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September 02, 2014
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Future leaders of America

Victoria Davis

Girl Scouts have been around since the year 1912. From Daisy, to Brownie, to Junior, to Cadette, to Senior, to Ambassador, the experience is extraordinary. Active in the community, offering help as much as they can, involving young girls in different experiences, and being role models and future leaders to people everywhere, it’s what they do. They are always ready to assist anyone and are prepared to make a difference. I know it may seem like Girl Scouts between the ages of 6 to 18 (plus their amazing leaders) can’t make a significant impact in society, but you would definitely be surprised. Being a Girl Scout myself, I’ve realized over the years how much time and effort everyone who is in the program puts in to make a better world. All of the organized activities and fundraisers are extraordinary and really do accomplish a lot.

I was able to contact Laure Valentine to get some information about the Girl Scouts in our community. Mrs. Valentine is a troop leader, among many who have dedicated much time to creating a fantastic Rockland Girl Scout Program. She has been a leader since her daughter was a Daisy. Laure shared with me that there are about 80 girls in the Roscoe/Livingston Manor Girl Scouts. They participate in a variety of events such as planting flowers in the spring, the town clean-up, Christmas caroling at the nursing homes, and most recently they made a float for the Jeffersonville parade. The parade is in honor of James Dworestsky and to celebrate the holidays. There were many different floats with lights everywhere and communities participating from all around the area. It was a beautiful parade with all the decorations, lights, and floats all around. The Manor/Roscoe Girl Scouts have participated for the past four years. One year their theme was elves and reindeer, while the other three years featured the Nativity scene. These floats were completely decorated by 20 to 30 girls with the help of a few amazing adults. Although it was a rainy and cold night, it was a fantastic parade.

A special person who has been a part of the Girl Scout world for about 40 years and should be recognized for her hard work and dedication is Mrs. Gail Lenkiewicz. She is the community chairperson and is also a wonderful troop leader. I had the pleasure of having her as my leader, and I know that she should definitely be rewarded for all she’s done for these troops. All the nights she has had to sort through Girl Scout cookies and other fundraising products must have been long and stressful. Trust me, every year there is so much to sort through, and Mrs. Lenkiewicz has never called it quits and has always remained dedicated to the Girl Scouts. Her organizational skills and persistence in having the girls earn their patches greatly benefit the program. Equally important, Mrs. Lenkiewicz was always there for you to talk to if you needed someone. My troop and I knew we could come to her for anything and get her helpful advice, and she’d consistently be there for us. Her wise words and the many duties she’s performed should not go unnoticed.

More girls should join Girl Scouts for the outstanding pleasure you get from it all. Girls will be able to make long-lasting friends, do good in the community, explore, experience and make a difference in society. Above all, you’ll have a load of fun; I know I did. The Girl Scouts have been around for a long time and hopefully will continue to achieve success through participation by young girls everywhere who will become our leaders of the future.

[Victoria Davis is a freshman at Keuka College in Penn Yan, NY, where she is taking a class in public relations.]