Judy Lorensen is a native of Hampton Roads and has been in Girl Scouts since joining Junior Troop 491 in 1964. The troop met at a church in the Oceanview section of Norfolk. She recalls how proud she was to have her mom, Nora, as the troop leader. Some of Judy’s best memories are from camping at Camp Apasus in Norfolk as a girl. Judy stayed in Girl Scouts until she was in 11th grade. Several years would pass before she got involved in Girl Scouts again.
“When my oldest daughter was in second grade, I registered her and became a parent volunteer,” she said. “As they say, that’s all she wrote. I’ve been a volunteer ever since. I have five daughters and each has been a Girl Scout and earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a girl may earn in Girl Scouts.”
From parent volunteer to leader, Judy has given countless hours to Girl Scouting—making a difference in girls’ lives. She has led multi-level Troop 256 for more than a decade and says the best is seeing the girls learn or do something new, witnessing the “aha” moment when they realize they can do something on their own.
“When our troop went to Camp Skimino to do the challenge course, one of the Daisies was scared to do the “rock wall/rope” section, she recalled, “We had to talk her through it. A year and a half later, we returned and she went right over to it without any fear. It was fabulous. All the girls in the troop support each other; it’s great to see.”
Over the years, Judy has helped many girls build courage, confidence and character. From helping them to overcome shyness to giving them opportunities they may not have otherwise, Judy opens doors. This year, she was thrilled to help Girl Scout Junior Anesha Nixon go on a troop camping trip. Anesha, a fifth-grader who uses a wheelchair, was excited to travel to camp. It was like having an extra birthday, gifts and all.
“Anesha has loved Girl Scouts from the moment she joined,” Judy said. “Now, she’s just one of the girls. None of the girls treat Anesha any different from any other girl in the troop. This camping trip was special, with her mother’s help, we were able to give Anesha a canoeing experience. She absolutely loved it.”
Within each Girl Scout troop or group is a world of diversity and a wide variety of talents and abilities. No matter their abilities, every girl can benefit from Girl Scouting and engage with her inner leader—with help from caring volunteers like Judy.
This story originally appeared in the Winter/Spring 2022 edition of GSCCC’s Girl Scouts Magazine. View more of our publications online.
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