What’s the Story? Local Girl Scout Reaches for the Gold Award

Written By: John D'Alois

Click on the photo below to see some images from the story writer symposium


Watching Nikki Lin as she adds the final touches to the room, a couple of things became abundantly clear. As the 15 year old Girl Scout nervously
mills about, aligning the seats,checking the view, adjusting the microphone , making sure the snacks are arranged just so, you can be sure no detail will be left to chance. Slightly nervous yet keenly focused, her passion for the little things make it abundantly clear that something wonderful is about to happen.

“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”
― Lewis Carroll

Ah, adventure indeed! We are in one of the learning rooms of the new Rochelle Library about to witness the results of this High School junior’s latest project. Nikki not only has a passion for writing, but she wants the world to share that passion. Recently, Nikki has taken a small group of young ladies under her wing to share her experience and skills in the craft of the short story. Over the course of a few weeks, the young understudies have learned how to find their “voice” and craft that unique perspective into story form.

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.”.
— Willa Cather

Armed with the basic material, this is where the magic, the craftwork as it were, becomes apparent. As you listened to the stories unfold, clearly the teachers lessons were well learned. The true test of a storywriter is how it engages the listener and each of these newly minted storywriters passed this test with flying colors. Though each story may have began with a nervous look out to the audience, we were quickly transported on fascinating journeys of rich fiction, pure self reflection and light hearted whimsy. With gripping titles such as – Love, Nobody’s Perfect, The Forest of Mushrooms, Guess the Color, Fashion Designing, The Life of a Teen, Climbing to Success, #2 Pencil and, one of my personal favorites , Everyone Makes Mistakes, the listener becomes drawn into each story as a willing participant, sharing the moment as a character in the story. Outstanding job by everyone, and as an audience member, time well spent. The success of this event is a true testament to Nikki’s leadership and commitment to making a difference in the world, one story at a time. Skills honed, in part, through her involvement with Girl Scouts. When these new writers were asked to describe their experience with Nikki, beaming faces used words like “fabulous, fantastic, fun – a great experience. She (Nikki) has been a teacher, friend and sister all rolled into one”

Nikki’s years as a Girl Scout have certainly helped develop the qualities inherent to taking on a project like this and she’s the first one to acknowledge the positive influence. Active since the age of 8 in Troop 2263 at Holy Family, this seasoned scout has a deep appreciation for the experience and all it has given her. From an early age, she has worked with her troop through the years in achieving the Bronze and Silver Awards. This project will no doubt earn her the prestigious Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. When asked “what does Girl Scouts mean to you?” she had no problem finding the words. ” It has taught me the importance of leadership and my responsibility to be a sister to every Girl Scout, every girl. It has helped me prepare for life and I look forward to sharing that experience with others. I just love teaching others how to become a good writer.”

Bringing together a team of young minds, to act as a mentor and make a difference in the world is quite a task for anyone, but Niki Lin takes it all in stride. Now that’s a story worth telling!