As a mother, I amalways very aware of my job as a role model. In these new times of uncertainty, I remind everyone that our children are watchi ng. The most important things they are going to remember about this pandemic is how we made them feel and how we reacted to this crisis.

It’s hard to be prepared for such a life-altering virus, but like the rest of the world we are rapidly adapting to the new normal and are coming up with exciting, innovative ways to support girls and each other. Many families are facing unemployment or furloughs or adjusting to working at home. Those individuals who can go to their jobs worry about protecting the families while still meeting their job obligations.

Parents are also struggling to help their children with distance learning, trying to juggle working at the same time, and keep the house running seamlessly.

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I am proud see many members of the community trying to help others by sewing masks, collecting baby monitors for local hospitals and sending messages of hope – all from the comfort of their own home to spread a little joy.

As the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, I am proud to see all of things that Girl Scouts and their families are doing during this difficult time. Messages of hope along with Girl Scout cookie donations give a much-needed boost.  In addition, donations to food pantries to help those families that are food insecure, especially in light of the some of the shortages in supply some stores are seeing.

I know many other families are searching to find engaging activities to keep their children and students engaged and focused. Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey has several activities for youth at all levels, including roller coaster design, home science experiments, special agent activities that explore forensic science, designing a video game, inventing innovative products to solve a problem. A national platform at www.girlscouts.org/athome offers additional at-home activities and resources for those who need it.

Even while we are physically distancing ourselves to keep safe and healthy, we need to be leaders in showing our youth how to handle times of crisis and more importantly how to adapt. Right now, we need to show our youth that being a leader means helping each other and thinking of the greater good.