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Girl Scouts in Effingham building courage, confidence, character

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Yes, this is the mission statement for the Girl Scouts, but it is so much more than just a mission; it is the truth.  

For as long as I can remember, I was a Girl Scout. Even before they had Daisy Girl Scouts, I was a tag-along with my two older sisters. The Girl Scout program helped shape me into who I am today and it has given me some of my fondest memories. It was an opportunity to be myself with a sense of belonging while making new friends.  Not to mention all the fun I had. It is because being a Girl Scout meant so much to me, I felt like I needed to give back to the future generations of girls. I have made my career one of working with children and helping to lead them into their future.

As a Girl Scout, girls can be a part of the world’s largest voluntary organization serving girls 5 to 17 years old. They can develop leadership skills and self-awareness through interaction with girls and adults in her troop, service unit and community. Girls participate in educationally sound program activities under trained adult leadership, and they gain an understanding and appreciation of many peoples and cultures.

“I became a leader because Girl Scouts was such a great experience for me as a child and I wanted to pass it on to my daughter, niece and other girls in the community,” said Jennifer Helmly, a new Brownie leader in Effingham County. “It’s a great opportunity be involved in the Girl Scout movement when there’s such a great potential for growth.”

Girl Scouts also prepare girls for their future through career exploration, community service and skill building. The girls are able to strengthen their understanding of themselves and the world around them through the Girl Scout Promise and Law.  The only limitations girls have are their own imaginations and the participation of adult volunteers.

Not only is the Girl Scout program beneficial to its girls, it is also beneficial to its leaders.  There are many ways adults can volunteer. In addition to being a troop leader, there are other positions open. A volunteer can help with an individual program or be a member of the service unit team, a first aider, an outdoor skills leader or a trainer of other adults.  The Girl Scout Council of Savannah provides all the trainings for adults to feel confident in their roles, and it’s free. Someone helped you become who you are today; it’s time for you to help the next generation of Effingham County Girl Scouts.

In Effingham County, troops are currently working diligently on special community service projects such as making letters and care packs to send to soldiers, adopting a grandma through local nursing homes, creating books on tape for the Even Start program, holding food drives for both Manna House and Second Harvest, helping the local animal shelter and cleaning up cemeteries and parks in Meldrim.

“The girls in our troop are involved in community service locally and internationally. Our troop contributed shoe boxes to Operation Christmas and we are saving drink tabs for the Ronald McDonald house,” said Helmly. “We are also planning to go Christmas caroling at the Effingham County nursing home in December.”

When people hear the words “Girl Scout,” the first thing that usually comes to mind is little girls in their uniforms with boxes of cookies. What comes to my mind is our nation’s future leaders. Many powerful women participated in Girl Scouts as young girls, from judges to senators to business leaders to possibly our nation’s first female president. 

Girl Scouting was a part of all their lives and helped them become who they are today.  From our community alone we have produced an Air Force fighter pilot, nurses, computer engineers, an archeologist, teachers, a camp director and many other outstanding women. What will your daughter become with the right influences?

If you are interested in becoming a Girl Scout or an adult volunteer please contact Rikki McMillan at (912) 236-1571 or by email at