Mike Hodges wears many different hats – many of which revolve around being involved with and giving back to his community. He is a full time Staff Analyst for the County of San Benito, School Board President at Montana del Sasso School, Director of Admissions at the Salinas Airshow, Special Guest Committee member at the Salinas Rodeo, and a dedicated husband and father.
His two daughters, Katherine and Laura, are both involved Girl Scouts. Mike’s wife, Lynne, was already a co-leader for Katherine’s troop when Laura’s Daisy troop needed a leader to take over. With encouragement from the troop’s parents, Mike stepped up to the plate and became the leader of Troop #30103.
A passionate leader, his hobbies include planning, hosting, and working Girl Scout events. He states that his main motivator for continuing to volunteer is the girls. “The smiles on their faces make the hard work worth it,” he says. “I see the potential they all possess to become community leaders.”
The troop, now full of third and fifth graders, holds end of year Bridging Barbecues and movie nights, and thrives during cookie season. “I was guaranteed by all the mothers that being a troop leader for Daisies would be a piece of cake. Well it was,” he says. “The challenge now is keeping up with the older levels. Thank goodness I have so much parent help, our mothers and fathers make our troop a success. I simply send the emails and agendas.”
Mike has seen firsthand how Girl Scouts has made a difference in the lives of his girls. “I see the self-esteem they all have gathered throughout the years. Skills like Leadership, social advancement in groups, problem solving, and simply having ‘Girl’ fun are also noticeable. It might be a correlation, but all my Girl Scouts are top academic grade earners in school. I want them all to be critical thinkers and not simply follow the pack.” Through the program, he strives to teach girls to think for themselves, to be a leader rather than a follower, and to get things done.
One of his favorite Girl Scout memories was during his troop’s first Cookie U, when the girls were hesitant to try the “Cookie on a String” activity where participants try to eat dangling cookies. “After explaining the process and pleading with them to try, I was getting no takers,” he says. “Finally I challenged them that I could eat faster than any of them. Well this got the competitive juices flowing. Not only did they participate, they mastered the technique and all of them beat me at eating a cookie on a string. Got to love Girl Scouts!”
His time as a volunteer and troop leader has continued to make a positive impact in his life, one that he is passionate about sharing with others. “Volunteering is my hobby. I love the challenge of taking a task and guiding the girls to accomplish it while learning organization lessons. I also love to see my older girls start to volunteer in other community organizations, like the Airshow and Rodeo. We need to keep the volunteer spirit alive to show others the joy of a community working together. As a team, we can accomplish greater things than any single individual could possibly do.”
Girl Scouts wouldn’t be possible without all of the incredible work of our volunteers. For this Father’s Day, we’d like to give a special thanks to all of the Girl Scout Dads that are making a difference in the lives of girls and continue to show them that anything is possible!