Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kevin Wilkinson is Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout

When Kevin Wilkinson’s oldest daughter, Olivia, started kindergarten, he and his wife started looking for extracurricular activities for her to participate in. The Wilkinsons wanted a place where their daughter could be with other girls her age and be part of a team. Olivia, who has Asperger's syndrome, had tried other activities in the past, but had not found a good fit. Then, they signed up for Girl Scouts.

Olivia thrived in the supportive environment of her troop, where she relied on the girls around her, and they relied on her. In support of his daughter, Wilkinson joined Girl Scouts too. Five years later, he is now the assistant leader of Girl Scout Troop 759 in Chesapeake, which both Olivia, and his younger daughter Kaitlyn, are members of. In addition to this role, Wilkinson is the financial consultant for Girl Scout troops in Hickory and helps to organize events, including the Girl Scout Cookie Classic 5K that took place at Bells Mill Park in January.

Already a member of Girl Scouts, Wilkinson has now stepped up and joined the Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout campaign, which was launched last month by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast to bring to the forefront that girls need both men and women as role models in their lives and to attract more volunteers to Girl Scouts.

“You can have a role in your daughter’s life, or you can take a back seat,” Wilkinson said. “As a father, it is important to me to spend time with my daughters and help them grow to become self-reliant, confident and productive members of society.”

Over the past five years, Girl Scouts has created numerous memorable moments for the Wilkinson family. A standout in Wilkinson’s mind was a trip that their troop took to Washington D.C. A group of 15 girls and four adults rode the train to the nation’s capital, where they visited the White House, toured the National Museum of Natural History and rode the subway, among other activities.

“For many of the girls on the trip, it was their first time on a train and in a big city,” Wilkinson said. “It was an incredible learning opportunity for them, and they gained a sense of independence, while also learning to look out for one another.”

Through Girl Scouts, Wilkinson has had the opportunity to have fun with his daughters while helping them, and others, develop important leadership skills. As a military family, the Wilkinsons view their fellow Girl Scouts as their extended family. As the family moves from post to post, there are many more “sisters” to meet and many more adventures to look forward to.

For more information about joining Girl Scouts or attending a Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout event at Smartmouth Brewery on June 28, visit