It started more than eight years ago, when my granddaughter, then in Kindergarten, was a Girl Scout Daisy. Her leader was leaving the troop, and my daughter-in-law took over with a promise from me to help out now and again. Now that Daisy is a Girl Scout Senior in 8th grade. There have been eight early registrations, eight Fall Product and cookie sales, and dozens of patch programs, field trips, and adventures.
How does one measure the joy, gratification and privilege to learn along with the girls? One memory at a time, that’s how. I remember the girls’ first camp out experience as Brownies. It was mine too! I’m a city girl, after all. I remember taking the outdoor module training and thinking, “Oh my gosh! What have I gotten myself into?” But when the time came, I truly believe I had more fun than the girls. I loved the opportunity to push my limits and do something I never thought I would do. That has been a recurring theme throughout my Girl Scout volunteer career.
Whether it was going to Krispy Kreme to see how doughnuts were made, and actually get to participate in hands-on icing, or making S.W.A.P.S. for a special program, the satisfaction is the same. I have learned with the girls. I have had first-time experiences with the girls. I have given back to the community with the girls. And I have watched them grow from little, wide-eyed girls to young women about to enter high school, taking on the world on their own terms. And I have grown as a person, a woman, a Girl Scout leader.
Now my girls are focused on various community service projects, not just patch programs. A recent experience at Operation Care Package, in which the girls put together boxes to be sent to our military personnel abroad, touched each one of them. It brought home the need to do something for someone else. As teenagers, it is easy to just focus on one self, but proudly my girls became refocused on others. They have a renewed passion to do more for others, and they already have plans to work with the Special Olympics in the near future.
Two years ago, I was appointed Service Unit Manager in my community and am able to touch even more lives. I can assist new leaders as they find their way and offer special programs to the girls. So, why do I stay in Girl Scouts? Passion and a little selfishness. I love the opportunities Girl Scouts has afforded me, and I love being a part of molding young lives. If you ask me, nothing could be more gratifying than that.