gerald had a decision to make. He could tell Elizabeth and the other parents that the meeting would be cancelled, or he could step up and take the lead. Can you guess what Gerald did? Though unsure of himself at the time, and a little nervous, Gerald showed his daughter that leadership isn’t just defined as being the president of the United States or becoming a rocket scientist, leadership lives in those everyday moments where we choose to step up and be heard.
Gerald hasn’t gone back to “behind the scenes” since. When we asked Gerald why it was that he chose to give so much of his time and lead, his response was immediate and simple: “Because there was a need.” This is the very essence of leadership the Girl Scout way. From the Gold Award Recipient who identifies a need in her community and makes a plan to address it, to the Daisy who asks the new girl to sit at her table, Girl Scouts use those everyday moments to create a lifetime of leadership.
“The world is changing and these girls are the future of it.” -Gerald Vanlandingham, Elgin, SC
Gerald is getting ready for another year of Girl Scouts with Elizabeth, and the girls in her troop. In Girl Scouts, he has found a community of other volunteers who share the Girl Scout DNA and share that same dream for their girls. Gerald is constantly looking for new trainings or classes he can take so he can bring new skills and opportunities to his girls. All year round, but especially on this Father’s Day weekend, we are so thankful for our Girl Scout Dads, like Gerald, who are #manenough to be a Girl Scout.
Are you #manenough to join the Movement? Click here to become a Girl Scout today!