When you think of meaningful experiences for Girl Scouts, a sorority house on a college campus probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. Maybe it should be!
Every year 14,000 collegiate Kappa Delta Sorority members host Girl Scouts of all ages for confidence-building and anti-bullying events, International Girls Day celebrations and other activities at 156 college campuses across the country. This relationship, forged in 1998 is based on shared organizational values of honesty, integrity, friendship and girl leadership.
In our area, we’re lucky to have two Kappa Delta chapters working with our Girl Scouts – one chapter at the University of Kansas and another at Kansas State University. These two chapters have put in countless hours with Girl Scouts by hosting fun and skill-building activities and supporting cookie efforts for girls.
Events have included campus tours, Disney-themed parties promoting individuality, friendship workshops, and fun events like sleep overs and dance parties. Kappa Delta members have volunteered at our Centennial, helped sort cookies, assisted at a KU football game, put in manual labor at camp properties and assisted at day camp.
“I think the most unique thing about the Girl Scout/Kappa Delta partnership is that Girl Scouts is our philanthropy and though as collegians we don’t give money, but what we do give is our time. We interact directly with the Girl Scouts in our community and are able to provide them with fun and educational experiences.” Kaitlyn Morgan, KU Kappa Delta member.
In the spring of 2014, K-State and KU Kappa Delta chapters decided to face off in the name of Girl Scouts. Each chapter worked with local troops to see who could sell the most Girl Scout cookies on their respective campuses in one afternoon. While K-State won the competition in its inaugural year, cookie sales totaled more than 800 boxes that day! Plans are underway to continue this friendly, girl-led competition in 2015!
“My favorite memory was when the Girl Scouts came over to our house to sell cookies with us in a competition against the KU Kappa Delta chapter with the Lawrence Girl Scouts. We helped the girls sell so many cookies that night that we had to call other troop leaders to deliver more cookies! It was a blast and I’ll always remember playing with the girls and carrying them around on our backs during the event,” Maddy Larson, K-State Kappa Delta member.
Each chapter designs and implements their own activities, but there is one cornerstone event that brings all 156 Kappa Delta Chapters and Girl Scouts together– International Girls Day, which happens to be today, November 14. Organized by the Confidence Coalition, International Girls Day celebrates the aspirations of young girls and encourages girls to pursue their dreams, no matter how big they are.
Last night, the chapter at KU celebrated International Girls Day with activities focused around self-confidence. Collegians talked about their own dreams of working in fields that are typically male-dominated. Proving that girls can do anything that boys can do! Tomorrow, the chapter at K-State will be celebrating with a “Frozen” themed event – making homemade ice cream, having an indoor snowball fight and discussing the importance of accepting differences and how girls can be good friends.
“Kappa Delta’s relationship with the Girl Scouts is definitely a unique one. In some ways we are a teacher or a role model, we are also an assistant to them while they sell Girl Scout cookies, but we are also like a big sister and friend to each them. Every single time the Girl Scouts come to the house we always learn so much about them, but it is so cool how much each Kappa Delta learns about herself. We love the Girl Scouts because this relationship is so unique and we know we can carry our friendships throughout our lifetime,” Marissa Haake, K-State Kappa Delta member.
In addition to the hands-on work of the collegians, the Kappa Delta Foundation annually contributes funds to the Girl Scout Gold Award program and provides scholarships for the National Young Women of Distinction. This year, the relationship came full circle when Paige Young, from our council, was honored as a National Young Woman of Distinction and received her scholarship from Kappa Delta.
2014 National Young Women of Distinction with Kappa Delta Executive Director, Pamela Elms
It’s hard to tell who benefits the most from this relationship– the Girl Scouts themselves or the Kappa Delta members.
“While we are away at school, we don’t get many opportunities to interact with younger girls. Working with the Girl Scouts always makes for a fun afternoon filled with lots of smiles and giggles! I am so proud of the girls when they come back and share with us all they’ve accomplished in the past few months. For me personally, I know that by working to instill confidence in the younger girls, it has given me more confidence as well. Each of us want to be a great role model for the Girl Scouts, so they always keep us striving to be an even better person than we were before. We want to make them proud just as much as they want to make us proud!” Katherine Sensenich, K-State Kappa Delta member.
We’re so thrilled to partner with both Kappa Delta chapters at KU and K-State and we thank them for all they do for our Girl Scouts!