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Taking the Lead—and Saving a Life


Since she was five years old, Kameron Hanshaw has been actively involved in Girl Scouts. This summer, she used her CPR and First Aid training to save a life. She not only credits Girl Scouts to her lifesaving skills but also her confidence now as an adult—as she now leads a troop of her own.

Kameron has taken First Aid, CPR, and AED training led by the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians (GSCSA) since sixth grade. Now at 23 years old, she continues to renew the training every year as a troop volunteer. In late September, Kameron was on a date with her boyfriend when he suddenly started choking. The Girl Scout quickly took action by pulling him out of the booth and performed the abdominal thrust like she had been taught for so many years. He was able to breathe again after the second hit.

“It was terrifying, but I was so glad I could do it,” she said. “I’ll never forget it.”

The impact of the organization changed her future and has given her the confidence to lead and become the woman she is today. As a Girl Scout lifetime member and having earned her Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award, Kameron now is in her fifth year as a troop volunteer where she helps girls take the lead and make the world a better place.

“Without a doubt, I would not be who I am now [without Girl Scouts],” said Kameron. “I used to be very shy, but now I am loud and proud. I am happy with myself. Girl Scouts is all about trying new things…and helps you grow and become unapologetically you.”

Amanda Johnson, Programs Manager for the Eastern Tennessee Region, has known Kameron over 15 years as her camp counselor, high awards mentor, and though teaching GSCSA’s First Aid/CPR training.

“It’s been fun to watch her grow into an adult and see her flourish,” said Amanda. “It’s pretty cool to know that the skills she learned in my class have served so well. She is always prepared for everything and anything because she is a Girl Scout through and through.”

Girl Scouts is more than crafts and cookies—the organization builds risk-takers and role models. Girls pledge to be “courageous and strong” and Kameron exemplified just that by bravely leaping into action, with quick thinking and composure, to save a life.