Neeva Leigh is a third-grader with an important secret — one she learned during her first year as a Daisy Girl Scout (K-first grade): “Sometimes things are hard to do, but we can do our best,” Neeva said. “When I have a problem and think I can’t do something, or want to give up, I think of the Girl Scout Law and keep trying.”
Neeva admits she gets nervous about trying new things and meeting new people, but she says her troop helped her learn how to be brave and set goals.
“With Girl Scouts, you are allowed to try lots of new things. If you like it, that’s great! If you don’t like it, it is still OK to try something new and learn something. If you work hard and do your best, you will be proud. We might not reach our goal every time but we can work hard and do our best.”
Neeva participates in the Girl Scout cookie program every year. Last spring, she set a goal to sell 600 boxes and reached it.
“Then I thought about setting my goal a little higher to 1,000 boxes. I was happy that I made it. I thought selling 1,500 boxes will be really hard, but maybe I can do it. I worked hard with my troop and leaders and I was so proud when I sold 1,503 boxes!”
Neeva’s troop used some of the cookie proceeds to buy gift cards, then donated them — and Girl Scout cookies — to the Women’s Resource Center.
“It felt good to make the world a better place,” she said.
Neeva said she tries to live up to the Girl Scout Law every day. To help welcome Catalina, a newly arrived exchange student from Chile, Neeva shared the tickets she had won to Hersheypark for achieving her Girl Scout cookie goal.
While the two were at the park, Neeva also shared her secret to conquering fears of riding the Great Bear roller coaster with the phrase “courageous and strong” from the Girl Scout Law.
“In Girl Scouts, you meet new people and you make new friends,” Neeva said, reminiscing about the Girl Scout friends she’s met from all over the country.
“You can go lots of new places. When I was a Daisy we stayed overnight at the Pittsburgh Zoo; in Brownies last year we camped out on the State College Spikes field and we went to Lake Tobias.
“I met girls from Puerto Rico this summer at Girl Scouts Rock the Mall in Washington, D.C. This year, we want to go to New York!”
When asked what she likes most about Girl Scouts, Neeva instantly replied, “It’s fun! If you don’t show up, you are missing out on a really great time!”
Christine Robinson is the development coordinator for the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, a Centre County United Way partner agency. She wrote this column after interviewing Neeva Leigh about her Girl Scouts experience.