Women in Leadership: Former Girl Scout becomes leader

The Daily Star-Journal, Warrensburg, Moissouri
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News
February 28, 2014 Friday

Women in Leadership: Former Girl Scout becomes leader

by : J. “Miles” Ventimiglia, The Daily Star-Journal, Warrensburg, Mo.

Feb. 28–Running on about 90 minutes of sleep, Kristen Sullivan is
among those who helped put together Girl Scout World Thinking Day at
First Christian Church at Gay and Holden streets.

In that respect, as a mother and active community member, Sullivan
represents many women in Johnson County.

“I was getting things ready for today,” she said over the roar of
about 200 people, mostly schoolgirls. “We were dipping chocolate
candies, baking cakes, cutting up stuff.”

The look of pandemonium in the hall has been well organized by
Sullivan, with other women who give of themselves: Adrianne Nadell,
Jessica Lund and Carissa Miller.

“We were an awesome team. I could not have done any of this by myself.
This is all of us together. We worked really hard. They are all
wonderful ladies and I would work with any of them in a heartbeat.”

Getting ready for the Feb. 22 event also meant creating SWAPs, an
acronym meaning Something With A Pin.

“It’s a Girl Scout tradition and we’re using them this year as a
fundraiser for World Thinking Day,” she said. “Girls collect them and
they can swap them with friends. Our SWAPs today are significant. Our
SWAP represents the country of Armenia.”

Armenia’s national symbol, as shown on the pin, is Mount Ararat.
Through the years and changing political boundaries, the mountain has
become part of Turkey, but remains revered by Armenians

“They consider it their holy symbol, because it is the believed
resting place of Noah’s ark,” she said. “So (the SWAP) is a little
mountain and an ark.”

Taking a breather at a table — outside of the main hall, where
children laugh and talk, or ask for information to write in their
“passport” books about each country — Sullivan said she became a Girl
Scout leader as an outgrowth of experience.

“I was a Girl Scout as a child for about four years in Colorado
Springs,” Sullivan said. “When my oldest daughter, Audrey, started
kindergarten, I saw a flyer for a (Girl Scout) recruitment event and
wanted her to be involved with Scouts because I had had such a good
experience with it.”

At the recruitment event, she volunteered to lead a troop.

“The last two years have been so much fun with these girls,” Sullivan
said. “The girls get so much out of it. They’re learning and we do
service activities. We teach the girls about outreach and helping
others. …

“Girls can do anything, we believe, and we just want to encourage them.”

The girls earn badges for accomplishments, and socialization is
another big part of what the organization offers.

“They’re fostering friendships that last years. It’s a time for them
to come together a couple of times a month to share their experiences;
bond with each other.”

The experience works both ways, Sullivan said, because she gets
something from helping to guide the girls.

“I love the fact that they love it so much and that’s what keeps me going.”

Rising from the table, Sullivan prepares to return to the hubbub in
the main hall.

“I’m going to see if I can find the coffee I brought in at 7 a.m.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS