Girl Scout volunteer Lou Kramme, third from left, received her Gold Laurel Award during a day camp this summer in Kirkwood. With her are Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri's Chief Operating Officer Jessica Erfling, left, Maggie Roach, Community Development Manager, second from left, and some of Kramme's troop.
Lou Kramme’s and Girl Scout Troop 485’s goal was to deliver 10,000 cookies to Operation Homefront Missouri and soldiers stationed overseas.
Based in Kirkwood, Mo., Kramme is a long-time Troop Leader and volunteer who received the Gold Laurel Award, the highest Council-level award volunteers can earn, this spring. The award stands alone in recognizing specific contributions to the mission of Girl Scouts.
"It started in 2005, when the girls were in kindergarten," said Kramme. "Daisies then were not allowed to handle money. They participated in April Showers, a Girl Scouts personal care drive, and parties for the 101st Airborne. The younger girls drew pictures and the older ones wrote letters to the soldiers.
"When these soldiers returned home, my troop was invited to meet them," she continued. "They are the only troop in the whole country to wear a military patch on the front of their sashes, per President George W. Bush."
Lou never says “no” to Girl Scouts. If the Council needs her and one of her troops for a last-minute newspaper or television interview, she and her troops will be there with girls who are ready to tell the Girl Scout story.
When the organization needs someone to talk about our Fall Product or Cookie programs, Lou is available to explain how her girls use the Five Skills of goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics to sell and attain their troop goals.
Programs she runs, like day camp, are girl-led and focus on leadership. The girls are involved in the details - planning, money management and implementation - from start to finish. Recognizing her for her efforts, she received a Gold Laurel Award this summer at a day camp she led in Kirkwood. The Gold Laurel is the highest Council-level honor volunteers can earn at Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.
She and her troops lead projects that reach far beyond her district and neighborhood. For example, every year, they support the USO and our military, donating Girl Scout products and blankets they created.
"At one point this year, I had 480 cases of cookies in our house," recalled Kramme. "This is something the girls have enjoyed doing and continue to enjoy doing."
Kramme said soldiers who have returned from tours of duty overseas, have contacted her and asked to attend troop meetings, where they thank the girls for their efforts.
"I'm very proud of my girls," Kramme said. "They know I will back them 100 percent. Operation Homefront is wonderful. A couple of the girls have corresponded with soldiers since the girls were in first or second grade. "
Kramme said the core part of her troop who started the program are now in 12th grade and Girl Scout Ambassadors. They handed the program down to Kramme's younger daughter's troop to ensure it continues.
Kramme is incredibly valuable to not only the neighborhood and the district but also the Council. Girl Scouts places a high value on her and the work she does to benefit the Council and she truly embodies the passion behind the Girl Scout mission to create girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.