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Outreach Program Coordinator Shares Why Outreach is Needed

Ashley Smallwood Outreach Program Interview

After launching our brand-new Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians (GSCSA) Outreach program this summer, we already have programs in 18 sites and are serving about 200 girls. Those statistics are projected to grow even more before the program celebrates its one-year anniversary.
We recently sat down with Ashley Smallwood, outreach program coordinator, as she shared about the program and what it means to her.

Why is the Outreach program important for our council?
The Outreach program is important to our council because we do unfortunately have some under-served populations. The traditional troop model doesn’t always work for each and every girl in every family due to the fact that sometimes transportation can be an issue or lack of funds or even not being able to find a volunteer to run a traditional troop.

How does the Outreach program help meet the needs of our under-served communities?
The Outreach program is unique in the sense that it is a staff-led, Girl Scout experience. We have part-time staff members that deliver the program to the girls in community centers and schools throughout our council area. They’re working on badges, getting them outdoors, and building a sense of comradery within the troop.

What makes this program so meaningful to you personally?
One of my favorite things to touch on is the sisterhood that girls acquire while they’re in Girl Scouts. A lot of the time what I will do is, we will go over the Girl Scout promise and the Girl Scout Law and then upon finishing it, I like to tell the girls, “Now you just walked away with 10 sisters you didn’t have.” And to see that sisterhood build upon itself within each meeting is so rewarding.

This year, we’re excited that 100 percent of the funds we raise on Giving Tuesday (November 27) will go directly to the Outreach program. In addition, Pilot Flying J will be matching all donations up to $5,000! Follow our social media pages to track our progress on Giving Tuesday and donate!

You can also watch or share Smallwood’s on-camera interview with friends and followers. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more GSCSA updates!