In late September, Kameron Hanshaw was on a date when her boyfriend suddenly started choking. The Girl Scout quickly took action by pulling him out of the booth and performing the abdominal thrust like she had been taught for so many years. He was able to breathe again after the second hit.
Hanshaw has taken First Aid, CPR and AED training led by the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians since sixth grade. Now at 23 years old, she renews the training every year as a troop volunteer.
“It was terrifying, but I was so glad I could do it,” she said. “I’ll never forget it.”
Since she was 5 years old, Hanshaw has been actively involved in Girl Scouts. She not only credits Girl Scouts to her lifesaving skills but also her confidence now as an adult—as she now leads a troop of her own. As a Girl Scout lifetime member and having earned her Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards, Hanshaw now is in her fifth year as a troop volunteer where she helps girls take the lead and make the world a better place.
“Without a doubt, I would not be who I am now [without Girl Scouts],” Hanshaw said. “I used to be very shy, but now I am loud and proud. I am happy with myself. Girl Scouts is all about trying new things … and helps you grow and become unapologetically you.”
Amanda Johnson, programs manager for the Eastern Tennessee Region, has known Hanshaw over 15 years as her camp counselor, high awards mentor and though teaching First Aid/CPR.
“It’s been fun to watch her grow into an adult and see her flourish,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty cool to know that the skills she learned in my class have served so well. She is always prepared for everything and anything because she is a Girl Scout through and through.”
Girl Scouts is more than crafts and cookies — the organization builds risk-takers and role models. Girls pledge to be “courageous and strong” and Hanshaw exemplified just that by leaping into action, with quick thinking and composure, to save a life.
The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians has nearly 15 thousand girl and adult members in 46 counties from southwest Virginia, through eastern Tennessee, and northern Georgia. Girl Scouts is open to all girls from kindergarten through their senior year in high school. Girls are welcome to join throughout the year. For more information, go here or call 800-474-1912.
Brooke Conner is social media and content coordinator for Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.