Make Philanthropy Part of Your Family Traditions

Brownie Girl Scouts volunteering at the River Food Pantry.

By Lori Astell, Director of Strategic Relationships

While the holiday season is filled with happiness and tradition, it is important we pause to be thankful for all we have. It’s so easy to get caught up in (and stressed-out over) buying gifts while losing sight of the people in our community, and our world, who are less fortunate.

I encourage you to consider making philanthropy a part of your holiday traditions. And there are lots of ways to do this. As a family you can gift your time, talents or dollars to help make the world a better place. Philanthropy brings family members together and encourages them to celebrate the support of others. Together, your family can make shared giving decisions such as determining where charitable gifts are given or deciding where to spend time volunteering.

Introducing children to philanthropy is an amazing way to demonstrate family values and attach meaning to money. By participating in good works alongside their families, children have the chance to develop empathy and compassion for others.

It is never too early to start teaching children about the importance of philanthropy and the holiday season is an ideal time to introduce the concept. In a recent survey, 89.4 percent of young adults cited their parents and 62.6 percent cited their grandparents as the people who influenced their learning about philanthropy. What better time than the holidays to start a new tradition and engage the entire family in giving back!

Consider Girl Scouts in Your Giving
Did you know each Girl Scout program is subsidized to make it affordable for every girl regardless of her family’s income? Additionally, financial assistance is available for membership, uniforms and camp. This year, consider giving the gift of Girl Scouting to those in need in your community.

Whether your family chooses to give time, talents or dollars, your gift is welcome. And giving to Girl Scouts is easy:

I challenge you to start a new family tradition this holiday season: Philanthropy! The gift your family gives will create opportunities for others all year long.


Destinations: Adrenaline Rush

By: Rebecca Hose, Senior Troop 2458
Youth Leadership Council member

Once I learned about Girl Scout Destinations trips, I knew that I would love to go on one! Getting the chance to see new places and experience new things isn’t something that happens every day.

A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, the Adrenaline Rush trip appealed to me right away and I knew I just had to do it.

And I’m happy to say that Adrenaline Rush lived up to my expectations. It was amazing and I got to experience so many new things. We went on a giant rope swing, tubing, boating, whitewater rafting and even to Six Flags! Every day was a new adventure and before I knew it, more than half the week had passed. It hardly felt like any time at all to me, simply because of everything that was going on and all the fun I was having.

My absolute favorite activity was caving in Tennessee. This was nothing like a school field trip cave tour – although it started that way. We wore kneepads, gloves and helmets with lanterns climbing up stones and crawling through tunnels and teeny-tiny cracks in the wall. I have never experienced something like this and it was exhilarating.

The most memorable part of caving was the section called The Canyon. It’s a crack in the rock just a few people wide. Not very wide, as one might picture a canyon, but it’s quite deep and has uneven rock ledges on either side to walk on. We started our journey through this section shuffling sideways with both feet on one side, then we had to switch to having one foot on either side, straddling the canyon. For the final section, we had to sit down and move sideways on a ledge. Wow! It was intense.

Each section of The Canyon brought new challenges to the girls in my group. Many were quite nervous but we worked as a team to help each other and make it through this tricky section. Such actions of leadership were taken many times throughout that week. Everyone was encouraging to others while also challenging themselves.

Another fun activity was tree climbing and, no, this wasn’t just scaling some random tree out in the woods; it was a massive tree hooked up with ropes and pulleys. Each of us was in a harness and we had to pull ourselves up the rope system to get to the top. It was hard work but tons of fun and the view from the treetop was beautiful. You looked down the hill the tree was on and could see all of the woods spread out around you. In fact, all of the places we went were awesome to see.

The Adrenaline Rush Destination was a great time, and I would encourage anyone who has an interest to go on a Destination to do so as well. It’s a very worthwhile trip. In fact, I’m currently looking at going on another Destinations’ trip in 2017!

Destinations trips are available for girls age 11 and older. Guarantee your destination and apply by Tuesday, November 15. Late deadline is February 1, 2017 but slots are not guaranteed. Financial aid may be available.

Contact Eliza with questions or to submit your application.