Girl Scout Leaders –Why We Volunteer
By Girl Scout Leaders: Barb Hunter Mahan and Gretchen Thompson
Volunteers with Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital
It’s June 2014 and the last of the girls from our teen troop graduated from high school 4 years ago – which means many of them, like Karly, finished their Bachelor’s degree this year. And since Karly’s back in town, she’s stopped by a couple of times now to help my co-leader Gretchen and me with our latest adventure – a Kindergarten Daisy Troop. Yup, we’re doing it all over again! Gretchen and I always had a big troop – the more the merrier – and we loved the diversity of the group.
Over the years, did we put in more than the infamous “it only takes one hour a week” as troop leaders and troop advisors? Yes. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! Some earned their Gold, some didn’t, but they all stuck with us until graduation. I couldn’t be more proud of the girls who were in our troop – our other daughters, as we call them. We like to think we had hopefully just a little to do with their success, too.
- Catie and Erin. Catie completed the entire Appalachian Trail last spring and Erin is about ¼ of the way up the Pacific Coast Trail. Both of them served as day and resident camp counselors in GSCNC and have obviously embraced in a spectacular way the love of the outdoors we tried to share.
- ArDonna, Colleen and Quinn. ArDonna is a graduate of UVa, and just started her tour in the Peace Corps in Guatemala. Colleen now has her master’s in speech-language pathology and Quinn just finished her Master’s in Social Work and will work with autistic children. We know they definitely got the Girl Scout message about making the world a better place.
- Katie and Kaylee. Katie graduated from the Air Force Academy and flies C-17s; Kaylee went to Texas A&M and is now in training to be a missile launch officer. They’re definitely courageous and strong.
- Not all girls were destined for college. Sarah, Bethany and several others have found their calling in other places – and Sarah is our first to be a Girl Scout leader for her own Daisy-level daughter, being a sister to every Girl Scout and being friendly and helpful.
- Other girls – Heather, Katie, Kristy, Jessica, Karen, Sarah, Maneesha, Kendria, Neha, Amy, to name only a few – have gone on to be accountants, work in human resources, become teachers, physicists, serve in the government – the list goes on and on. Some are still finding themselves; some are fully established in their careers. They are all still living the Girl Scout law. Among our girls, we’ve had at least 6 marriages, a bunch of engagements, and Gretchen and I even have 2 “grandchildren” from our girls and another one due next month.
My point? As our Kindergarten Daisies run wild with that typical end-of-the-year excitement, and they can no longer sit still long enough for a Journey or Petal story, we aren’t stressed out, because Gretchen and I absolutely know for a fact that being a leader and adviser gives us the privilege and honor of having a part in making the next generation of leaders and role models. These cute and crazy little Daisies will take Girl Scouting – the leadership, the outdoors, the service projects, the travel, the chance to try new things — and become incredible women, too.