April is National Volunteer Month, and we’re here to celebrate the individuals that make Girl Scouts possible. From storing cookies in their garages and taking the lead on carpool duties, to helping plan their first camping trip and making matching t-shirts for Brownilympics, our volunteers are what makes Girl Scouts special. You help make the memories that last and show Girl Scouts that there is no limit to what they can achieve.
We asked some of our volunteers about their Girl Scout experiences, their favorite memories, and their love for YOU – their Girl Scouts! As a special thank-you to all of you that help make a difference in the lives of girls, here are 10 Reasons Why We ♥ Our Volunteers:
They’re Incredibly Dedicated
“If I can touch just one life and make a difference, then I have done my job.” – Karen Noel
Girl Scout volunteers take so much time out of their personal lives to give girls the best experience possible. They’re the ones printing out activity sheets for the next troop meeting, attending Service Unit meetings, and organizing camps. Some were looking to give the same Girl Scout experience they had as a girl to their daughters, others were happy to jump on board when they discovered the opportunity to make a difference. However you found the way into our Girl Scout family, we’re incredibly lucky to have you.
Our volunteers on being involved with Girl Scouts:
- “I was a Girl Scout for just a few years as a kid, but I had fond memories and was interested in it for my daughter. I went to a recruitment event when she was in Kindergarten, and I had no intention of becoming a troop leader. When I learned that there wasn’t a troop for her age group at her school, I decided to start one.” – Janet C
- “I was a Girl Scout growing up and I wanted my daughter to be a part of GS too. I was happy to volunteer for her. Since then I have been an Assistant Troop Leader, Troop Leader, SU Manager, Cookie Rally Coordinator, Day Camp Leader, and Day Camp.” – Nancy C
- “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.” – Karen N
They Care About Our Communities
“I think doing community service as a girl becomes a habit, which will continue when they are an adult.” – Janet Castrejon
Girl Scouts are no strangers to lending a helping hand in times of need. To live by the Girl Scout Promise is to strive to “help people at all times.” Lucky for us, our volunteers do their best to instill this giving spirit within their girls (and we think they do a pretty awesome job at it!).
Our volunteers on community service:
- “When my older girls were Cadettes, they wanted to complete a Silver Award project involving animals. We had heard of an organization named Best Friends based out of Kanab Utah. We had been saving our cookie money for a trip, so the girls decided to take a trip to Utah and work at the Best Friends Sanctuary (the largest in the United States) and learn about the problem of homeless and “unadoptable” pets. They then spread the word in this area about the organization as well as the need to adopt pets from shelters. – Vicki G
- “I love to see my older girls start to volunteer in other community organizations like the local Airshow and Rodeo. We need to keep the volunteer spirit alive so that others can experience the joy of a community working together to accomplish greater levels than any single individual could possibly do.” – Mike H
- “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.” – Karen N
They’re Girls’ Biggest Supporters
“We want our girls to have a full range of experiences to give them an edge for the rest of their lives. Girl Scouts rule!” – James Aguilar
When a Girl Scout climbs her first summit, builds her first robot, or accomplishes a prestigious Highest Award, there is always an excited volunteer cheering her on from the sidelines. Our volunteers help girls discover a world full of new experiences, and thanks to these special individuals, girls quickly learn that none of their aspirations are too far out of reach.
Our volunteers on empowering girls:
- “Volunteering with Girl Scouts is valuable to me because I love helping our troop achieve the goals they set for themselves. I feel that it is important work because this is the only girl-led organization I have any knowledge of! I feel that allowing the girls to decide what they want their experience to be is so empowering. They can strive for the higher awards, just do badges, camp, travel; it’s their choice. But they still have the support they need to be successful.” – Vicki G
- “One of my favorite memories is the Silver Award that my Cadette troop earned. They planned and carried out a Service Unit camp-out where they taught all of the skills for the Brownies to earn a try-it and the Juniors to earn a badge. They even incorporated a service project for the local food bank. The girls did all of the work. I was so proud of their accomplishments.” – Nancy C
- Volunteering is such an important and rewarding job. I’m making a difference in the lives of girls, and I want them to know that they are truly supported and are cable of great things. I believe others should volunteer because you’ll be the role model she’ll remember forever.” – Rebecca P
They’re Outdoor Adventurers
“Love the outdoors and treat it with respect. I think from doing this, girls learn a lot about themselves and they see how others treat the Earth.” – Marsha Hill
Each and every volunteer brings something to the table. Some are master planners and organizers, others are creative masterminds that help create the coolest cookie booths. Quite a few of our volunteers are champions of the outdoors, and they love to share their passion with Girl Scouts! Not only does it help teach girls the importance of caring for our environment, but it also teaches adaptability (and makes for a funny story or two!).
Our volunteers on outdoor experiences:
- “As Seniors, the girls wanted to see the Grand Canyon. I had never driven an RV, let alone handled the ‘internal workings’ of one. The girls assured me that if I would handle the driving, they would take care of the rest. They videoed the fellow at the RV rental place as he gave us the RV orientation and they kept their promise. Not once did I hook up to a septic system, they handled it. It was a great experience!” – Lisa M
- “The day of our camp-out at the beach, a huge storm came around. Suddenly, all our painstaking planning for the night went down the drain. Instead of freaking out, I asked the group. ‘Ok. What’s the next plan?’ We all stopped and thought, and within a few minutes, we had a whole new evening planned. That event taught the troop that in life you don’t always get your first choice in outcomes, so you might as well always plan for what’s next.” – Rebecca P
- “A successful day of fishing quickly took a different turn when the white, fluffy clouds grew dark. The adults did not prepare for this with rain gear, but we spotted a large rock outcropping that allowed for 10+ people to take cover from the rain. The adults began accumulating all available dry wood and within 15 minutes we had a fire in the cave that would entertain the kids (and keep them warm) while we waited out the rain. We soon had four backpacking tourists ask to join our wilderness ‘spa’ to get out of the rain. The admission charge was large: they needed to give the kids all of their marshmallows or tell us some of their adventure stories backpacking the Sierras. Great stories were shared until the rain let up so we could return to our campsites, where of course we had ample supply of marshmallows to create s’mores for dessert around the campfire.” – Mark W
They’re Always Willing to Try Something New
“Girl Scouts has taught me that you can do anything you put your mind to. I probably would have never thought of doing some of the activities that I did with Girl Scouts by myself. I learned that I can be open to trying new things, because it might be a lot of fun!” – Julie Sainz
The best way to get girls out of their comfort zones and willing to try something new? A volunteer that is willing to step up to the challenge! Girl Scout volunteers are excellent at acting as examples for our girls, stepping up to the plate and getting in on the fun right alongside them. Many have learned something new along the way themselves!
Our volunteers on trying new things:
- “I have learned that I have a lot to give and new stuff to learn. If I don’t know how to do something, I teach myself. Prior to Girl Scouts, I was not a camper. It just wasn’t something my family did growing up. Now, I teach Outdoor Training for our Council and consider myself a very good camper.” – Lisa M
- “I learned not to be so fussy about food in Girl Scouts. When I was a girl, our troop had a cook-out in my backyard’s woods where we dug what was called a ‘bean hole.’ We put beef, carrots, onions, and potatoes into a roasting pan over the coals and covered it. For some reason the food took forever to cook and even though I didn’t like cooked carrots or cooked onions, those were the best tasting carrots and onions I had ever had (at 10:00pm that night).” – Marsha H
- “Volunteering for Girl Scouts fills my bucket. I love being able to expose the girls to something they may never have done if it weren’t for being a Girl Scout. It’s worth the time and effort just to see how happy they get once they have accomplished something new, like going on a boat or cooking their own hamburgers.” – Tania C
They Celebrate Differences
“I love that our troop is a collection of different personalities and characters. Sometimes just sitting back and watching is all the entertainment one would need.” – John Gorman
In Girl Scouts, we embrace each and every girl as an individual, encouraging them to be their truest selves. As girls grow and learn to love the things that make them special, our volunteers uplift them, inspire them, and celebrate them! The result? Confident, courageous girls who aren’t afraid to follow their dreams and let their voices be heard.
Our volunteers on the strength of diversity:
- “Experiences and stories of life do not come through one narrow channel. Much of life is best shared with others in a variety of social circles and experiences. Girl Scouts provided examples of leadership and community involvement which resulted in seeing my daughter’s confidence and people skills grow.” – Mark W
- “I’ve learned that I have a soft heart for the girls in our troop. Despite all of the different backgrounds, I have found a spirit within myself to be there for our girls.” – James A
- “Girl Scouts means opportunities to explore different things, adventures beyond your normal situation, meeting new people, and learning how to interact with different cultures.” – Mark S
They Help Make the Best Memories
“During our Tahoe trip, the campers at the site next to ours began singing ‘Let it Go’ from the movie ‘Frozen.’ We started chiming in and it went on for a good 25 minutes with each campsite picking another song.” – Mark Stephenson
Would that camping trip to the Redwoods really have been as fun without your troop leader giving you each a nature name for the weekend? Would you have tried white water rafting if not for the volunteer that offered to go with you? With each new experience, our volunteers are right by our girls’ sides, sharing each laugh, mishap, and victory along the way!
Our volunteers on making new memories:
- “During our first Cookie-U, the girls were a bit hesitant to try the eating of ‘A Cookie On A String.’ After explaining the game and pleading with them to try, I was getting no takers. Finally, I challenged them that I could eat faster than any of them. Well, this awakened the competitive spirit in my girls. Not only did they participate, but they also mastered the technique and all of them beat me at eating a cookie on a string. Got to Love Girl Scouts.” – Mike H
- “One of our girls was rather timid and agreed to go on the three-bay kayaking excursion with the group under one condition: that she be in a double kayak with me. On our way out of the first bay, the sea rays started jumping high out of the water. She was so excited and gleeful to experience this so close-up, but quickly realized that one might land in the kayak with US! We still giggle about that. She now has a tattoo of a sea ray on her side that reminds her of her courage.” – Lisa M
They Believe in the Mission
“There is one thing I always strive to teach every girl that I cross paths with – that is to be BOLD! Bold with speaking her opinions and wants, bold to stand up for what she believes to be right and fair, bold to try new things and bold to dream big. Then, make a plan so it can come true.” – Lisa McKinny
Being involved with Girl Scouts gives you first-hand experience in the power of a G.I.R.L.. Our volunteers give girls the tools they need to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. They teach each and every individual to make a difference in their own lives and beyond, to chase their dreams, to set new goals (and reach them!), and to get the most of each experience.
Our volunteers on the strength of G.I.R.L.s:
- “I see the self-esteem they all have gathered throughout the years. Skills like leadership, problem-solving, and simply having ‘Girl’ fun are also noticeable. I want them all to be critical thinkers and not simply follow the pack.” – Mike H
- “Girl Scouts means giving my daughter and all of the other girls a head start in both the camping world and in making the world a better place. Take the lead in your life!” – James A
- “Have the confidence in yourself, the courage to make things happen, and don’t be afraid of the unknown. I would hope that I have empowered 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.” – Karen N
They Help Create Leaders
“Plan, experience, and share the most vivid stories of your life activities. Make storytelling a habit that can be experienced in person where ever possible. As you become the future leader, share stories to involve and inspire others to be their best.” – Mark Wedgworth
With amazing volunteers like ours, girls quickly feel comfortable in their own skin and confident enough to take the lead. Girl Scouts drive change for the better, speak out for the causes they are passionate about, and inspire others to be the best they can be. As girls solve problems in their communities, learn from setbacks, and become helpful and encouraging to their peers, our volunteers love to watch them blossom.
Our volunteers on leadership:
- “Most of my troop has been together for the last 8 1/2 years. In the beginning, I had a Girl Scout that didn’t speak to any adults and barely to the rest of the troop. Since then, she has not only found her voice, but all the girls are able to voice opinions regardless of the audience. My daughter came into this world curious and confident. She is a born leader. Girl Scouts has allowed her to explore this, however, instead of doing all the work, she has learned to work as a team and allow others to lead as well.” – Tania C
- “I think that a girl-led troop is the goal. That’s my aim, to help the young ladies in our troop build the confidence, character, knowledge, and experience to be able to run their own troop with Bev and I there just to provide assistance.” – John G
- “Think for yourself. Don’t be a follower, be a leader. Get things done.” – Mike H
- “We inspire and encourage all our girls to lead. To use their gifts and accomplishments to inspire their fellow Girl Scouts.” – James A
They Do It for the Girls
“When I started out seven years ago, I had no idea how much I would get out of being involved. I’ve met a group of leaders who were kind enough to show me the ropes, mentor me and inspire me. I got to know my daughter’s friends in a way that I would not have otherwise. But it’s the simple things that mean the most. If I get to play a role in letting them know that someone cares, it’s a fulfilling experience to me.” – Rebecca Picek
When it all comes down to it, the reason most of our volunteers continue to commit their time and energy to Girl Scouts year after year? The girls! The recipe to their dedication boils down to a simple explanation – the pride and joy they feel when girls tackle a challenge, discover a new skill or passion, or reach a huge goal. We love our volunteers for so many different reasons, but quite simply put, we adore how MUCH they love our girls.
Our volunteers on why they volunteer:
- “The smiles of accomplishment on our girls’ faces. The memories they make as a troop. Others should volunteer because the need is great, and the rewards are too! It’s all for the girls. They are an amazing group and all of the time, work, and effort put in by myself and our co-leaders is worth every minute.” – James A
- “There are so many things that make volunteering worth my time. One of my favorites is that when I see my girls outside of Girl Scout events, they are always running up to me and saying ‘hi’ and giving me hugs. This makes me so happy every time and makes me want to continue being a leader and commit my time to them. I enjoy being able to teach them new things that I love doing myself!” – Julie S
- “Seeing the looks on girls’ faces when they complete a challenge at Kaleidoscope because they are very proud of themselves; listening to comments about Girl Scout Day Camp – ‘See, I told you it would be fun!’; knowing I’ve helped leaders and older girls in leading their troops and Day Camp units. Others should volunteer for the same reasons. Young people need good role models.” – Marsha H
Show a special volunteer you care and wish them an extra special “Thank You!” this month. From the bottom of our green hearts, we appreciate you!