Have you experienced a favorite childhood activity with your child? How did it make you feel? For Matt Ralston, experiencing the outdoors with his daughter Elizabeth is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen their bond.
Matt fondly remembers the camping experiences he had as a child, and now he gets to share those memories and make brand new ones with his daughter. Matt firmly believes that experiences in the outdoors build courage, confidence, and character.
“In today’s world, kids don’t have as many opportunities just to get outdoors and experience the natural beauty, the wildlife or the adventure,” Matt said. “The outdoor experience with Girl Scouts is unique and should be showcased.”
Matt has taken his passion for the outdoors and love for his daughter and has become an incredible advocate for all girls across our council. He joined the Board of Directors’ for our council in 2013 and is chairing the Board’s Property Committee. With his leadership, this committee will be looking at the Outdoor Taskforce’s work and then setting a strategic direction for the future of our outdoor program and properties.
“Girls deserve progressive and premium opportunities.” They should be excited to experience new activities and challenges at each grade level,” Matt said.
Of course, girls are always first in mind, but Matt also believes that our volunteers can’t feel extra burden or constraints in getting girls outdoors. This strategic vision must also include enhanced training opportunities and connection with more community partnerships for added expertise.
“We are so grateful for the work of the Outdoor Taskforce,” Matt said. “Our next steps of designing and implementing the plan will take a great deal of work, time and resources, but it is all worth it for our girls and the future of our council.”
Matt leads by example. Not only is he heading up the property committee, but he is also a philanthropic champion. As a leader at Burns & McDonnell, Matt has advocated for financial contributions from their foundation. He also gives personally and encourages his friends to give. The completion of the climbing wall at Camp Prairie Schooner was made possible by Matt and others he brought to Girl Scouts. Matt continues his support with another project beginning soon for the Trail Center at Camp Prairie Schooner.
As a Girl Scout dad, Matt sees first-hand the impact the Girl Scout experience has on his daughter. He loves seeing how his daughter grows her skills and overcomes challenges she faces. Elizabeth put some of those outdoor skills she learned in Girl Scouts into action this summer with her dad as they did a little tent camping and exploring throughout Yellowstone National Park.
Matt is an awesome Girl Scout dad, board member and advocate for girls! Others have also recognized Matt’s leadership ability. The Kansas City Business Journal recently named him one of the 25 Next Gen Leaders.
We are so appreciative of everything Matt does for our council. He is certainly “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout”!
Do you know a great man who is lifting girls up as our future leaders? We want to feature him in a future “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” blog. Tell us his story.