Next governor found leadership skills as a Girl Scout
Friday, October 15, 2010
Posted by: jennifer punch
Retrieved from: http://mooreamerican.com/local/x1047884879/Next-governor-found-leadership-skills-as-a-Girl-Scout
American Staff The Moore American The Moore American
MOORE — When the next governor of Oklahoma takes the oath of office in January, she will be bringing with her the words from another oath; one that includes "I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place.”
The last line of that law is "and to be a sister to every Girl Scout.”
Both candidates for Oklahoma’s governor this year are Girl Scouts, and both said the leadership skills they learned to get them to this important moment in the state’s history can be traced directly to the experiences they had as a Girl Scout.
"Leadership is the only program that Girl Scouts provides girls,” said Cathy Stackpole, CEO for Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma. "The fact that we have two distinguished women running for the top leadership position in our state who also were Girl Scouts is a testament to the power of the leadership experience of Girl Scouts.”
Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, Democrat, and Congresswoman Mary Fallin, Republican, are proud of their own Girl Scout experiences and both remain active in the organization today.
Fallin is a member of Troop Capitol Hill, an honorary Girl Scout Troop comprised of women serving in Congress.
Askins is a member of the local Juliette Low Leadership Society, which supports Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma and is an adult member of the local council.
"Scouting has had a tremendous impact on my life,” Askins said. "The skills are the values of courage, confidence and character taught so well to Girl Scouts by their leaders. Those lessons have stayed with me throughout my life and served me well. The courage to step forward and lead, the confidence to believe you can succeed and the character to do what you believe is right are the fundamentals of a productive life.”
Fallin said that some of her fondest memories growing up in Tecumseh were the times she spent in Girl Scouts.
"Looking back, some of my fondest memories growing up involve my time in Girl Scouts,” she said.
"The friends I made and the time I spent there, the interest I developed in serving our community, and the process of setting goals and meeting them all helped me to move into adulthood as a more responsible and well-rounded woman.”
Fallin added that some of statistics of Oklahoma’s girls such as number seven in births to teens, number one in incarceration rates of women, high drop-out rates and drug problems, are issues that
Girl Scouts can address. She said she wonders if girls who have made bad life choices would have done so if Girl Scouts was in their lives to help guide them through childhood and adolescence, to learn personal responsibility and to encourage civic participation.
"That is why I continue to support Girl Scouts and why I will continue to challenge our Scouts to be the best they can be, to get involved in their communities and to live up to the high standards the Scouts have set,” Fallin said. "And, of course, it is also why I will continue to consider the Girl Scouts a valuable partner in forming initiatives that help our young women, keep them safe and put them on a path towards success. It is also why I was happy to see my daughter, Christina, become a Girl Scout.”
Askins said that if she is elected, she will invite Girl Scouts to be part of the solution to some of the state’s issues that affect girls.
"Not only will I actively seek the advice of Girl Scouts and their leaders, I will value it,” she said. "As a member of the Juliette Low Leadership Society, I understand that Girl Scouts should be a resource as we look for solutions to problems facing our girls. In particular, I applaud the current scouting leaders who are working with some of our young female offenders by mentoring and seeking to instill basic values and a sense of self-reliance and resourcefulness.”
Askins added that getting a leadership experience in Girl Scouts is important for young girls today because they are our future leaders.
"Learning and embracing solid American and Oklahoma values will serve girls well throughout their lives,” she said.
Looking back on their own Girl Scouting experiences, both reminisced about what they learned and what they carry with them today on the campaign trail.
"I enjoyed the time I spent with my mother, who was our Scout Leader,” Fallin said. "In a lot of ways, she was the embodiment of what the Scouts represent. She was civic minded, selfless and kind.”
For Askins, being a Girl Scout meant enjoying camp, earning badges and learning to work as a team.
"It helped me understand this core value — make new friends but keep the old — one is silver and the other gold.”
Stackpole said that no matter who wins the election, Oklahoma’s Girl Scout family can be proud of the accomplishments of our next governor.
"I expect that young Girl Scout watching either woman take that oath of office will be inspired to greatness in their own lives,” she said. "Young girls will be able to look to our next governor and say, ‘she was once a Girl Scout like me.’”
For more information on Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma and how girls can grow into women of courage, confidence and character, visit www. gswestok.org or call 800-608-0022.