Reprinted with permission from the Grinnell Herald-Register
(SSSF addition to story: The BGM trapshooting team is a SCTP member team, and the Junior Olympic Development Camp (International Trap Camp) was conducted by the SCTP in partnership with USA Shooting.)
Girl Scout Lizzy Worthington, a BGM senior, will serve as a Youth Host at the 2017 Governors Luncheon for Scouting in the Iowa Events Center on Friday, Feb. 10. Worthington will share master of ceremonies duties with a West Des Moines Boy Scout at the luncheon, expected to draw 800. The event is a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa and the Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts of America.
“It’s an awesome opportunity and a great honor,” says Worthington of her selection as a Youth Host. “I’m excited for the opportunity to be around the governor soon to be U.S. Ambassador to China, and the lieutenant governor and everyone involved with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. They definitely do a lot for young people, and being around them will be a fun and cool experience.”
Worthington and Boy Scout Taylor Kammerer of West Des Moines will share the responsibility of master of ceremonies, including introducing the luncheon’s speakers. The two scouts will describe for the audience what scouting has meant to them and will explain major scouting activities in which they have participated.
Worthington will tell the audience about her Girl Scout Gold Award project, the ‘Bear Creek Shooting Range expected to open this spring at the intersection of Hwy. 6 and U.S. 63 east of Grinnell.
A trap shooter herself, Worthington in 2016 proposed that a range be constructed on county land much nearer Brooklyn than other trap ranges so members of shooting teams in northern Poweshiek County and in counties to the north would have a trap range for practice located closer than existing ranges.
Original cost was estimated at $50,000, and that cost has now grown to $80,000 as Worthington seeks to add amenities such as skeet towers, restrooms and a storage shed. She estimates she is within $20,000 of the goal and possibly nearer if in-kind contributions are made that reduce the cost. She notes, for example, that the range needs concrete which, if donated, would lower the total cost.
Worthington was chosen as a Youth Host from among four Girl Scouts nominated statewide. In addition to competing on the BGM trap shooting team, which she serves as president, she was invited in the summer of 2016 to shoot International Trap at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She is also captain of her school’s swim and basketball teams and Chief of Iowa’s United States Naval Sea Cadet unit.
She early enlisted in the Navy in October of her senior year at BGM and was nominated for appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy by both Iowa’s U.S. Senators. She plans to attend the academy if appointed or Iowa State University, majoring in chemical engineering and joining the SIU Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps.
Antoinette Bernich, director of communications for the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, explains that the audience will largely be adults, business and civic leaders “passionate about scouting who want to support it.”
“This is the eighth year the governor’s office has come together with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to celebrate scouting and the impact it makes on the youth of Iowa,” Bernich says. “The message of the day is creating future leaders. It’s a great way for people who were once scouts themselves to give back to an organization that meant a lot to them.”
Bernich explains that the Scouting luncheon is one of the few occasions nationwide in which the Girl Scout and Boy Scout organizations come together for a common purpose. Attendance at the luncheon is free, she continues underwritten by sponsors. Attendees are asked during the luncheon to contribute to the Scouting organization.
Donors can designate that their contributions go to one or the other organization, and undesignated contributions are divided evenly between the two Scouting programs. Organizers request minimum donations of $250 and say previous luncheons have raised around $200,000 critical funding for the two Scouting organizations.
Gov. Terry Branstad, currently planning to attend, will speak to the luncheon, and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, herself a former Girl Scout, is also planning to attend and may address the gathering. With a laugh, Bernich says Reynolds is a Girl Scout because the organization has a saying, “Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.”
Keynote speaker for the event will be Jennie Baranczyk, head women’s basketball coach at Drake University. Also speaking will be the 2017 event chair, Dan Houston, chairman, president and CEO of Principal Financial Group, the luncheon’s presenting sponsor.
The luncheon will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center Ballroom of the Iowa Events Center. Check-in for the luncheon begins at 11:15 a.m. Reservations can be made until Jan. 30 at www.Scoutsleadia.org.
Worthington’s parents, Wayne and Glynis Worthington of Brooklyn and her grandparents, Stan and Linda Worthington of Waterloo plan to attend the luncheon. Worthington is also the granddaughter of Jan Houser, formerly of Grinnell and now of Centerville.