Can you tell us about your experience with Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ?
I have been a Girl Scout leader for 10 years. I started with my daughter Emily who is now a Junior in High School and still a part of Girl Scouts. One of my other daughters, Sophia, has watched Emily participate in all the fun Girl Scout activities, so of course, she couldn't wait to join and just bridged to become a Brownie Girl Scout! Coming up this September, my youngest daughter Chloe will also be joining Girl Scouts! She is so excited to join her sisters and finally get her own blue Daisy vest. Along with being the leader of my daughter's 3 troops, I am the recruiter for our Service Unit.
Why do you choose to invest your time in Girl Scouts?
I truly believe that Girl Scouts offers the girls such a unique opportunity to meet friends, learn new skills, and encourages them to step out of their comfort zone to try new things. I often think about when my Ambassador troop was Daisies and just starting. From the first few meetings of them getting to learn each other's names to singing songs at the campfire, going on night hikes at Camp Inawendiwin to them now starting to talk about colleges that they will soon go too. They have shared so many unique and fun experiences through Girl Scouts, and I am so grateful to be a part of that.
What impact does volunteering with Girl Scouts have on your life?
Volunteering with Girl Scouts has impacted my life in ways I didn't expect. Just as our Girl Scouts make life-long friends, I have as well. The parents of all our Scouts are great people and always willing to lend a hand at meetings and events. The ladies on our Service Unit team and the other leaders are not just "volunteers," but they are friends that I am so thankful to have. I had major surgery this year, and I was speechless at the way my troop parents, co-leaders, and Service Unit team supported both myself and my family. They dropped off dinners, flowers, cards and were there if we needed anything. I would not have met them if it wasn't for volunteering with Girl Scouts. What an amazing group of women who dedicate their time to helping Girl Scouts and our community.
How have you stayed connected to Girl Scouts during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We are still figuring out what works best for each of our troops during social distancing. My older troop frequently communicates through Zoom calls and texts. My younger troop has been mostly doing Girl Scouts from Home activities independently. We are brainstorming on safe ways to get all the girls more connected for the upcoming year.
Can you share your most memorable Girl Scout story with us?
I have so many memories that I will treasure forever. One that stands out is when we took our troop, who were Seniors at the time, on a ziplining and ropes course in the Poconos. Once we got there and were ready to start, one of the girls was too nervous to do it. All the girls rallied together and talked her through it. I don't think she would have gone through with it if it wasn't for them supporting her. They had a great day working on the course together, and I know as a leader, I was so proud to watch them.
Anything else you would like to share?
I am very thankful to be a small part of such a great organization. Navigating through social distancing is challenging, but I know that Girl Scouts will come up with unique ways to get through this together!