Why I Love Being a Girl Scout Leader

Taking on the part of “role model” is courageous…and it’s what Girl Scout troop leaders Volunteer Unleash Strongare ready to embrace! There’s nothing like seeing your girls’ eyes light up when they try something new, or their smiles when they realize they’re not afraid of a challenge. We have lots of opportunities for adults to volunteer!

There are so many reasons that volunteers step up and support girls as they grow into the strong leaders they were meant to be. Girl Scout of the USA posed the question “what do you love about being a troop leader?” to a panel of Volunteer Experts across the U.S., and here’s what they had to say.

Why I Volunteer

“The best part about being a leader is getting to extend my family. I love watching the girls grow, learn, and change. There is nothing more satisfying to me than [seeing] the girls set a goal and helping them achieve it. As my older girls enter high school, I am happy that they continue to make time for our troop to thrive. They constantly keep me in the loop with their lives, and to me that makes all the hard work pay off.”
—Lisa Lamb, Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan

“I was a Girl Scout for 11 years and loved it! When my daughter was in first grade, we joined/rejoined Girl Scouts together and I was able to experience it again through her. Now that my troop is graduating, I feel that I don’t only have one daughter graduating, but a bunch of them! I love bringing new experiences to the girls and helping them do things they otherwise wouldn’t have.”
—Lara Cordeiro, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

“Being a troop leader allows me to stay connected to my granddaughter and her friends. (And I get to go on fun adventures, too!) I enjoy watching the girls in my troop—some of whom I’ve known since kindergarten—grow into strong, independent young women. I am blown away by the depth of understanding they possess about the world around them and their strong desire to help others.”
—Kathy Wise, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska

“I’m a stay-at-home mom, a Girl Scout, and a biologist. My love for the outdoors started when I was a Girl Scouts attending Girl Scout camp. It was important to me that my daughter have those same experiences. I decided to volunteer to be her leader after attending a meeting and realizing that I could not only help my daughter develop a love for outdoors and nature, but also other girls.”
—Kara Johnson, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

Learning from my girls

“I have been taken way out of my comfort zone with my girls. I am crafty, but mediocre at best; they love to work with their hands. Science is not a strong point for me; the girls say ‘bring on the experiments!’ I have learned—and I think it is important for them to see—that it is okay to make mistakes. Things won’t always work as we intend. As long as we’ve tried our hardest and had fun in the process, that’s the real reward.”|
—Maranda Oliver, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland

“What I have learned from the girls is that I have a lot more time, energy, and love to give than I thought. Never in a million years did I think I would love these girls this much and give so very much of my time to them.”
—Anna Jochum, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan

“Our troop has a girl member with a physical disability, and a former girl member has a visual disability. Both girls taught me how to best adapt programming so they could participate in Girl Scouts. They also taught me how resilient they are and how, with assistance and adaptations, they can perform and achieve just as much as girls who do not have disabilities.”
—Cheryl Lentsch, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska

Experiencing new things

“Seven years ago, my Cadette troop (most of whom graduated this year!) helped in our local Goodwill store [through an initiative] called Project Blessing for the school year. They would ‘work’ (a.k.a. volunteer) one Saturday each month. They learned how to arrange clothing according to size, operate a cash register, and add tax to total the price manually. By the end of that school year, they had learned so much about retail; some of the girls even volunteered for Project Blessing outside of Girl Scouts, and a couple went on to work in local mom-and-pop restaurants at the register.”
—Laura Flanagan, Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan

“Last year, the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District met our troop at a creek to do a macroinvertebrates study. I was initially worried about my Girl Scouts not wanting to get in the creek, get wet, or even look at the creepy critters that live in the creek. However, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only did all my girls enjoy playing in the creek, but they were so excited to find the macroinvertebrates and learn their names and information about them. There were no screams of disgust, only screams of excitement when they found a new critter! Our Girl Scouts loved the experience, and I look forward to introducing them to many more outdoor activities in the future.”
—Kara Johnson, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

“One of the most notable [programs] is a STEM program called The Magic of Chemistry; Juniors and Cadettes spend a day in science labs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha performing simple science experiments to solve clues for a mock investigation. To my knowledge, these types of programs didn’t exist when I was a Girl Scout as a child. Today’s Girl Scouts are fortunate to explore all of these wonderful opportunities that may spark interest in a new hobby or even a future career.”
—Cheryl Lentsch, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska

“In July 2016, my service unit sponsored a trip to Savannah, Georgia, for 50 girls and volunteers. We enjoyed our entire visit, including our tour of Juliette’s home. What was probably even more impactful for my girls was that they worked for three years to raise funds to go on the trip! They worked so hard, and it was awesome to witness the fruits of their labor.”
—Chrissy Schaeffer, Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania

Reprinted from GSUSA Why I Love Being a Troop Leader

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Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
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