Eight years ago this month I received an email that changed my life. I was accepted to be a summer volunteer at Our Chalet, one of the WAGGGS World Centers. It would be my first time out of the United States and a milestone in what had been a difficult number of years for me personally. While I was excited when I found out, I truly had no idea that being in that tiny village high up on a mountain in the middle of the Swiss Alps would provide the adventure of a lifetime.
I was in Switzerland for a total of 101 days, which was long enough to completely change how I viewed myself and the world around me. It was also long enough to make friends that, regardless of where in life or the world we are, I know will provide support for every endeavour I choose to take on. There were days that summer in which I felt invincible, hiking mountains and jumping off bridges, and days in which I learned valuable lessons, such as always do a head count on the bus before leaving (oops!) and how to deal with a crisis (medical and bread related!). Both the triumphs and failures that I experienced at the Chalet taught me to how to be unapologetically myself in a way I didn’t know was possible.
That is why I am running for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and raising money for programming to allow others to have the same defining moment in their lives. And that is why this organisation is so important. It has the power to change lives. For the 10 million girls in over 150 countries worldwide within WAGGGS, that influence cannot be discounted. Please consider donating and/or getting involved.
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