Oklahoma Girl Scouts find inspiration from author of ‘Wild’

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A ‘Girl Scout’ is a title the carries a lot of meaning.

“To me, it’s a woman who can do anything and be confident in yourself,” said Avalon McAffrey.

While in the program, girls go through steps to enhance education, leadership and personal development.

Along the way, they earn badges for their accomplishments, also known as LIA’s.

“LIA stands for Leadership in Action,” said Ariel McAffrey. “It’s a lesson to learn to start something and finish it and do it well.”

The Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma are gearing up for the next set of badges, the “Outdoor Explorer.”

On Thursday, dozens of young ladies met an amateur hiker, whose journey is now gaining national attention.

“One of my boots goes over the edge of a side of a mountain,” said Cheryl Strayed.

Strayed is the author of the book “Wild,” which is now a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon.

“The story really is about grief,” said Strayed.

The book details a few struggles she had to overcome in her life.

At the age of 45, Strayed’s mother died of cancer.

Around the same time, her young marriage came to an end.

In order to cope, Strayed turned to the outdoors for strength.

She eventually went on a 1,100 mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995.

“You go into the wild and it’s beautiful. You’re humbled by the beauty and it teaches us something about who we are as people,” said Strayed.

Her experience is all about perseverance, which she hopes to pass on to these young women on their next journey in the outdoors.

“I think it’s really important to remember that even in the hardest times, there’s light and there’s always a way forward. And the only way forward is one step at a time,” said Strayed.

The Girl Scouts will find out what their outdoor challenge is on March 12.

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