Savannah Haynes, 15, celebrated 11 years of Girl Scouts membership recently. 

Having joined in kindergarten, Savannah built friendships and memories she can never forget. She now attends James Martin High School in Arlington.

“The relationships that I’ve built through it and the connections that I’ve gotten and all the opportunities I’ve been given are what keep me here,” Savannah said. “I remember seeing the girls selling cookies when I was little and I was like, ‘Oh, that looks fun.’”

2021 Rising Star award recipient Savannah co-emceed the Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains Women of Distinction luncheon alongside Deborah Ferguson, a NBC 5 news anchor, on Aug. 26 at the Hurst Conference Center, 1601 Campus Drive. The organization wanted to make it tradition for Rising Star award winners to emcee.

The one-hour program featured speeches from board of directors members; Becky Burton, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains; the Rising Star recipient Tori McDonald; Man Enough to be a Girl Scout award recipient Carlos Walker; Lifetime Achievement award recipient Ginny Montgomery; and Woman of Distinction Christie Eckler.

Savannah has enjoyed her time in the Girl Scouts, she said. One of the most memorable moments for Haynes was when they visited the White House during her sixth-grade year.

“It’s been a really good experience,” Savannah said. “It’s great. If I could get all the girls to join, I’d be so happy.”

Lifetime Achievement award recipient Ginny Montgomery, 71, joined the Girl Scouts in third grade, she said. She stayed active as a girl scout until she graduated from high school.

After a brief break, she found a Girl Scouts flier asking for volunteers — she then rejoined to do service. Now, Montgomery has been active with the Girl Scouts for 60 years.

“They said they needed leaders and I realized that the whole time I was growing up, somebody had stepped up to be a leader. So, I wanted to give that same opportunity to other girls,” Montgomery said. “It’s led to a more service oriented kind of life.”

One of the things she loves the most about her service is seeing young girls grow and flourish throughout their time as girl scouts.

“It’s fun to take little girls and watch them as they grow,” Montgomery said. “It’s amazing to watch women who are so afraid actually learn enough to be able to then turn around and share that with their girls.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSoto

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. He can be reached at cristian.arguetasoto@fortworthreport.org or (817) 317-6991.