S'more News November 2020 Thankful Edition - Page 6

Recently, Alli Paliotta, one of our very own Girls Scouts shared a very special and inspiring college essay about her experience growing up with Girl Scouts. Please, take a look!

I climb up the long ladder to the attic of a partially constructed house and step out onto the floor. I glance at the wooden beams above my head and the seven strangers standing around me. I take a deep breath of sawdust and heat as Ben, the Habitat for Humanity coordinator, gives the other volunteers and me instructions. I begin delicately bending and creasing the ends of rigid plastic insulation panels like he showed us, trying ever so carefully not to crack the panel and render it useless. As I crawl between the roof beams and try for a third time to staple my panel to the floor, I feel it crack in my hands; as I lift my head to get a better look at the crack, my hard hat slams into a beam. My face heats with frustration as I climb back out.

Immediately, I grab another panel and try again; after five minutes of silently bending and breaking the fragile plastic, I finally secure a chain of panels from the edge of the floor to the crest of the roof. Content, I pick up another panel and begin the next row. As my hands continue to work, my mind wanders and I find myself reminiscing on the promise that I first made eleven years ago.

“On my honor I will try,” we hold three fingers high in the air, “To serve God and my country,” twenty young voices recite slowly, “to help others at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.” Slightly out of sync and off beat we finish the last line. We stand together, tall, strong, unified. A manifestation of pride and sisterhood amongst a group of five year olds.

I have been a Girl Scout since Kindergarten and I can still remember pulling on my Daisy’s smock after school on Monday afternoons, feeling empowered and unstoppable. For an hour each week I had nineteen sisters, and together we were fully committed to each other and to our community. As I have matured, this feeling of devotion has only amplified. In the same way that Ben taught me to use a staple gun and power drill to install insulation panels in the attic of that sweltering house, Girl Scouts has taught me to use the tools of resiliency and strength, to help others by devoting myself to my community. Through small acts of service, such as packing lunches for homeless children or cleaning a neglected campsite, we learned to do our part. Through learning first aid, or how to properly shoot a bow and arrow, we saw that things do not usually succeed on the first try. And whether we