I first joined Girl Scouts in 1959. I was 7 years old and in the second grade. One of the most exciting times a young girl could do. I stayed in Girl Scouts through my High School years. Girl Scouts created a safe place for me and I had many friends, that liked me for who I was. What I learned as a Senior Girl Scout has forever stayed with me.
When I left my troop, I came to the knowledge, that I had to give back. I wanted to make girls feel the way I did. I saw girls, who were my younger sister’s friends, they needing a place that they could find a sisterhood. I wanted to give them the things I learned in the many years when I was involved as young girl.
The ten years I was involved in Girl Scouts, it helped me grow to a young lady. My parents divorced, while I was in Junior High. I was teased by my classmates. I had three younger sisters, two older brothers and because my mother had to work, we couldn’t have a sitter. It was my responsibility to take care of my sisters. Because my mother couldn’t be there, I also cook a lot of family meals. When I was 16, I volunteered helping with a Women’s center which helped abused women with children. In the summer we put on a mini day camp for the kids. My Girl Scout camping experience helped me to help with this program. My mom rewarded me for my help by allowing me to go to Girl Scout Camp.
When my son was born, I took part in Boy Scouts, then my daughter was born. I was a Den Mother and Brownie Troop Leader. I had been doing Day Camp for both groups and took National Day Camp training from training Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. I Became Council Day Camp trainer for both Councils, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. I realized that the Boy Scouts weren’t giving me the leeway I needed to grow and decided to make the move to the Girl Scout side.
I continued as a Troop Leader and took on an active role in our Council. First as a Service Unite Manager, then a Trainer, Programs and Camp. I continued as a Troop Leader for my daughter, until the troop entered High School. When I saw a weak spot, I would jump in and do what was needed to be done. I went to work for our School District and there was a group of girls, who needed something to do. My daughter was out of school. I couldn’t pass up their needs, I started a Cadette Troop.
I was hired to work for the School District, I had summers off. (When I was in High School, we couldn’t afford for me to go to any of the Roundups. It was a disappointment, but I understood.) So, when I started to work, I had learned that I could apply as a Chaperone for Wider Ops. I ended up helping with 3 different Wider Ops. This was one of my greatest adventure I was able to take. (Besides camp.)
While people thanked me for my service, it was I who thanked them for allowing me to take part in a World Wide program. Every program I volunteered for, was a chance to give opportunity to a girl and let me share my positive experiences and if one girl leaves a program feeling the way I felt, then it was worth every minute I helped.
I’m no longer able to physically help with program. I retired from school because it became hard on me. I took a look at our Girl Scout Council and realized they needed a Historian. Being a Collector of Girl Scout Memorabilia, I saw a need that I very well could do. After all, I retired from School as a Library Technician. I approached the Council, proposed what I felt I could do for them and I am now their Archival/Historian.
I’m still involved, with a program I deeply love. The “Pandemic” has been a challenge. I haven’t been able to go into the Council. I keep in touch with other Girl Scout Historians and so I’m working to create a record of what our Council has done to provide program to girls, during this difficult time. I’ve also have been looking at what I could possibly do to present Girl Scout history to girls through the internet. I’m still around girls. I help staff understand the history of Girl Scouts and I’m able to share my collection to the girls. I was a Girl Scout for 10 years and I’ve volunteered for 50 years. Hopefully for a few more years.