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Can-do attitude gets Girl Scout to Space Camp

Lorelai Ainsworth handled the electrical systems during a simulated space flight at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, this summer. She also suited up for a simulated space walk. (Courtesy photos)

Lorelei Ainsworth has big ambitions

At the age of 12, Lorelai Ainsworth of East Concord, Vermont, is already proving she is a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™, dreaming of being the first woman on the moon, donating her long hair to those in need, and even winning her school’s Iron Chef competition. Being a Girl Scout has contributed to her amazing attitude.

“Girl Scouts makes me more confident,” she said, “so I interact with others easier and try when I might not have before.”

And being born with Russell-Silver Syndrome, a rare type of dwarfism, means she’s small for her age, but that doesn’t keep her from having big aspirations.

Lorelai spent a week at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, this summer, where she took a simulated space walk, monitored the electrical systems for a simulated space flight, and earned two Girl Scout patches.

“Space Camp made me want to be an astronaut more, and it was really fun,” she said. “There was a lot of walking between the different activities, and it’s in Alabama, so my biggest challenge was the heat. My favorite project was a team-building one. There were boards and we had to pretend the ground was lava. We had to get our team from one side to the other. One person got blinded by the lava and was blindfolded. It was hard but really fun. I fell in once.”

In July, when NASA sends a new rover to Mars, Lorelai will be part of the mission, with her name engraved on a microchip on the machine.

Lorelai started Girl Scouts as an independent member, but she and her mother, Dawn Bodenhamer, are now fully involved in a troop. “I joined Girl Scouts as an independent member because my local troop was full,” she said. “But they let me and Mom tag along to some fun summer activities so I could get to know everyone. Then when the new year started, I joined Troop 30084 officially. My mom is one of the leaders now.  I have enjoyed apple picking, an ice cream social, volunteering at our local meet-and-greet and the NH GIRL Expo, plus all my new friends.”

If anything, Lorelai’s RSS has made her more determined to strengthen her talents and abilities. She said RSS “affects me because I’m smaller than kids in my class. Everyday activities can be challenging, and I have had to learn to adapt. It also causes blood sugar issues (hypoglycemia).”

Lorelai and her mother have made it their mission to spread the positivity of Lorelai’s life through a Facebook page, Lorelai: Inspiring Others Everyday. “Just because I am a girl or have RSS doesn’t mean I can’t do anything I dream of,” she said. “I am trying to let kids know they can reach for the stars. It doesn’t matter what stands in your way, anything you dream is possible with hard work and a go-getter attitude!”

Bodenhamer is rightfully proud of her daughter’s achievements. “As her mom, she really amazes me every day with her ‘I can accomplish anything’ attitude. And even though Girl Scouts has changed a lot since I was a Brownie over 30 years ago, we are really loving the journey.”

About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit