Meet Our Volunteers – Karen Noel

Karen Noel is a troop leader from Paso Robles. Her Girl Scout journey started when she was just a Brownie, with her aunt as her leader. Her aunt’s dedication of her time inspired Karen to do the same for her son when he joined Boy Scouts, and for her granddaughter in Girl Scouts.

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Karen and her dog, Sophie.

She has had her granddaughter in her troop since she was five years old, and has enjoyed watching her grow as a leader ever since. “We have always been avid campers as a family, but watching her in the great outdoors she really has grown and can handle situations when nature is unpredictable,” she says. “All of my troop was very shy but now they are so comfortable in their own skin. It makes me very proud and honored to have them in my life.”

One of her favorite Girl Scout memories was during a camp-out, where the troop set up near a path to a bear den. After returning from the restroom, a parent was greeted by the bear wandering between their two tents! Luckily the troop was filled with prepared campers who left nothing out for the bear to eat, but they did have a great story to share for years to come.

Karen’s philosophy to life as a troop leader resolves around the betterment and growth of her girls. “If I can touch just one life and make a difference, then I have done my job. I think everyone should volunteer at something. The feeling of giving back is worth everything and should have meaning. The Girl Scouts is just my avenue and I think I can give back to the girls and give them opportunities that they might not get with any other organization.”

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Obstacle course with her troop during their camp-out.

She strives to use her involvement to teach her girls self-empowerment and self-fulfillment. “I would hope that I have empowered the girls to let them know that you can do anything you set your mind and heart to do. It has to come from within, and then to never give up on the dream or what you believe in. I hope to also reassure them that they don’t ‘need’ someone else to make them complete. They need to believe in themselves.”

“I have been involved in many things over my lifetime, but what I have learned the most is that there are so many people who give from the heart and to me that is the most important thing anyone can do. Being in Girl Scouts has reaffirmed that I am in this for the right reasons and to not stop believing in the magic of what can be.”

One of her favorite parts about volunteering are the people she works with and their similar mindsets. They each share a common goal, which is always for the Girls!

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Bridging ceremony in San Francisco with her troop and co-leader.

If she could have Girl Scouts take one key life lesson from the program, it would be, “to get outdoors and see the World. To take opportunities that you cannot get anywhere else and to go on an adventure to see how other people live and what else life has to offer. Make a lifetime of memories in what IS possible.”

To Karen, Girl Scouts means, “It means to have the confidence in yourself, the courage to make things happen and to not be afraid of the unknown. Dream big, be kind, have manners and give back to others.”

If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering with Girl Scouts, visit here!