Like many, I’m sure, my involvement with Girl Scouts started as a leader for my older daughter. We started in Campfire, moved to Florida and found that there was no active Campfire program there. So, we switched to Girl Scouts. There was a Brownie troop for my younger daughter, but no troop for the Juniors. Together with two additional first time leaders, we muddled our way through that first year. Training was at a minimum at that time — at least in our area. Back in Iowa there were active troops for my girls. I ventured on to other ways of support. Over the years I found many areas where I could contribute: Service Unit cookie chairman; Coordinator of Older Girl Troops (an experiment that lasted a couple of years); Delegate chair for my region; Trainer for travel, older girl program; Interviewing girls for Wider Opportunities for many years; Day camp; High awards committee; Scholarship committee. I did have the opportunity to be a troop leader again when my younger daughter was finishing Senior level.
Being involved at many levels, with so many encouraging people, I gained confidence in myself. I recall that my first co-leader said that her idea of camping was a motel room with black and white television! That was in 1977. We went on to ‘regular’ camping and traveling with that troop. Later we hiked on the Appalachian trail. We’d come a long way.
As my active involvement tapers down, I enjoy our local alumni group. Yes, we welcome men too! I have many long time friends among volunteers and staff who have enriched my life. The friendships are what has impacted my life most. Knowing that others share your values and are/were willing to work toward worthwhile goals is very important.
Just now, with the COVID-19 crisis, everything is changing so fast. It’s good to see that Girl Scouts is robust enough to meet the needs of the girls as everyone looks for new methods to deliver program. I hope (may I say that I’m confident?) that the organization will continue to provide for the needs of girls, no matter the circumstances.