Lifelong Adventure and Friendship

“We… love that we, as members of Troop 218, have a Girl Scouting foundation that will unify us for the rest of our days!”

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Troop 218 visit Olvera Street in 1957, the year the troop formed.

Girl Scouts brings together girls with different backgrounds, interests, and personalities as part of one big family. Like all families, Girl Scouts form bonds that last a lifetime—which is why many alumnae stay friends and continue to meet as a troop, long after they’ve grown out of Girl Scouts. Local alumna Dinah Raful shares her sisterhood story.


This past October, 16 members of Girl Scout Troop 218 met in Nashville, Tennessee, for our 60th Girl Scout “Gratitude” Reunion. The troop originated under the guidance of [longtime GSGLA supporter] Bernie Horst. We have had four previous gatherings in Los Angeles, but this time we decided to venture out to a new destination.

What a great time we had in Nashville! We experienced a lovely Jubilee Day Celebration at Fisk University; had a lovely tour of the Belle Meade Plantation and a long beautiful walk at The Warner Park Nature Center; and to top it off, we checked off an item on our bucket list: a musical evening at the Grand Ole’ Opry! We also got a quick tour of Honky Tonk downtown and even the amazing Parthenon!

Throughout our sightseeing, we had very special personal moments and reconnected as we walked and talked about what we were grateful for every day. We planned Girl Scout activities like getting-to-know-each-other games, a Scouts’ Own, singing, and sharing food. We were overwhelmed again with tremendous gratitude for our leader, Bernie Horst, for all that she gave us. We adore her and love that we, as members of Troop 218, have a Girl Scouting foundation that will unify us for the rest of our days!

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60-year reunion in 2017.

Thank you for sharing your reunion experience, Dinah!

Fewer things bring happier moments than witnessing lifelong friendships and knowing that it started with just a few girls in a Girl Scout troop. Staying connected with one another is as important as staying connected with GSGLA. To find out more about connecting with our alumnae team, email alumnae@girlscoutsla.org.

Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout

When you’re a Girl Scout, you become part of a vast, interconnected family. Currently, there are 59 million Girl Scout alumnae, or one out of every two women in the U.S. Girl Scout alumnae display more positive life outcomes compared to non-alumnae—which might explain why many choose to volunteer for the organization which played such a critical part in their growth.

For that reason (and more), alumna Ju Lee decided to give back to GSGLA shortly after her own time ended as a Girl Scout. She explains to us why she returned as a troop leader for her sister in her letter below.


“Hey, do you want to pre-order some Girl Scouts Cookies?” I ask my fellow peers in college. The automatic reaction I get: “You’re still a Girl Scout?!” And my response: “No and yes.”

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Ju Lee as a Girl Scout.

I am currently a third-year undergraduate student at UCLA and a leader for Junior Troop 3475 in Koreatown, Los Angeles. For the past two years as a troop leader, I have never come across another college student on or off campus who is also volunteering for Girl Scouts, which makes me feel unique—but at the same time makes me question why other women my age are not volunteering for Girl Scouts.

When I was a high school freshman, I found a recently-formed troop in my town that I could join. Even though I spent four years in Girl Scouts, my experiences were very limited due to my troop disbanding shortly after I joined. I completed two Journeys, earned my Girl Scout Gold Award, and participated in the Rose Parade as part of the Tournament Troop—but there was so much more I wanted to do. Thus, when my little sister wanted to be part of Girl Scouts, I could not resist helping her find a troop and experience what I always desired to experience, like camping, making s’mores, and learning traditional songs.

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Unable to find a troop with an open spot, a GSGLA staffer brought up the idea of forming a Brownie troop for my little sister. After debating for long hours, I thought, “Why not?” A simple idea suggested by a staffer led me back into the Girl Scout community. It took about a year to form the troop, due to having to find another co-leader, a place for meetings, background checks, and so forth; but it was worth it.

Exactly two years have passed since the troop first met back in 2015. As a Girl Scout alumna, I love telling other folks in GSGLA and my community how I am back as a volunteer—not as a parent, but as a student. Being reconnected with the community, I have learned so much more about what it means to be a leader, from planning our next troop meeting to selling cookies with my girls.

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If I could say one thing to another Girl Scout alumna, I would tell them to get back into the Girl Scout community: whether that means attending an event or volunteering for a troop, you learn so much as a leader, a person, and a community member. More importantly, it is so rewarding seeing Girl Scouts have fun!


We are so thankful to Ju Lee for not only sharing her volunteer experience, but also empowering a new generation of Girl Scouts and upholding our crucial mission.

Are you a Girl Scout alumna? Click here to discover ways you can stay connected.

Interested in volunteering? Click here to get started on your Girl Scout journey.