This piece was written by Willow Huber, Iowa Girl Scout Alum and author of Actually, I Can.
One of my fondest childhood memories is my Daisy Girl Scout pinning. As usual, I was tagging along with one of my older sisters’ troops. As we sat in our traditional end of meeting friendship circle, the troop leader (my dad) asked, “Who here wants to be a Daisy?” I raised my hand and my dad pinned a new, bright yellow insignia tab onto my velvet turtleneck. I was elated. I had been following my sisters in their Girl Scout endeavors for as long as I could remember and finally, it was my turn.
Since that day I have gone to Girl Scout summer camp, workshops, meetings, trips, earned badges, gotten fun patches, and attained my Silver Award. I was a summer camp counselor for a few years, and am honored to now be a member of the Girl Scout Associate Board and Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts. In addition, I am an author, teacher, and social justice advocate. I’ve combined all of these passions to start my business, Salix Kids.
Salix Kids (named for the salix babylonica, the Latin name for a willow tree) started with a book. In the fall of 2018, I wrote the first draft of a picture book about a little girl tired of people telling her she was too little or too girly to do things. Fast forward to January of 2020; the new year and looming feeling of being 25 without a very clear career path made me decide it was time to make this book more than just a document on my computer. I got my best friend Monica Pearson, a fellow Iowan and graphic designer, to illustrate it, created a crowdsourcing page to get funding for start-up costs, and went to work.
In many ways, Actually, I Can is a representation of my Girl Scouting journey. The first time I climbed a rock wall at Camp Tahigwa in the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western council, I was terrified. I think I made it about ten feet up and I was done. It would have been so easy for my counselors and my fellow campers to decide I just wasn’t a climbing person and heights weren’t my thing. Luckily, that’s not my story. Each year I kept climbing, making it to the top the next year, doing the zipline the following year, and even deciding to do the climbing unit one summer. After graduating high school I started working at Camp Tanglefoot in Clear Lake and became a ropes course facilitator for my final summer there. My favorite thing about Girl Scouts, and specifically camp, is that it is a place where we say, “You can.”
My own journey in publishing Actually, I Can has been a wonderful experience full of learning new things. It has brought me back in touch with old friends, and helped me stay connected to the world around me in this crazy time. Since its March 20th publishing date, Actually, I Can has had over 100 copies sold in 20 different US states.
Actually, I Can can be purchased directly at www.salixkids.com or anywhere you buy books on paperback, hardcover, and kindle. You can find Willow on Facebook and Instagram @salixkids sharing updates daily.