Lois “Lofi” Hirschman joined Girl Scouts in 1937 when she was just 10 years old. Growing up with a learning disability, Hirschman found it difficult to fit in during sports, dance, and school. But after joining Girl Scouts, she found her “safe place,” a judgement-free zone where she has continued to fully embrace the Girl Scout Promise and Law for the past 80 years.
Since first joining a Girl Scout troop in 1937, Hirschman felt a sense of belonging. The Movement gave her what she needed to feel encouraged and accepted during difficult times. Girl Scouts provided Hirschman and continues to provide every girl the Girl Scout Leadership Experience – a collection of activities and experiences girls have while they earn badges, sell cookies, go on exciting trips, explore the outdoors, and so much more that make the world a better place. Girl Scouts allows girls to conquer their challenges, venture beyond their comfort zone, and realize how great it is to be a girl and a Girl Scout.
Hirschman continued her passion for Girl Scouts by serving as several roles including a member of the board, a service unit director, and a troop leader.
As a troop leader, Hirschman was a big advocate for diversity amongst the girls in her troop – whether that was ethnicity, age, or religion. She continues to believe that all girls can learn from each other and help them better understand others perspective.
Hirschman served many troops throughout her many years of service and always vowed to allowing girls choose their journeys and provide them with new opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to do. She believes in the power of learning by doing – when leaders take a step back and allow the girls to take charge, they will be able to learn from each other and “learn to respect others ideas.”
From impromptu activities on trips, to serving girls from seven different countries in her troop at once, to advocating and helping those with disabilities – Hirschman has made an impact on not only on the girls she has served, but to their families, other volunteers, and the councils.
And at almost 90 years old, Hirschman believes that the Girl Scout program is still just as important today as it was 80 years ago. As a lifelong advocate for the girl-led movement, Hirschman states that she “dreams in green” and believes that every girl is worthy of the Girl Scout experience.
To this day Hirschman shares many stories about her troops and how she implemented girl-led experiences and made the best of each meeting, trip, and journey. Her desire to see girls across many generations succeed and learn new skill sets continues to put a smile on her face.
Girl Scouts continues to remain a vast part of Hirschman’s life as she displays her Girl Scout memorabilia and awards in every single room of her house. She continues to write about Girl Scouting, attend Girl Scout council events, and credits Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low as one of role models that allowed her to have a social life, provided her with ethics for family, and showing her to always do what is right.
Hirschman was recognized for her 80 years of commitment by Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines at the councils 10th Annual Meeting that was held on Saturday, March 4 in Greenville, NC.
Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines offers girls once-in-a-lifetime experiences all while having fun in a safe, girl-only, and girl-led environment. To learn more about Girl Scouts – North Carolina Pines visit www.nccoastalpines.org.