Have you listened to a K-State HDTV recently? You might have noticed one of the sportscasters covering some of the hottest sporting events for the Wildcats is a woman…and of course, she’s a Girl Scout. Lindsay McNary is breaking the mold in the world of broadcasting by pursuing a career as a female in sports journalism. Driven by the courage, confidence and character, Lindsay is a Gold Award recipient from Sabetha, Kansas who doesn’t let gender stereotypes influence her ability to succeed.
Lindsay began her Girl Scout journey as a Daisy and was proud to close out her girl experience as a Gold Award recipient. At the age of 16 she was not only working on badges herself, but became a troop leader for 25 Daisies. “The biggest lesson I learned [with the Daisies] is that too much love can hurt you. When you have 25 little girls want to hug you all at once, you’re not physically able to stop them. I thought ‘this is it, I’m going out because of too much love!’” Lindsay said.
For her Gold Award project, entitled “12 Seconds to Live,” Lindsay organized a reenactment of what a drunk driving accident with fatalities looks like close up. It was designed to be a wake-up call to high school students and the community about what really happens in a fatal car accident. It also doubled as a mass causality drill for local first responders and has continued to serve that purpose as a training exercise. The project idea came from Lindsay’s own experience losing a cousin in a drunk driving accident and knowing that in a small town, teens are more likely to drinking as a form of entertainment.
Her Gold Award project was so inspiring that Lindsay was one of eight Girl Scouts selected from across the country to travel to Washington DC and meet President Obama in 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts. Talk about an incredible leader from our council!
After high school, Lindsay went to K-State to study Journalism, the first in her family to go to college. She landed great internships with local news stations and even worked as a marketing intern with our council. At K-State, she worked her way up and served for two years as a producer and sports at the school radio station, The Wildcat 91.9, with 45 students under her management.
Her first couple of weeks at The Wildcat 91.9 were a little challenging for a unique reason – about half of the male students that were supposed to be on her team walked out of the station, refusing to work in the sports division under a female manager. “They decided, ‘we don’t like this, if we all leave, she won’t be able to keep her job.’ Well, they ended up keeping me and it was a good lesson because it taught me how to be a good leader and how to instill confidence in my abilities to my team. In the end, all but two of the students, plus 10 more, came back,” Lindsay said.
It was a good thing they trusted her at The Wildcat because she organized internships, travel and unique opportunities that had never been offered there before. Talk about confidence in the face of incredible obstacles! She has since left The Wildcat 91.9 and is now working with K-State HDTV as a host, sportscaster and crewmember.
Looking back, Lindsay remembers that there were times when she thought about leaving Girl Scouts, but now, looking at the experience she gained in the program, she’s happy she stuck with it. “I was bullied in high school, I was the quintessential nerd…but I stayed in Girl Scouts because I made the best connections there. All of these students in college now have no other experience except maybe playing sports in high school. They’re going to struggle to find a job, where as I have experience. I’m a small town girl who didn’t even think I was going to go to college. Through Girl Scouts I figured out what I wanted from life,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay believes that a great deal of her ability to conquer the academic and work world comes from earning her Gold Award. “Because of the Gold Award, I can walk into any boardroom, any job, any interview and hold my head high, not only having the self confidence that Girl Scouts has instilled, but knowing that I rank so much higher than any other student or potential employee. That alone is so empowering. I know that I will be desired in the workforce and that I have the ability to follow my wildest dreams,” Lindsay said.
Now in her final year at K-State, Lindsay is excited about the future. She and her fiancé are expecting their first child late this summer 2016 and planning to move to Omaha, Nebraska. She has a variety of great job offers already and knows she’ll be able to tackle any of them. As a soon-to-be mom, she wants to remind other parents and girls that Girl Scouts is a long term goal that’s worth staying in as long as you can. “You have to think about [the benefits of Girl Scouts] long term. It may not seem like an immediate payoff, but the benefits are so much greater if you just have to hang in there, persevere and soak up every opportunity that you can,” Lindsay said.
We are so proud of Lindsay and all that she’s been able to accomplish! What an amazing example of where the skills learned in Girl Scouts and earning the Gold Award can take you. If you have a great Gold Award Alumna story or if you’ve seen Lindsay in action, share in the comments below!