Genae Wilson

Hear Me Roar


September 2021 Issue
Photography by Mike Force Photography

Genae Wilson
Eighth grader at Needwood Middle School
Brunswick, GA

How old were you when you became a certified cleanup site leader for Keep Golden Isles Beautiful? What made you want to do it?

I was 8 years old when I became a certified site leader and lead my first clean-up at the Sydney Lanier Park. I did it because I wanted to make the world a better place, and I knew it started with me. I have a huge passion for taking care of our sea life. It is so much fun to spend hours in the marsh finding debris. It is like a treasure hunt, you never know what you might find or how big of an impact you can make with just a couple of hours of your time. I always set goals for myself to see how much trash I can find. My last clean-up goal was to find at least five tires and by the end of the clean-up, we had found more than 10. Plus, I like to find items during my clean-up to use in my recycled art.

What other activities do you enjoy when you’re not leading clean-up efforts?

I like spending time with my family and my Girl Scout troop. We go on a lot of outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, high ropes climbing and traveling. I also like running cross country, horseback riding, reading books in my hammock, creating recycled art, drawing, hanging out with my friends and going on bike rides. One of my favorite activities is building things with my dad. We have built a little library, wooden cars, and a can dispenser. Right now, we are working on the plans to build a trebuchet—I can’t wait! He is also helping me with my Silver award project, which will be a hammock village at our Girl Scout Camp Low.

What is your favorite thing about being an older sister?

My favorite thing about being a big sister is sharing my passions with my sisters. My sister has come out to support me at the last two clean-ups, and I get the chance to teach her how important it is to take care of our community. We also share a passion for Girl Scouts and creating art together. As an added bonus, both my sisters are great cuddlers, so when I am feeling down they are always there to give me a hug.

What is your least favorite thing about being an older sister?
She likes to invade my space. Sometimes I like to be alone to read or draw, but she wants me to play. It’s hard to find the balance, but it is something I am working on achieving because we just added one more baby girl to the family.

What three words inspire you?

Community: I love being an active member of my community. Not only does my community inspire me, I want to inspire my community, as well.
Trailblazer: This is something we talk a lot about in Girl Scouts—leading your own path. I want to be able to create a path of my own, in hopes to help other girls lead their own path, too. I think being a trailblazer means being a role model for others, and that is something I aspire to do.
Unique: Something that my mom always says to me and my sister is “you are one of a kind!” I like being different; I love standing out in a crowd; I love my hair even when it is crazy; and I love taking leaps no one else will. Unique is something I will always aspire to be.  

What is your favorite book?
I have many; I am not kidding! At school, they call me the “Book Girl.” If I had to pick one, I would say The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert, but honestly that might change tomorrow. I like this book because it is filled with twists and turns and keeps me on my toes. It has a great female lead character, which is always a bonus, and it has a touch of fantasy.

What is your favorite school subject?

It’s a tie between math and science. I have always had great teachers who have helped me keep my passion for these subjects. I love math because I like to solve problems and puzzles. When it comes to science, what is there not to love—marine biology, chemistry, technology, engineering?  All of it is interesting to me and super fun to learn about. I am lucky because when something is interesting to me, it is very easy for me to memorize those facts. Last year, I could still remember science facts I learned at Girl Scout camp two years ago, and it helped me in my seventh-grade science class.

What is your best memory of last year?

One of the best days of last year was going to horse camp and getting to watch a baby horse being born. It was a new experience, something I had never seen before, and I was able to learn more about horses.

What person, famous or not,
inspires you the most?
My mom! She never stops; she volunteers at both my school and my little sister’s school. She does extra for her job and makes sure we get to our extracurriculars on time, and never forgets them even when we do. She’s the best anyone can wish, or even dream, for. She is also the person who encouraged me to become a site leader and lead my own clean-ups.

Who is in your family?

Heather Wilson, my mom; Tom Wilson, my dad; sisters Evelynn and Delilah; and the queen of the house, Maddie, our dog.

I’m ROARING about…

Taking care of your community! You are never too young to make a difference. All it takes is passion.

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