Girl Scouting is in Bynum’s DNA
Randell Bynum ’90 says two relationships were solidified when she was in fourth grade and stayed at Camp Glen Spey in the Catskills. She fondly recalls picking blueberries and making muffins with her best friend Natalie; the two are as close as ever.
The experience also engendered a lifelong relationship with the Girl Scouts. Today, Bynum is CEO of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County.
“Someone told me this is my dream job, and I thought, ‘How did I not know this is where I’d end up?’” says the third-generation Girl Scout. “I worked here in the late ’90s as director of program development. It was one of my first real jobs, then I continued my career in the national office.”
Her professional experience also includes building engagement at Sesame Workshop and Scholastic Inc. She credits Binghamton University — in particular, Carole Boyce Davies’ class on black women writers — with giving her a foundation for future leadership.
“I was a psychology major and always thought of it being clinical,” Bynum says. “[Because of the class], I saw it can also be community-based. I grew up with a lot of boys in my family, and the class taught me a lot about women and our place in society.
“Years later, I was on a business trip in Scouting is in Bynum’s DNA Florida, and I heard on the radio that she was going to be at a university giving a Women’s History Month presentation. I went out of my way to be there so I could say thank you.”
With Bynum’s organization about to celebrate its 100th anniversary, she wants to invest more in STEM educational programs and increase donor support among former Girl Scouts.
“I also want to reach girls who don’t know we’re here. We’ve been around a long time, but there are communities that aren’t aware of us, or we don’t have volunteers to start new troops. Our legacy is strong, but there is so much competition for the girls’ time.”
Bynum says Girl Scouting is just as relevant today as ever, if not more. The rise of the #MeToo movement and similar calls to action demonstrate the importance of developing strong females.
“This is one place girls can go where it’s always girl-centric and leadership-based,” Bynum says. “Girl Scouting is more than just activities. It’s about learning and friendship. We don’t need to be reactionary because we’re already teaching girls to find their space and serve their community. I’m confident knowing we have 17,000 girls in this country receiving the same message, feeling strong and empowered.”