By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
Braeden Ware has learned a lot this week: how to manage her time, how to share a dorm room and how to be a force for change in her world.
The 12-year-old from Rowlett is among nearly 40 girls in the region attending the Girl Scout College Journey at Texas Woman's University.
Girl Scout College Journey participants Jordin Guzman, Victoria Villarreal, Braeden Ware and Valeria Deleon laugh as they get lunch in the Texas Woman’s University Student Union on Wednesday.
Most of the participants lived on campus this week. Braeden said she finds dorm life fun.
"You learn how to ask and how to share your space," she said.
The weeklong event, which weaves the Scouting curriculum with a college experience, helps the girls expand how they see themselves, according to Emilie Anderson, the program's on-site director.
The girls also learned about other opportunities that go beyond troop activities, such as Destination, a travel program that includes service activities.
Thanks to the sponsorship of two local corporations, Frito-Lay and First Choice Power, the girls were able to explore career options relating to their education and interests, too, Anderson said.
Since she is new to Scouting, Braeden said she was concerned about the requirements for silver and gold awards, which are granted to Cadette Girl Scouts — ages 12 through 14 — and Senior Girl Scouts — ages 15 through 17 — respectively upon completion of requirements that include a community service project.
Cadettes work about 50 hours in the planning and carrying out of a community service project for a silver award. And however the project comes together, Braeden learned, she has to make it sustainable.
"It has to last for a long time," she said.
She and the other Scouts spent most of Wednesday afternoon drawing a map of an imaginary community, identifying its assets and a problem they could solve.
The girls then presented their maps and their plans to each other.
A Scout leader critiqued and guided their work as the girls imagined how they might solve a range of problems, from a lack of day care to substandard housing to an overfished pond.
Plano resident Rani Zierath, 14, also participated in the mapping exercise, even though she's already done her silver award project. She built dog houses for Operation Kindness.
She said she's not sure yet what she will plan for her gold award project, which takes about 80 hours.
She's considering a project that would help residents in nursing homes, after hearing a presentation about a similar project in another troop.
Rani has also enjoyed the on-campus experience.
"I can't wait to go to college," she said, adding that she wants to go to New York University.
"I want to be a dancer on Broadway, or a physical therapist," Rani said. "It's the perfect school."
Article courtesy of the Denton Record Chronicle