When thinking about her Girl Scout memories, Emily Rankin says her favorite—the one that inspires her to continue volunteering—is when she was camping with her first troop as a volunteer. “The girls were probably Brownies,” she said. “I got to the cabin a little late on the first night. All of a sudden, one of my [Girl] Scouts came running up to me and gave me a giant hug. She said ‘Miss Emily, I was worried you wouldn’t come. It isn’t camp without you!’ I almost cried. That warmed my heart so much.”
Emily has been in Girl Scouting for over 20 years and has been a volunteer for almost 10 years. She has worked at Camp Redwing for three summers—two of those as a unit counselor, and one as a unit leader—and she is also a lifetime member of Girl Scouts. When she was a Girl Scout in high school, her troop leader asked if she would help with her Daisy troop after she graduated. She started out as a troop helper and then eventually became a troop leader with her mom as her co-leader.
Before Emily became a troop leader, she didn’t realize the work and planning that went into fundraisers, trips, and meetings. Margie Freehling and Joyce McInnes, who were Emily’s troop leaders in high school, are now her co-leaders, and they’ve expanded to four different troops.
When it comes to volunteering, Emily’s favorite aspect is the relationships she’s made. “No matter if we mess up or get upset, there is always someone to talk to or lean on. I have always felt welcome. Even on the worst days, my co-leaders or [Girl] Scouts know how to cheer me up without knowing what is wrong. I can be myself at a meeting or [Girl] Scouting event.”
One thing she wishes everyone knew about being a Girl Scout volunteer is that even though you’re an adult, you get to be a kid, too. “Wear those bunny ears to a meeting, do the ropes challenge course, or sleep on the ground in a tent,” she said. “Let your hair down and show the girls what the word ‘fun’ really means!”
If her Girl Scouts have learned anything from her, Emily hopes it’s that they can do anything they set their minds to. “If you want to build that robot then do it. If you want to hike the mountain, make sure your backpack has the essentials (since we are always prepared) and do it! There is no limit to what they can do,” she said. “Nothing can stop them!”
Emily is a prime example of this lesson—she wanted to apply to become an America’s Miss Agribusiness Queen and this year she was named the 2022 Pennsylvania America’s Miss Agribusiness.