For Kelli Strickland, Executive Director of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, Girl Scouting has never been just a hobby, but a way of life.
Strickland was a Girl Scout from fifth grade through high school and worked as a counselor at scout camps well into her mid-20s. During that time, she earned the Gold Award — the highest and most prestigious award that a female can earn in the Girl Scout organization.
Strickland will be a guest speaker at the Girl Scouts of Distinction event at the Brown County Central Library on Thursday, May 3 at 6 p.m. The event celebrates the accomplishments of the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts, and volunteers receiving Adult Awards.
When she was a scout, Strickland’s Gold Award project was a variety show that she produced in her hometown senior residence living facility. The show ended up being such a hit, she says, that she did a mini-tour of nursing homes and senior residences.
“The signs for what was to come were there early, I guess,” she said, referring to her extensive repertoire in performance arts.
Girl Scouts gave her the skills and opportunities that helped make her who she is today.
“I was learning leadership and self-reliance, as well as teamwork,” she explains. “I was challenging myself and being encouraged to strive for excellence by my peers. Our troop taught me about respecting others’ beliefs and basic business skills, allowed me to travel internationally to Girl Scout World Centers around the globe, the list goes on and on. If the scouts ask me to do anything I say ‘yes’.”
Story by Amanda Rice ’18, Marketing and University Communication intern.