Girl Scout Stories | Girl Scouts

Why I Give: Jo's Story

Passing My Appreciation for Nature onto the Next Generation

Joanne “Jo” Westphal has been a passionate supporter and donor to Girl Scouts for decades. Joining Girl Scouts in second grade, Jo enjoyed Girl Scouting all the way through high school. Her fondest memories include camping in platform tents, canoeing and swimming at Camp Alice Chester, practicing water drills with her Mariners troop, and making new friends with Girl Scouts in other troops.

Land stewardship and an appreciation for nature remain near and dear to Jo’s heart to this day, and lessons learned from Girl Scouting influenced many choices throughout Jo’s life and career. Jo’s camp experiences led her to pursue an education in conservation and biology, and a career in landscape architecture, which were traditionally male-dominated professions. Using the skills she learned in Girl Scouting, Jo excelled throughout her adult life as she continued to dream big, not be afraid to fail, and explore new possibilities.

“Girl Scouts taught me how to be a critical thinker, how to creatively identify solutions to problems, how to work independently and within a team to make community impact, how to be a confident leader, and how to value the mentors around me - all leading me to be successful,” said Jo.

Jo remains committed to supporting Girl Scouts and is always looking for new opportunities to give back to a community that means so much to her. Jo generously donates to support camp experiences so the next generation of girls can engage in the same fun outdoor activities. She is also exploring ways to volunteer in a local troop and use her skills to support at Camp Alice Chester.

“My experiences at summer camp made such a profound impact on my life, and my goal is to pass on these adventures to other Girl Scouts, so they can learn valuable life skills, get out of their comfort zones, immerse themselves in nature, and draw connections between their lives and how they interact with the environment.”