Armed Forces promote Month of the Military Child
BEDFORD, NH – Nearly 2 million children are growing up in families involved in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. April is the Month of the Military Child, and Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains celebrates and honors our military-connected families.
As part of an active-duty family, parents can provide consistency for their girls despite frequent moves through Girl Scouting. Being a Girl Scout can be an ice-breaker for girls who need to make new friends and find a stable community. Girl Scouts is a constant that allows girls to pick up right where they left off after frequent moves, benefiting from the single-best leadership development experience for girls in the world.
Kristine Jones of Littleton, NH, operations manager for the Girl Scout council supporting New Hampshire and Vermont, grew up in a military family, moving every one-and-a-half to three years. She spent a year in Kansas as a Girl Scout, then three years in Kentucky, five years overseas on three different Army bases, and a year in Maryland, along with attending Girl Scout camps in various locations.
“While participating in Girl Scouts overseas,” said Jones, “I got to participate in a lot of cool experiences: my troop traveled to Our Chalet in Switzerland, and my family stayed at Pax Lodge in London while traveling.” Both those locations are world centers for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. “I also traveled with my troop in Germany to Saint Avold in France to put wreaths and flags on graves at Lorraine American Cemetery and memorial for World War II. There were several Girl Scout troops as well as French Scout groups that gathered together for the day to put flags out, and then we held a ceremony.”
It was Girl Scouting that made a huge difference for DeeDee Rice of Loudon, NH, also a council staffer who grew up in a military family. Her father was gone frequently and they moved every three or four years, except during the latter part of the Vietnam War, including California, Massachusetts, Germany, and Italy. She said she learned discipline, respect, order, responsibility and patriotism at an early age.
“It was in Girl Scouts where I found two beautiful friendships that lasted a lifetime, where you were accepted no matter where you came from,” she said. “You formed a special bond and became sisters. While there is always the element of uncertainty each time you moved, and the older you got the harder it was to leave your school and friends, I knew that my Girl Scout sisters were a constant and could always be counted on.”
Guided by supportive adult volunteers – including at military outposts from Brazil to Beijing – Girl Scouts try new things, hone a range of skills, and are free to just be themselves. They develop and unleash their full leadership potential through age-appropriate experiences that enable them to discover their passions, connect with others in a multicultural environment, and take action to help others.
Through USA Girl Scouts Overseas, Girl Scouting is available to girls in military, foreign service, and American expat families and to girls at international schools around the world. An operating unit of Girl Scouts of the USA, USA Girl Scouts Overseas provides a sense of security and stability as families transition to new locations, allowing members to continue their Girl Scout journeys as they build new friendships and learn about other cultures wherever they go.
You can wear purple during the Month of the Military Child to support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Purple indicates that all branches of the military are supported; Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine red, and Coast Guard blue, all thought to combine together as a single color, purple, according to MilitaryBenefits.info.
With the difficult times families are facing today, Girl Scouting can provide the same consistency for girls everywhere. Without leaving their home, virtual programs allow them to stay connected with their Girl Scout friends. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains invites all to see how they can participate at www.girlscoutsgwm.org.
Military families know that although they might move a lot, they will always find fast and lasting friendships with Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains salutes military families during this Month of the Military Child.
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 www.girlscoutsgwm.org.