Thursday, August 18, 2011

My latest "Starting Conversations" published piece

Sisterhood is nothing new to me. I am one of three sisters, and I have daughters. Also, three! I get it. I always have. But, the older I get and the more I watch my little legacies grow, the more I come to realize that their sisterhoods branch further out than just our home. Sisterhood starts young, from the time they start to socialize with other children.

My seven year old, has been best friends with her BFF since they were four year old Pre-Ks. Fluke. Maybe not! My youngest, who we call “Squeaks,” already has a BFF. Squeaks and “She-She” (as she calls Jaycie) are inseparable. They are two years old! Having been a military brat, and never having had a childhood friend for longer than the two years we lived anywhere, it never dawned on me that sisterhood is almost a subconscious power. It’s innate. I think this is why sororities have survived the tests of time. We women have a calling to spend time with, bolster successes and support other women.

It’s easy for me to see, and encourage the development of deep sisterhood in my own children. But, equally interesting, entertaining and all the more fulfilling, is watching sisterhoods growing between girls who have no biological connections. Even more compelling is being able to foster these relationships and build stronger ties between them.

In addition to my time spent as an Alpha Chi Omega national volunteer, I am the head Girl Scout leader for the largest scout troop in our entire council. Most people think me and my seven co-leaders (which is what is required to support our troop!) are insane. But, watching these girls grow, develop and build life long friendships is more fulfilling for me than I ever could have anticipated. I obviously don’t spend my troop time being an Alpha Chi Omega “recruiter” but it is my job as a leader to “recruit” these young girls into being the women our community wants, and needs them to be.

According to, more than 50 million American women enjoyed Girl Scouts in their childhood. Many of these are notable, including our very own Condoleezza Rice, and some not so notable like me! Every school year that number grows, as more future leaders step foot into their first troop meetings. We have an opportunity as Alpha Chi Omegas, as women, to make an impact. Whether through Girl Scouts of the USA or another organization established to encourage strength, independence and leadership in little girls, I feel it is our job to do so.

I remember a quote, “We are Alpha Chi Omega sisters. We seek the heights of this experience called Life.” I think my time with the Girl Scouts is exactly that. I am seeking the heights of my life experiences. In doing so, I am giving back to my children, a community and an entire generation. I could sit here all day and list the reasons why it is important to volunteer. But, I feel more compelling are the reasons to foster young girls into strong women. Aside from what our genetics have offered us, our fraternity has taught us lifelong skills, not limited to the importance of owning your responsibilities, having a good moral fiber and cultivating friendships. Shouldn’t we pass this on?

Each of us, whether we are raising our own legacies, has the “tools” and innate abilities to teach the real, strong women of the future. Focus for a minute on this. Then, however you choose to do so, make the rewarding choice, to take action! If, in the end you have had an impact on just one little girl who chooses to go the way of the golden lyre, more power to us!

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