My Girl Scout Journey I served my community and now my country By Tanner Laziure
I have been a Girl Scout for 13 years and am now a lifetime member. I recently completed my Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive, and it gave me the opportunity to address a problem in my community and create a sustainable solution. I decided to pursue the Gold Award because I knew that it would challenge me to think beyond my circle, allow me to set goals and because I wanted the opportunity to build awareness around an issue that means something to me. My project was designed to bring awareness to the struggles that female veterans endure after their service ends. The timing was perfect, as I had just enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Inspired by pride for my country and the goal to reach out to my community, my project impacted a newly developed apartment complex for veterans with low income and their families, focusing to serve female veterans; Valor on Eighth in Tempe. Through donations and the money I earned selling Girl Scout cookies, I was able to create a space for teens and young adults living in the building to relax, read and get creative. More than 1,000 books, 400 movies, dozens of games, various art supplies and hand-made decor were donated to bring this room to life. I was also able to add a seating space for the veterans to use in a game room upstairs. Through multiple news articles and media posts, my project reached more than 30,000 people. My hope for the impact of my project is for the continuous use and enjoyment of the room, as well as to bring attention to some of the issues female veterans face. My Gold Award project, however, was only a short period of time that I spent as a Girl Scout. In fact, it was years of building skills and trying new things that led me to this meaningful project. Though I earned my fair share of patches and enjoyed selling plenty of cookies, there’s more to Girl Scouting than camping in the forest and wearing a vest. The truth about Girl Scouts? There’s not a single organization
85086 | JULY 2019
Tanner Laizure earned her Gold Award before leaving for the U.S. Navy. (Photos courtesy Tanner Laizure)
quite like it. I started my Girl Scout career in first grade, with a troop of around 12 girls, some I am still friends with today. Through my journey I have been able to learn skills that I don’t think I would have elsewhere, including life skills, identifying problems, maintain healthy relationships and all people and entrepreneurship skills from the Girl Scout cookie program. I grew up going to Girl Scout Summer Camp and even took a job there as the outdoor skills instructor after graduating high school. As I became a young teen, I learned more about working with my community and started volunteering with others at my Girl Scout council and neighborhood levels, providing classes to others and teaching them how to explore with their Girl Scout troops. With opportunities provided to me through Girl Scouts, I also received my certifications in outdoor cooking and wilderness first aid, and even became an archery instructor. I was able to connect with the girls and women around me and be a part of a sisterhood filled with strong
mentors, support and positivity, which helped me in my most challenging moments growing up. Through Girl Scouting, I explored the world around me and found myself in the process. I learned about what it meant to serve your community and my passion for it. After earning my Gold Award, I attended boot camp in August 2018 and graduated in October, entering the military at a higher rank — a benefit of earning a Gold Award. I am going to school in Virginia for the Navy. When I return to Arizona, I plan on attending ASU and earning a degree studying geosciences, while continuing my reservist job in the military. My goal is to eventually join the police force and serve my community and country further. Though I never know for sure where life will take me next, I know that I will forever be a Girl Scout. - Tanner Laizure is an 85086 teen and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. She has been a Girl Scout member for 13 years and has earned her Gold Award.
85086 Magazine July 2019