Nancy Banta – “Rock”-ing the Girl Scout Experience
“Girl Scouts teaches values, gives you friendships and the confidence from having the skills you need. [As a Girl Scout] you really aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night.” Those are the words of First Class Award Girl Scout Alumna, Trefoil Society Member, Daisy’s Circle Member and former camp counselor, Nancy Banta. Known as “Rock” or “Battleship Nancy” at camp, this Girl Scout and geologist continues to support girls by being an advocate and donor.
Born into a military family, Nancy found a home in Girl Scouts because it gave her structure and consistency in a time when she was changing schools almost every other year. After earning her First Class (now known as the Gold Award), Nancy decided to take her love of camping and help other girls learn to be leaders in the outdoors. She became a counselor at Camp Brandy in New York and later at National Center West, a highly competitive and prestigious Girl Scout camp to work at. It was at these camps that she felt like she was able to give girls the experience of independence. “As a counselor, it was important to me to give [girls] an experience that their parents couldn’t offer them,” said Nancy.
The love of camping led Nancy to a career in geology and eventually made her one of the .06% of petroleum geologists who were female in the 1970s. Talk about breaking barriers in STEM! Learning to be confident and remain calm in stressful situations in Girl Scouts really helped Nancy excel in a career that took her all over the world to study geology. By giving to Daisy’s Circle monthly, Nancy is investing in the STEM leaders of tomorrow.
As a member of the Trefoil Society, Nancy has generously donated her house to Girl Scouts as part of the Trefoil Society Legacy Giving Plan. This incredible woman also donated a set of jewelry – following in the footsteps of founder Juliette Gordon Low who famously sold a large pearl necklace to fund Girl Scouts early on.
Alumna and donors like Nancy Banta make Girl Scouts a reality for the millions of girls that have proudly called themselves Girl Scouts since 1912. We thank Nancy for her dedication, service and philanthropy that beautifully demonstrates her commitment to girls. You can learn more about Nancy’s story by visiting our blog (www.gsksmoblog.org)!