Drake University marketing and data analytics student, Aleesa Bruns, is graduating from college in December 2020. Sure, she’s learned a lot in class and around campus the past few years, but there’s another part of her college experience that she’ll likely never forget – her experience as Girl Scout Troop 472 leader.
Bruns and her co-leader, who also happens to be her roommate and friend, Cydne Ratliff, started their Girl Scout volunteer experience in spring of 2018.
“We love female empowerment and wanted to get more involved with youth in the community, so we decided to check Girl Scouts out. Originally, we planned to just be volunteers with an existing troop but were ecstatic to learn that there was a need for more troop leaders, and started our own troop,” said Bruns.
Their Troop, made up of Daisies, Brownies and Juniors from the Drake Neighborhood, meets every other Tuesday.
“Girl Scouts gives girls a place where they can be themselves and explore interests that they do not have the opportunity to [explore] at school or home…Cydne and I strive to make our meetings a place where nobody takes themselves too seriously and the girls can be their silly selves… We want to be strong female role models that show them they too can pursue their passions through higher education,” said Bruns.
Leading a Girl Scout Troop is a big endeavor, especially for a college student, but Bruns doesn’t let that stop her.
“Cydne and I are pretty busy. While at times planning events and coordinating with parents and volunteers can be stressful, our Tuesday night meetings are always a fun break from our school work.
It is so rewarding to see the positive impact the Girl Scout program has on the girls. Even on the worst days, the girls never fail to make us smile!” said Bruns.
Bruns wasn’t a Girl Scout herself as she was growing up but sees the benefits of Girl Scouting through her troop now.
“It is not all cookies and camping. While these are very fun aspects of the Girl Scout program, what I find most valuable is the leadership aspect. Having girl-led troops give the girls a space to share their ideas and make their own decisions about what they want to learn. It teaches the girls that their ideas are important, which is something that I don’t think girls are told enough. Giving the girls confidence in themselves to say what they think and achieve their goals is going to benefit them far beyond their time in the Girl Scout program,” said Bruns.