By: Kaleena Watts
Becky Laney of Birmingham recently shared some of her most adventurous and memorable moments from her early Girl Scout days, and spoke also of the new paths she’s paving with her own daughters and troop. This alumna has had a pretty amazing history with Girl Scouts, and she’s currently carving out an equally exceptional future.
Becky joined Girl Scouts in the 1980s. Her troop, Girl Scout Troop 365, was led by her mother Martha Mackay. Becky still vividly recalls some of her troops most exciting times together. In 1987, Becky’s mom took their troop to the Girl Scouts’ 75th Anniversary in Washington, DC, where they had the rare opportunity to hear First Lady Nancy Reagan speak. Even more exciting, the next year, Becky’s troop spent two weeks at Our Chalet in Switzerland, an entire month in Germany with Girl Guides, and briefly visited the Olay house in London.
In addition to the travel opportunities, Becky also has some fond memories of the Cookie Sale Program. “I remember walking around the neighborhood with my friend, because you know you never go out alone,” Becky recalls. “We would walk around [selling] Girl Scout cookies for $1.25 a box. We could never have enough Thin Mints of course!”
As a girl, Becky ascended to the rank of Girl Scout Cadette, accumulating many memories, pins and awards. Now feeling her time spent as a Girl Scout was shorter than she desired, Becky encourages, “Stick with Girl Scouting, and it will be with you through the rest of your life.”
And true to her words, Becky is definitely stuck to Girl Scouts. These days Becky leads her oldest daughter’s Brownie troop in Greystone. She’s also looking forward to her youngest daughter joining the Girl Scout tradition next year.
Becky believes her experiences have enabled her to give her troop a greater sense of purpose than she possessed as a young Girl Scout. “I’ve been able to tell my daughter and her troop about the fun things we did as Girl Scouts and things I’ve gotten out of it.”
Through Girl Scouts, Becky learned confidence, leadership, independence and girl power. Girl Scouts also provided her with an appreciation for volunteer work. “It’s very important. The world doesn’t go round without volunteering.”
The volunteer spirit is also a trait Becky clearly gets from her mom whose longtime dedication to the Girl Scouts has been a great source of pride and inspiration for her. “My mom has always been someone who, if she sees something that needs doing, she does it,” Becky says of her mom’s willing and helpful spirit.
Clearly Becky has gained a lot from her experiences with Girl Scouts: a strengthened family bond, several lifelong friendships, and some valuable lessons and life skills. However, the one possession Becky acquired through Girl Scouts she deems invaluable is fearlessness. Becky believes that “as a Girl Scout I can do anything.” As she leads this next generation, Becky is sure that Girl Scouts will afford them this and many of the same opportunities, values and life lessons she received.