NORMAN — Renee Mauldin, a Norman High School senior and ambassador in Girl Scout Troop 241, recently hosted a self-esteem workshop and lock-in for middle-school-aged girls as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project, the highest award in Girl Scouting.
“It’s Your Time to Rise and Shine” was the title of the lock-in and workshop, which was attended by 32 girls from fourth through eighth grades.
“I was very shy in elementary school, and it wasn’t until I got involved in Girl Scouts and other activities that I became more self-confident,” Mauldin said. “I wanted to help younger girls learn about self-esteem at an earlier age by providing them an opportunity to meet, make new friends and attend sessions led by high school girls. I wanted them to be able to ask questions that they might not be comfortable discussing with adults.”
Mauldin invited Girl Scout Ambassadors and other high school students to help co-lead the workshop, which included sessions titled “My Emotions,” “My Image,” “My Body” and “Bullying.”
“In the bullying session, we talked about why people bully, what to do if you get bullied and how to stand up for yourself and other kids,” Mauldin said.
While the workshop and lock-in was free to participants, they were asked to donate non-perishable foods to be donated to Food and Shelter, which provides free meals and emergency shelter to Norman families. The project collected an estimated 80 pounds of food.
Mauldin, who has been in Girl Scouts for 10 years, also has earned her bronze and silver awards for projects with her troop, including a public relations campaign to promote adoptions at Second Chance Animal Shelter and a project to collect items and make activity bags for patients at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.
She has helped organize campouts, lock-ins, World Thinking Day and other events for younger girls. She also has been a voting delegate to the annual meeting of Girls Scouts-Western Oklahoma.
Mauldin is the daughter of Shelley McKee and the granddaughter of Leona McKee, of Norman. Her gold award project adviser is Jeni Markham-Clewell, children’s ministries director for St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church, and her troop leader is Brenda Wheelock.
Mauldin said she has received many positive comments from the girls who attended her workshop and that she learned a lot from the experience.
“It helped me develop my organizational skills and helped me learn to be more self-sufficient. I think it will help me be better prepared for college.”
Girl Scouts, founded 101 years ago by Juliette Low, is the world’s pre-eminent organization dedicated solely to girls. Its mission is to “build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.”