Do you often think about what being a Girl Scout means or what comes to mind for others when they see our girls participating in a community program or service project? Thoughts range from ‘those girls are our future leaders,’ ‘they are honest and fair’ and ‘that is a safe place where my daughter can make new friends.’
All these thoughts came to mind for Freddie Gregg when he and his family ran into a group of Girl Scouts participating in a Nutrition Scavenger Hunt at the Lee’s Summit Hy-Vee two years ago. Freddie knew Girl Scouts would be a great place for his daughter, Brooklyn.
To truly understand this beautiful father / daughter story, you must first know what drives Freddie each and every day to make sure his daughter knows that she can do and be anything.
Freddie Gregg grew up in the projects of Brooklyn, New York. He was the oldest of five children and was raised by his single mother. With his mother working to bring the basic needs to the family, Freddie was often the caregiver for his younger siblings. He and his siblings didn’t all share the same dad, and these men certainly were not the male role models for Freddie to look up to.
Many of us can’t imagine this life. A life where you had to be conscious of gunfire, escaping the gang invitations or becoming a drug dealer. Freddie doesn’t just imagine this life – he lived it.
So in this very tough life, Freddie does remember the importance of Girl Scouts to his family. Freddie’s aunt was a Girl Scout. Yes, she lived in the projects but her mom, Freddie’s grandmother, made sure that she got to her Girl Scout activities. This was no easy feat; Freddie’s aunt had to leave the neighborhood and travel some distance by bus to meet up with her troop. She did this from grade school through high school.
Deep inside Freddie, he always knew he would leave the projects. He wanted something bigger and would work as hard as he could to get there. As a young man, he made the move, and there were certainly obstacles. Freddie spent a year in Times Square working odd jobs and spending some nights in a homeless shelter and others on the street.
Soon enough, Freddie got a fantastic opportunity to travel to California and begin a sales job. He worked hard and learned new skills. This job took him across the country and soon to cross paths with his wife, LaToya. They both worked for the same company and a romance blossomed.
So time passes and Freddie and LaToya are expecting a baby. They find out that baby is a girl. At first Freddie is a bit apprehensive like many first time fathers, but he soon came to peace and said I got this. At this point, Freddie knew it was time for his family to plant roots.
“I knew my daughter would have a different life than I had, but I needed to ensure that by taking another leap of faith,” Freddie said.
Freddie had been to the Kansas City area just one time but knew this was the place for his family. Freddie and LaToya left their jobs and started over once again. They reached out to the Community LINC program for transitional housing and assistance in beginning their new lives. Freddie and LaToya worked hard, so hard that today Freddie speaks as a LINC role model graduate.
So back to that day in the Lee’s Summit Hy-Vee, Freddie knew Girl Scouts would be the perfect place for him to continue building that father / daughter bond. He was ready to sign her up that day but learned that Brooklyn was just a bit too young.
On Brooklyn’s 5th birthday, Freddie went to our council’s website, registered her and then helped her recite the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Their Daisy Girl Scout experience was off and running.
Brooklyn is a part of a multi-age troop at St. Matthew’s in Kansas City, Missouri. She loves Girl Scouts and selling cookies is certainly a favorite activity. Actually, it was a great father / daughter activity, because it gave Freddie a chance to bond by passing on his great sales skills to his daughter.
Freddie is an active parent and is an official volunteer with the troop. Freddie leads activities, for the Girl Scout troop including a recent bullying awareness program. He and his wife LaToya took Brooklyn camping with her troop for the first time at Camp Tongawood. And, this wasn’t just Brooklyn’s first time camping; her dad took on the great outdoors for the first time as well.
He loved hiking, singing around the campfire and even more – the big smile on his daughter’s face as she experienced things for the first time.
“I want everything for Brooklyn,” Freddie said. “I want her to know that she can do and be anything she dreams.”
Freddie will be supporting Brooklyn every step of the way. He wants other dads to know that Girl Scouts is not just a great place for moms and daughters but dads and daughters too!
We are so honored to have dads like Freddie Gregg! He is certainly “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout”!!
Want to join Freddie in becoming a GS volunteer, learn more about how you can get involved.
Do you know a great “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” we should feature? Let us know.