Sunday, May 18, 2014

Connections: An Interview With Kalena Slaton - Girl Scout Cadette

Terrarium, tn.jpg
Terrarium: a Mother/Daughter Project
That everyone can contribute something useful or valuable to the well-being of his or her family or community, no matter their age, background or specific talents, is a fundamental theme here at  With Intent.

For this Connections interview, I reached out to Kalena Slaton, the daughter of a good friend of mine. I wanted to learn more about her involvement with the Girl Scouts and her recent “bridging” ceremony. The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low, is an organization affording young ladies in grades K-12, opportunities to make new friends, build confidence and character, learn new skills and help make the world a better place through community service and other activities.

Read on to find out more about Kalena’s “bridging” ceremony, what involvement in the Girl Scouts has meant to her, and how all of that relates to living with intent:

So Kalena, how long have you been a Girl Scout?
Kalena Slaton: I have been a Girl Scout for approximately seven years.

Wow, that's a long time!  How did you come to be involved with them?
Slaton: I was five years old in kindergarten at Colson Elementary School, and they had a table with information about Girl Scouts. I was interested and wanted to join so I asked my mother to sign me up and I joined the “Daisies”. Daisies are the first level of Girl Scouts. My Mom was a Girl Scout.

Ahh…so your Mom was a Girl Scout too! Did that play a part in your wanting to be one or did you only find that out later on?
Slaton: Yeah, I think I might have known, but yet don’t remember if I did. I’m not sure if it influenced me, but I think my mom’s knowledge about past Girl Scouts helps me today.

I know that you recently "bridged". What does that mean and what did you have to do to achieve that?
Slaton: "Bridging" is the term used in the moving up from one level to the next in Girl Scouts, for example, Daises to Brownies to Juniors to Cadettes.

In the bridging ceremony, me and my scouting sisters cross over a small bridge as a symbol of moving on from Junior scouts to Cadettes. Each girl must show up to Girl Scout meetings and participate in all group activities including community services in order to bridge and earn badges.

So you kind of come to rely and support each other as well as your community through your participation in the activities. . .
Slaton: Yes, we work together to help ourselves and the community (especially the community). Helping it, we get badges to earn cool awards.

Tell me a little more about the kinds of skills you have learned through your involvement with the Girl Scouts.
Slaton: I learned about setting up community projects and events through planning a party we had for Juliette Gordon Lows' birthday. She founded the Girl Scouts. I’ve also learned about event planning— our troop planned a Breast Cancer Awareness event fundraising and public speaking, and  participated in planning a sleepover during my “Finding Common Ground” badge teaching.

That sounds interesting. What is the “Finding Common Ground” badge? And what are some other badges you have earned?
Slaton: It is basically about how to make decisions so everyone can be happy with the decision you made. Before I taught my badge, we learned the Trees badge, which is about trees and more of what they do for us.

Those two badges sound fantastic! The ability to help people feel comfortable with decisions when working in a group is a really good skill to have.  It helps us to be resilient. I also like trees! I don't think people really appreciate all the great work they do for us.

So, would you recommend other kids participate in the Girl Scouts or an organization like them? If so, why?
Slaton: Yes! I would recommend others to join Girl Scouts or other organizations like it, because:
  • it helps you to learn more about your community and make new friends
  • it teaches respect for yourself and others
  • it teaches teamwork, leadership and making lots of fun crafts
Getting to know others in your community, the teamwork and leadership involved in working together, and most importantly, respect for yourself and others as well as the environment is exactly what living with intent is all about. You’ve also shown that it’s never too early for kids to learn these skills so they can start giving back to their community!

Kalena, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us here at With Intent about your participation with the Girl Scouts!
Kalena Slaton, tn.jpg Kalena Slaton is twelve years old and lives with her parents in Brandon, Florida.  She is in the sixth grade and attends  Orange Grove Middle Magnet School for the Arts in Tampa, Florida.


  1. Thank you for posting this interview! Hopefully it will inspire others, especially young people to get involved on their communities. There are plenty of wonderful organizations out there, Girl Scouts is just one. Perhaps you might consider in the future an interview with a mature adult who also is involved with service at home and abroad! :-)

  2. Thanks Karen!

    It was my pleasure. Yup! I hope to continue to present interviews of others providing service to their communities guided by a friendly, neighborhood, public librarian for instance...?! :-)