Madison Lynn, 12, is in the seventh grade and plays for the Lady Bandits Travel Softball Organization. At a young age, she has already learned the importance serving her community.
What makes you happy?
Softball makes me happy; to be out there playing on weekends and practicing with my team on the weekdays is awesome. When I am on the field it seems to take my mind off anything else that happened either earlier that week or just anything that I happen to be dealing with. When I step on the field it’s only me and the game.
Who is your biggest inspiration or role model?
My dad is my biggest role model because he is so outgoing. No matter who he is talking to, he always makes them feel comfortable. He is one of the reasons that I wanted to do FitTrack. He is very involved at the FishHawk Sports Complex, and I know how much he has done for the park so I hope that this will be able to give back to him in an indirect way.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
My favorite thing to do with my family is to go to the beach.
What advice do you have for girls your age?
Always stay true to yourself. Don’t try to change to fit in; it doesn’t work. Be yourself no matter who you are with.
What do you think kids can do to make a difference in their community?
Kids just need to find something that they are passionate about and find a way to use that passion to help the community. It will make helping the community that much easier because when you are doing something that you love, it makes the work easier, and it makes it seem much more fun!
What are your aspirations for the future?
I want to play softball for any college, but probably the University of Florida would be my first choice. I want to grow up to be a teacher like my mom, except I want to teach kindergarten.
What is your favorite way to relax?
Hanging out with my friends, spending time practicing softball or jamming out to music.
If you could change the world in one way, what would it be?
I know that world peace sounds so common and kind of lame but I have a lot of friends who have a parent in the military who has either been deployed for long periods of time or moving around every two years or less. If world peace meant that all military parents could come home, then that’s what I would want to change in the world. I can’t even imagine having only one parent at home!
How long have you been in Girl Scouts?
I have been in Girl Scouts for six years, since I was in first grade.
What does Girl Scouts mean to you?
It is a way to connect with people you would have probably never met. It means service projects, helping out local charities, shelters or facilities that need it. It means camping in the freezing cold and in the hot, humid summer. And of course you can’t forget it means Girl Scout Cookies!
Tell us about your Girl Scout community service project, favorite experience, etc.?
We have done too many service projects to count, but a really cool and fun one was gathering old towels and new or gently used pet toys for the SPCA, an animal shelter. The memorable part about it was cooking dog and cat treats from scratch at my house. It was a troop effort that provided over 100 animals at the shelter with a treat. We also got to visit with the animals of the shelter and snuggle with some adorable puppies!
What is your favorite Girl Scout experience?
We always have fun camping because you get to bond further with your troop members and enjoy roasting marshmallows and freezing or sweating until you fall asleep. The only experience that has come close to any camping trip is staying over at Lowry Park Zoo, sleeping with the manatees and enjoying two private, backstage tours after closing time and before breakfast.
Our first project was our Bronze Award project when I was in fourth grade. My troop, Troop 279, used money we raised at local garage sales, bake sales, and most of our cookie money from the previous year to buy everything needed to buy a full garden for a place called Steppin’ Stone Farm. Steppin’ Stone Farm is a Christian residential teenage girls’ program that helps troubled teenagers get back on the right path. The girls that come stay a minimum of one year to ensure a long lasting change. We built a garden around the flagpole they have in the middle of the farm.
A Silver Award project is a step up from a Bronze Award. Instead of being a troop project you must do this project either individually or with up to three other troop members. For my Silver Award project, Madison Jung and I are working to complete FitTrack 2012. FitTrack is going to be a fitness track around the FishHawk Sports Complex where we both play travel softball. We always see community members using the 1.3-mile jogging trail that already encircles the park. We thought about how we could involve the park and the community in our project. We then came up with the idea of putting permanent workout stations around the track. It has been a long and difficult experience that has challenged us to come up with 10 sponsors. We have had to overcome the shyness we had of speaking to adults we were unfamiliar with, and we have had to speak in front of audiences of up to 40 people. Right now we have six sponsors and are looking for four more at $1,500 a piece and are hoping to have them by Feb. 2 because we are looking to install the 12 stations Feb. 10-12. These stations, once installed, will last up to 50 years, no rusting. It has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience that we know will serve the community for many years to come!
What message do you want to share with other girls and families in West Central Florida?
Girl Scouts is an awesome program that helps you connect with your community and other girls. You could meet your new best friends through Girl Scouts. I did. And now Madison Jung and I are the best of friends. We do almost everything together, and this project has brought us closer than ever. It gives us just another way to connect with one another, another way to spend time doing something that we love. Girl Scouts gives you so many great memories. If you are not involved in Girl Scouts, you should seriously consider joining a local troop.