Supplement to Issue #81 - June 2018

 

Note From the Founder - Growth and Change

by Kerry Cordy

2018 was a year of growth and change for Frontier Girls.   After 11 years with no price increases, Frontier Girls was struggling to make ends meet and in a last ditch effort to avoid raising costs, I decided in January to stop the scholarship program for this year.  Only a handful of girls ever applied, most of which had already received at least one scholarship, so I did not think it would really be missed, but I could not have been more wrong.  Members from all over the country contacted me with plans to keep the scholarships alive and two members even sent in money to fund them.  Fortunately our growth this year combined with some extreme budgeting allowed Frontier Girls to continue the scholarship program on its own and return the money that was sent for this purpose. 

One of the things I learned throughout this spring was just how committed our members are to the Frontier Girls program.  Over and over, I received emails telling me to raise the membership fees in order to keep offering the scholarships, the badge tracking program, the new Badge of the Week resources, etc. and I listened.  Fees will increase on September 1 to $29 for individual memberships or $58 for family memberships.  Badges will also increase to $1.10.  These increases will allow Frontier Girls to continue to grow and expand and still offer as many resources as possible without charging extra for them.  My goal has always been to keep Frontier Girls as affordable as possible and not nickel and dime my members to death.  With the exception of uniforms and physical badges and awards, all materials offered through Frontier Girls is included in our single yearly fee.  There are no handbooks to purchase each year, no badge books, no badge tracking software, clipart, certificates, etc. that we sell at an extra cost.  It is all included in order to make budgeting easier and to ensure that every member has what they need to participate to the full extent possible.

On May 18, 2018 Frontier Girls grew enough to actually crash our website server as too many people tried to use the website at the same time.  While we are still going through some growing pains in transitioning to a new private server, this is an exciting time and as a result of the transition we are also redesigning and streamlining the website.  The new site should will hopefully be up and running by this fall.

Frontier Girls continues to grow and I am so proud of all the girls and women who lived by our motto,  "If you see a need, take the lead!" and jumped in over the last 6 months to help Frontier Girls through this time of change.  It is with honor that I award this year's scholarships.

Frontier Girls Scholarship Winners - 2018

Abby Olson Award - $1,000 - Winner:  Beth Henderson

Eligibility for the Abby Olson Award:

1. Must be at least 16 years old and may not be older than 22.
2. Must be a registered Frontier Girl. Extra points are given to girls for each year of membership.
3. Must have earned either the Diamond or Gray Diamond Award and the WOW! Award

Beth Henderson is a lone Pioneer Eagle living overseas in Wales and is an auxiliary member of Frontier Girls Troop #109 in Texas.  She has been a Frontier Girls member for many years and has earned her Diamond Award and WOW! award at the Eagle level as well as majors in all nine Areas of Discovery.  She has participated in a wide variety of community service project and truly embraced what it means to be a Frontier Girl.  Her essay gives a wonderful insight in how Frontier Girls has affected her life.

"Since joining Frontier Girls I have done many things that I would not have had the opportunity to do otherwise, and learned many things along the way which will set me up much better for future life. For instance the things I learnt in the Life Skills and the wide variety of badges and awards have pushed me to try new things and experiment in ways I would not have otherwise done.

I can use the things I have learned, and have indeed done so already, such as the skills I learned with the shadowing from the Art Major, and using them to benefit others for my Make a Difference Award. I really enjoyed learning about things that I would not have had exposure to otherwise such as the jewellery making and metal working processes and can use these skills when making gifts for others. This experience was also immediately put to good use for my Make A Difference Award, sharing parts of my new skills and knowledge to help others.

Frontier Girls has pushed me to do things outside of my comfort zone, which is good because that has always been a major area of struggle for me as long as I can remember. Frontier Girls has given me the confidence to do things I would never have normally done under any other circumstances. I also learned to use the Life Skills as a way to break through barriers in my confidence, setting the goal of achieving tasks personally difficult to me – for example washing my hair was a really really big deal and big hurdles I had to learn to overcome were my sensory overload issues and physical coordination.

I now feel more able to handle life in the world because of what Frontier Girls has pushed me to do. I am now more able to cope with different situations because of the different situations I have been in as a Frontier Girl – learning how to overcome different personal barriers, helping others in loads of various ways, and finding ways to make goals more achievable.

The many forms of work experience and shadowing which the majors and awards have given me have been a massive experience as it has shown me what it is like to work in different professions such as jewellery making, travel planning, laboratory work, and how to aid the disabled. They have also given me the confidence to perform piano recitals in public, to learn to serve others through my musical talents and to actually make the motto “if you see a need, take the lead” really come to life in an everyday way.

In the future, I feel I can remain calmer in tough situations because of the knowledge Frontier Girls has given me regarding the many areas of life, including household utilities, how to deal with fraudulent practices, and car maintenance, volunteering with a local youth group to re-build a community bridge, and shadowing in the National Health Service labs for a day, just to name a few. By doing First Aid and Emergency Preparedness I feel more prepared to deal with a crisis situation and not just panic – I have already used this in an emergency health situation to calmly guide the ambulance to the patient and give a summary of their state.

Being a Pioneer Member has had its challenges, but thanks to the support from the troop, I have been able to overcome them and become a stronger individual – I have learned how to go through the process of overcoming fear by completing the water based life skills which were a huge challenge for me. Earning the Courage Badge was a really big part of helping me grow and realising that I can overcome difficulties if I break them down and work at them. This will help me for the rest of my life.

I would encourage other boys and girls to join because of the great feeling of being a part of a team and accomplishing things as a member of a group of other people all aiming towards the same goals.

I would like to thank Frontier Girls for being a great part of my life over the past few years and would like to give a great big thank you to the members of Troop 109, without whom I would not have gotten this far."

 

Charlotte Duke Award - $500 - Winner:  Hannah Lundquist

Eligibility for the Charlotte Duke Award:

1. Must be at least 16 years old and may not be older than 22.
2. Must be a registered Frontier Girl. Extra points are given to girls for each year of membership.
3. Must have earned either the Diamond or Gray Diamond Award

Hannah is an Eagle in Troop #159 in Colorado and has earned not one, but two WOW! Awards at the Eagle level in addition to her Diamond Award.  I have had the pleasure of meeting Hannah in person on two different occasions and she has always impressed me with her quiet capability.  She has a knack for seeing what needs to be done and simply doing it with no fuss, no comment, and a capability  far beyond her years.  She truly lives our motto, "If you see a need, take the lead."  Her essay is below.

"I earned the WOW Award while working on school assignments. I keep learning and earning more through our troop as well. Working on badges helped me to see how fun learning can be and I wanted to earn the Diamond Award, so I started to focus on the badges that are part of the higher awards. The Leadership Award was the hardest for me because I like to serve quietly in the background and “lead from behind”. It was a stretch for me to get past my shyness and complete my Make a Difference project on my own, but I am glad I did. I am a little bit more comfortable now with leading and I know II can do most anything I want to.

Being a Frontier Girl helped me to get a terrific job as a member of the ropes crew at a summer camp. The outdoor experiences and activities we have done as a troop, the mock interviews we did for the Life Skills Achievement Award, and working with kids in a leadership role were all part of why I got the job. I am looking forward to this new adventure.

I can’t wait to come back to the troop after the summer and help lead the younger girls. I hope I will always be a part of Frontier Girls in some way wherever life takes me."

 

Megan Lundquist Award - $500 - Winner:  Cassi Jensen

Eligibility for the Megan Lundquist Award:

1. Must be at least 16 years old and may not be older than 22.
2. Must be a registered Frontier Girl. Extra points are given to girls for each year of membership.
3. Must have earned the WOW! Award at the Eagle or Owl level.

Cassi never ceases to amaze me.  She joined Frontier Girls in her senior year of high school and for the last several years has embraced every aspect of Frontier Girls.  A college age Pioneer Owl, Cassi is always one of the first people to offer help, support, and encouragement on our Facebook group.  She has worked on countless badges with other members all over the country via computer and is one of the biggest badge addicts I know.  She embodies what teamwork and leadership mean within Frontier Girls.  Cassi has earned mulitiple WOW! Awards at the Owl level with over 500 badges earned and she will be one of the first recipients of our new Super Star Award Award for earning 500+ badges at the adult level.  Read her essay to get to know a bit more about her.

"You are not a product of your environment. You are strong, courageous, and accountable for your actions and your choices only. When I was younger I was too afraid to speak about my upbringing, that I was raised by my grandmother and grandfather. It wasn’t that I was ashamed of them, it was that I was ashamed of the reason why. I was afraid of others judging me, a reasonable fear growing up, on mistakes my mother had made. I learned differently when I was given an experience that I now, as an adult, realize how important it was for me as a leader.

When I was in high school, I was suffering through an account of bullying, that only added to my fear of others finding out about my secret. I won’t tell you what this secret is quite yet, but it had to do with the reason why I was so afraid to speak out about why I was being raised by two of the greatest people, the most loving people in the universe. I was invited by student council - which I was not a member off, on a paid leadership experience. At the time, I was just more excited for the trip, and didn’t understand the gravity of being invited to a leadership training that was exclusive to the student body president and their council members.

We learned about leadership, as like any other leadership event you will attended. You will also learn that leadership is more than just leading; it’s about teamwork, and as they say, “There's No I in Team.”. We’ve all heard the saying, but probably don't really understand what this means. We understand that as a Team we can’t just think about ourselves, but sometimes it's unavoidable, especially when you are afraid of your own big bad dragon you are harboring. With nails as thick as steal and breathing fire around your box of courage and true leadership potential. However, when you speak about those things of which you are afraid, you allow more team members into your circle to defeating your dragon; they can help you by fighting the dragon in ways you never saw before.

The first night after quite an experience on a high ropes course, which you have to trust your teammates, you create bonds that are hard to explain. We had a deep conversation, about those fears, and as the others told about their dragons, I could feel mine growing smaller inside of me, turning into a little tiny-tinny- winnie- Lizard. I wasn't afraid to tell them, why I lived with my grandparents, that my mother had made choices that ended up with her breaking the law and in prison.

That trip taught me important qualities about being a leader. First, we are not products of our environment and are not going to be judge on choices that are out of our control. And, if we are, it means their battling giant fire breathing dragons, too, and they don't know the secret of how to defeat them. Secondly, we shouldn't judge others, based on how they are dressed, or act until we know them on a personal level, even then we should refrain from judging them and remember, everyone has dragons - some are just a little bigger than others and they haven't quite figured out how to defeat them. Thirdly, when we do step up as a leader, we need to make sure our team members understand that we are there to defeat the problem at hand and help them turn their dragons into lizards along the way.

That’s what Frontier Girls means to me, helping each other defeat their dragons, even if it means throwing a tiny rock at it and chipping it's tooth."

 

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