Kora Coker: Living the Girl Scout Life

One student makes a difference in her life and in the world through Girl Scouts


Katie Pope, Photo Editor

Girl Scouts are a lot more than simply fabulous people who brighten smiles by selling delicious, unique cookies. The goal of the club is to influence girls all over the country to learn more about the world around them, provide goods and services for those in need, promote character, and acquire important life skills.

“I used to be really, really shy, but Girl Scouts changed me because it forced me to step outside of my comfort zone. It has even made school easier too, especially the IOP English presentation with all the public speaking experiences I’ve endured because I’ve had to speak in front of adults and lead bridging ceremonies for the little kids,” Coker said.

IB diploma candidate junior Kora Coker joined Girl Scouts in first grade and ever since leads a very busy, but productive life by balancing school, sports, and Girl Scouts.  

“While it is true that we go camping a lot, there’s a lot more to it than that. Girl Scouts isn’t just social club, it’s something people partake in to learn leadership skills and it’s a lot more than most people see it,” Coker said.

Coker engages in a variety of activities through Girl Scouts that helps improve her leadership skills, gain hands-on experiences, and build confidence all while earning badges and patches. Girl Scouts are well recognized when they are wearing their sashes or vests, usually covered in badges, patches, and starts that represents the achievements each girl has accomplished.

A very familiar patch seen on lots of vests are the small, skinny rectangular ones with a number on them followed by a plus sign. These patches 

indicate the number of cookies a girl sold in one cookie season. “In addition to seeing the joy on everyone’s faces when I bring out the order forms, selling cookies is a good skill to have because it allows girls to make a little bit of money per box sold and selling really teaches them how to manage money and orders,” Coker said.

True to the stereotypes, Coker and her troop frequently enjoy outdoor activities ranging from high adventure excursions like canoeing and kayaking to making s’mores over a fireplace and overnight camping.

“When you’re little, you get to do cute little activities. Everything started out as like a social club when we were little so that’s why I joined,” Coker said.

However, as Girl Scouts get older and progress to higher levels starting from kindergartener daisies to 12th grader ambassadors, the activities gradually become a little more significant and dynamic.

“When it started getting harder and more serious, I admit there were times when I wanted to quit,” Coker said.

In general life, as kids grow older, their responsibilities heighten. Same goes for in Girl Scouts. As the girls mature, the activities become more and more about learning and making a difference. For example, they start contriving ideas for silver award and gold award projects that require a lot of dedication and time.

There is an outreach camp made to recruit little scouts and Coker decided to use it as part of her silver award project.

“I had to recruit people and write proposals. It was a lot of work which is when I wanted to quit, but I stuck with it,” Coker said.

While it may become difficult, it is a good idea to carry on and see Girl Scouts all the way through high school.

“My mom motivated/forced me to stay in Girl Scouts and I’m really happy she did because it has helped me become a better person in general and think outside of myself and help others,” Coker said.

Currently Coker is in the process of industriously working on her gold award project. To fully complete the project, a total of 80 devoted hours is required; 8-10 hours of service and the rest of time is planning. Coker plans on writing and illustrating a children’s story for kids ages 6-8.

“I’ve always liked writing stories. They always say do something you’re interested in and good at, so that’s where it [the idea] came together for me because I like writing and I like kids,” Coker said.

The story is about a popular girl who comes across a new kid in her class who is not very familiar with English. She realizes that the best way to approach him is with kindness and tolerance.

Coker plans on reading to the children at Columbia Elementary School and George Mason Library. She will be at George Mason Library on Saturday, Feb. 10 reading every hour for 45 minutes from 11:30am to 4:15pm.

In addition to making friends, developing character, and helping out the world, Girl Scouts has further advantages. They may receive prizes and money which can be used to experience cool, new, discounted escapades through Girl Scout destinations. The girls can receive exclusive scholarships, special recognition, and awards.

“I’m appreciative of all the experiences and meeting people,” Coker said.