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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Student athletes give back to community

A warm feeling circulated in my stomach last Monday after I and three other students spoke to a girl scout troop about college. No, the feeling didn’t come from the box of girl scout cookies the troop gave me. The feeling came from doing something nice for others.Junior soccer player Tim Berke asked me to participate in the event. I was pleased to know that people care.

“It’s good to give back to the community,” Berke said. “A lot of Guilford students and athletes do the same.”

Junior basketball player Mat Stanley and Berke, who live together off-campus, were asked by a neighbor to share their college experiences. The neighbor, Jennifer Barrish, is one of the moms helping the troop.

As much as I am crediting myself, Berke, Stanley and junior Caitlin Hawthorn for our participation, we are not the ones who should receive praise. Our one hour of community service is a fraction of the time girl scouts put into helping the community.

According to Barrish, the troop is trying to reach the silver award. To reach this goal, the girls have to work 30 hours of community service.

The ultimate goal for all girl-scouts is the gold award, in which girls have to contribute 70 hours to the community.

To reach required service hours, girl-scouts volunteer at daycares, churches and anywhere else that could use help.

Barrish’s daughter Bianca volunteers at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). According to, SPCA’s mission is to “raise awareness of the abuse of animals.”

There are several segments a troop needs to go through to reach the silver award. One segment allows scouts to think about careers and colleges, which was where we came in.

“How did you decide on your school? What kind of classes do you take? Was it difficult leaving high school friends? How challenging is balancing studying with having a social life?” These were some of the many questions the troop asked.

One question Stanley had for the troop was what the girl-scouts wanted to be when they grew up.

I was surprised to hear that 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds were more sure about their future careers than me. Some girls wanted to be veterinarians, one wanted to be a lawyer, another a fashion designer, and another a pediatrician.

I know this is coming from a guy who just looked up “pediatrician” in a dictionary, but I would say that the room of girl scouts was full of promising futures.

Barrish credited Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

“I think being a girl scout builds girls’ self-esteem and leadership qualities,” Barrish said. “They get to try new things and experiment.”

Barrish was curious to know if any of the girls had ever spoken to college students before.

The girl-scout troop caught me by surprise. For me, to work 30 hours of community service I would have to give up a lot of my personal time. One hour spent on this Monday night, speaking to the troop forced me to miss one episode of a hit television show, American Gladiators. I couldn’t imagine missing 29 more hours.

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