Before joining River Valleys as a program coordinator, Brenda spent over 10 years teaching environmental and outdoor education with a wide variety of organizations, including schools, nature centers, parks, and zoos throughout Minnesota. Brenda has traveled around the world, studying abroad in Glasgow, Scotland and even spent two years running a marine science center and laboratory in Port Townsend, Washington! After landing at Girl Scouts just over one year ago, Brenda has personally seen the amazing programs girls get to experience in their time as Girl Scouts.
Taking a brief hiatus from her work in the program field, Brenda was excited to take on a camp director position at Camp Singing Hills this summer. As a director, she views every day as a new day for girls to experience something new at camp. Her favorite moments are when girls discover something for the first time, hearing the ring of a girl sharing, “I have never done this before!”
Throughout her time working at camp and in programs with girls, she has seen first-hand the wide range of experiences girls have through Girl Scouts.
“Girl Scouts have so many opportunities to try new things, especially at camp,” says Brenda. “I support Girl Scouts because these experiences allow them to continue learning and be excited about it--which is what life is really about.”
Not only is Brenda working at camp and giving her time to troop programs, she also chooses to give to Girl Scouts with her dollars. With all the traveling and on-the-road work that Brenda does, monthly giving was the best option for her because it was quick and simple to sign up.
“I like that [with Daisy’s Circle], I don’t have to think about remembering to make a gift.” With the benefits of membership, “I am reminded that I am doing something helpful, even if I don’t have to think too much about it.”
From the tip of her kayak, Brenda has watched girls grow at camp and develop an amazing relationship with nature. As a lover of the outdoors, she loves to share all the amazing things that nature can do.
During a recent Troop Camp weekend, Brenda and her group of girls were walking down the path to the waterfront when they discovered Jewelweed, a natural remedy to poison ivy itching, hidden in the brush. When seeking out Jewelweed, girls learned they could look for a shimmering leaf, as the plant leaves shine when wet by the dew drops or placed underwater.
Learning about the nature around her, one girl exclaimed, “This place is just full of magic!” Just showing her what nature can do, brought so much joy and thrill to the camp experience. “She was so impressed and overjoyed to learn about plants,” Brenda shared. “There was real magic as she developed a relationship with nature she didn’t have before.”
It’s these small moments that remind Brenda, and all Girl Scout staff, that these little discoveries are the magic that girls remember all their lives!