“When I was younger, I thought it was all about the fun. As I got older I started seeing how Girl Scouts was teaching me things that I wasn’t learning in school. [It] strengthened my leadership skills. That’s something I really value now, and I don’t think I knew that was happening while I was in Girl Scouts,” GS Alumna, Jaime Hay says.
The founder of the reestablished student group at the University of Kansas, KU Campus Girl Scouts, Jaime Hay has embodied the qualities of a great Girl Scout since joining as a Daisy. As an alumna, Jaime is continuing to make a difference by helping other girls bridge to their alumnae status. Even though she’s getting ready to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and continue her life of service in the community, Jaime is leaving her campus with a lasting legacy.
Jaime has been a model of perseverance from the start. Despite having her first troop disband and a second not work out, she keep trying and found her home in Troop 918 in Lenexa, Kansas. Troop 918 became a group of lifelong sisters who pushed her to succeed.
“We all had the desire to push ourselves and accomplish big things. We’re still really great friends and meet every Christmas for a holiday party,” Jaime said. Since Jaime is an only child without siblings to lean on, the troop became a vital support system outside her school friends.
In 2013, Jaime earned the Gold Award for her project “Adopt-A-Grandparent.” This project at Lakeview Village Retirement Community connected residents with a child daycare. She created sessions where the residents and kids could be matched and do activities like nature walks and crafts.
“I think it really brightened the day of the residents. Some of [them] were past teachers and they liked reconnecting in the way they knew how, so it was really cool to see,” Jaime said.
Gearing up to be a freshman at the KU and moving to a new city, Jaime knew she wanted to stay involved with Girl Scouts.
“Once I graduated high school and got my Gold Award, I really wanted to stay involved, but I wasn’t sure how. I thought having a group where people could get connected on campus would be a good way to facilitate that,” Jaime said.
During the summer of 2014 – she did just that. Jaime landed an internship with our council and was given the opportunity to work on the initiative to engage college alumnae with CEO Joy Wheeler. During this time Jaime reestablished KU Campus Girl Scouts which had been on the campus before, with articles mentioning them back as far as 1969, but had since dissolved.
KU Campus Girl Scouts have volunteered with local troops, in the community and on campus. Currently, their biggest annual event is called Pizza with Pals & Night Prowl – a long standing event for local troops that the group has been asked to organize. Like a true Girl Scout, Jaime participated one year as an assistant troop leader…and stepped up to lead it the following year! They’re also working on the first annual Hidden Valley Teen Jamboree, set for Spring 2016.
To top it off, this inspiring woman started a second service group at KU – Jayhawks DREAM. This group tutors at the juvenile corrections facility in Topeka. What a great example of Girl Scout initiative!
Fellow KU Campus Girl Scouts member, Sara Schwalm, shares Jaime’s passion for this organization. “I really enjoy the activities we have gotten to help with and that we have the opportunity to show the girls what women are capable of. I may be graduating this year, but I hope that I can help our group in the future as well,” said Sara (Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate for May 2016, Troop 183, Camp Daisy Staff 2009 and 2011).
Jaime has brought her Girl Scout experience full circle by becoming a troop leader for Senior Troop 7579 in Lawrence. “I really look up to all the troop leaders I’ve had, they’re really important people to me. It was something I wanted to give back and provide that experience for other girls,” Jaime said. She loves seeing her girls experience life and learn from Girl Scouts. “[It’s] fun to see where they fit into that high school experience while still valuing Girl Scouts. I think this year they gained a new appreciation for it,” said Jaime of her troop.
What a great example of how Girl Scouts is a lifelong adventure! We can’t wait to see how Jaime continues to be a model Girl Scout and inspiration to young women. Check out their website if you’d like to know more about KU Campus Girl Scouts and this amazing leader! If you’ve had the opportunity to work with Jaime or KU Campus Girl Scouts, please comment below and share your experience!