``I will do my best to show respect for myself and others through my words and actions.'' This excerpt from the Girl Scout Law is a part of what girls around the world promise to live by when they become Girl Scouts.
Through Girl Scouts, girls can learn self-esteem and respect for others as well as for the world around them while having fun, according to Scout leaders.
Supporters describe it as a step-by-step process of self-discovery.
``Girl Scouts should be an adventure not an assignment,'' says Mariana Remple, who has been a Girl Scout for 33 years.
Remple is the leader of a Lawrence Mariner Senior Girl Scout Troop. Girls in her troop learn to canoe, swim, sail and play water sports, as well as take leadership roles by teaching younger scouts water safety.
As a community project, Remple's Troop 660 worked with the city Parks and Recreation Department in South Park to install Lawrence's first water fountain accessible to wheelchairs.
ONE SERVICE that her troop has provided, which combines community service with leadership goals, is called a ``gam'', or a ``gathering together for people who want to work.'' Usually a gam consists of senior girls teaching skills to Brownie or Daisy Scouts. This teaches the Senior Girl Scouts leadership skills while providing the younger girls with role models and a valuable lesson.
Helen Krische-Dee, the leader of Junior Scout Troop 713 of Lawrence, says besides teaching girls to respect themselves and their community, Girl Scouts also teaches appreciation for nature and the environment.
Her troop focuses on environment issues such as recycling and nature preservation. Last year, as a community service project, the girls spent a day at Clinton Lake helping clean up trash along the shore.
Last year, the Kaw Valley Girl Scout Council Inc. had a membership of 11,627 in 13 Kansas counties. That figure includes 2,701 adult volunteers, all of whom are Girl Scouts, including Remple's husband, Henry.
IN 1990, THE council spent $768,232 on its various programs, as well as on the five camps the Girl Scouts own. The United Way of Douglas County contributed $21,741. United Way campaigns covering a 13-county area of northeast Kansas provided the council $101,875.
Sales of cookies and other goods by individual troops accounted for $414,394 of the budget. By participating in the troop's finances, the girls are able to learn about budgeting and economics as well as customer relations and sales techniques.