“On my honor, I will try…” I made that promise over and over as a child. It wasn’t just something I said, it’s something I truly meant — even then. And, boy, I certainly have tried to serve God and my country; help people when I can and live by the Girl Scout Law. The Girl Scout Law: I will do my best to be fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place and be a sister to every Girl Scout. As a Girl Scout, those words have a deep meaning, and I’ve believed in them since then. The relationships that were formed, the fond memories I have today and tactical skill development that helped me become who I am is powerful. Beyond my grandma, mom and a few amazing teachers, there isn’t much I can point to that had more of a profound impact on my development as a strong, push-the-limits woman than scouting. My Girl Scout troop leader believed in me and my capacity to make a difference in the world. She listened to my ideas and gave me encouragement. I was given so many opportunities. I learned to sell cookies and manage the money. I was given a Brownie Troop to lead and worked on so many volunteer projects that I was named Girl Scout of the Year in my region. These experiences helped me understand the value and power of female relationships. I never had sisters, but I learned that strong females lift each other up to make a difference. I currently sit on the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Board of Directors and am proud to say that we are donating the proceeds of CAWLM’s 80s Flashback Fundraiser to leadership programs for girls. I am thrilled that I get to introduce the most decadent decade to hundreds of Girl Scouts this year. With help from MSUFCU, we’re hosting a Friday, May 8 version of our CAWLM 80s Flashback Fundraiser for the girls. They are going to have a great time and earn a badge by learning about the 80s. Of course, adults are invited to take part in the fifth annual 80s event on Saturday, May 9 at the University Club. Tickets are on sale now for both events. Go to cawlm.com for more details. I hope to see you there! Now, I’m not sure if Stella Cash was ever a Girl Scout, but the sassy southern transplant has certainly lived her life in a way that indicates she understands the value of service wherever needed. Her story is one of twists and turns and so much fun. If you’ve met Stella, I’m sure you already know that for as many years as she has lived in the north, she hasn’t shaken that thick southern drawl or her ability to offer southern hospitality in any scenario. I think Stella is a role model for young women who worry about making a perfect decision about career and family. Her story focuses on openness for opportunity. She didn’t limit herself to one area or another. When new options presented, Stella jumped in fearlessly while keeping her values and what makes her happy top of mind — family. I hope you enjoy reading about her remarkable commitment to community and the people closest to her. And, if you get the opportunity, invite her to sit down for sweet tea just to chat. Since we’re pushing up the window of summer very soon, we decided it would be a good idea to round up some options for parents to review for the kids. It’s getting to be camp season. The number of great programs amazed me. I remember those days. We had to pull out a paper calendar and plot out all sorts of sports and science camps. The variety is great for kids with many interests. I hope to see you at our CAWLM 80s Flashback Fundraiser where weﾕll announce our CAWL (Caring About Women Locally) Award. It will be a totally rad time.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.