Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Deputy Director of the National Park Service Remembers Her Time in Girl Scouts

Photo credit: St. Louis Dispatch

Our new partnership with the National Park Service through the Girl Scout Ranger Program is so exciting for everyone who’s interested in getting outdoors more. Through this program, girls can participate in a variety of organized educational or outdoor service projects and earn fun patches while enjoying all the oh-so-cool experiences our country’s national parks provide—and making incredible memories along the way.

Peggy O’Dell, a Girl Scout alumna and National Park Service Ranger, recalls for us her fondest memories of the outdoors, memories that inspired her to pursue the career she now has.

“I remember what a great time we always had at our Girl Scout meetings with our troop leader Mrs. Merringer. Whether we were working on badges or learning songs and practicing the Girl Scout traditions, it was always an environment of girls helping girls to become more confident, competent, and collaborative. These are the same skills I use every day in my work as the deputy director of the National Park Service.

“Girl Scouting gave me the confidence to try new things. When I had a chance to be a seasonal park ranger at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Gateway Arch, in St. Louis, I jumped at the chance. One big reason is that I was going to be with one of my best friends who was a Girl Scout with me when we were in grade school. We had shared so many experiences, I felt confident that together we would be able to do a great job for the National Park Service. Only I went on to a career with the National Park Service, but Joan Turnure is still a best friend, and our bond was strengthened through our Girl Scout years. Back then it was girls helping girls, today in my work it is women helping women make a difference in the NPS!”

Did you outdoor experiences with Girl Scouts impact your life? Send your story with photos to socialmedia@girlscouts.org!