By Guest Blogger Lisa Crawford
As summer comes to an end, a new school year begins, including opportunities for local girls and adults to become a Girl Scout. Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont has opportunities for volunteers who are committed to helping girls develop courage, confidence and character. The two go hand in hand; in other words, without the adult leaders, there is no Girl Scouting.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of Girl Scouting – and Gwen Bader, along with her co-leader, Donalyn Johnson, of the Triad, are two volunteers who serve as troop leaders to twelve 6th grade girls in Troop 01950. Bader was a troop leader for her daughter’s troop when she was in Girl Scouts over 20 years ago and has been her granddaughter’s troop leader for the last 7 years.
“When my granddaughter, Brooklyn, was born, I made a promise to my daughter that I would be her daughter’s Girl Scout leader when she was old enough to join,” said Bader.
Bader fulfilled that promise and she and Johnson (Brooklyn’s other grandmother) became leaders to a ready-made Girl Scout Daisy group that was formed through their granddaughter’s preschool class in an effort to keep these girls together after they “graduated” from preschool and entered Kindergarten.
“The girls and moms from the preschool had become friends through the years and wanted to continue this friendship once preschool ended,” said Bader. “It didn’t matter if the girls were from different towns and all going to different schools, because Girl Scouts would keep them together.”
Both Bader and Johnson were Girl Scouts when they were younger. And, although it’s been many years since then, Bader still remembers the fond memories and trips she had with her leaders. She specifically remembers the trip her troop took to Bermuda.
Bader said that the time commitment can vary from month to month. As the girls get older with extracurricular activities, scheduling can become more of a challenge, but they cherish the time they do get together.
“Our highlight this year was working on the Girl Scout Bronze Award, which included painting the bathrooms, hanging mirrors, building benches and planting flowers,” said Bader.
Other highlights included a trip this summer to Savannah, where they visited the first Girl Scout headquarters, the home of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Low, and Tybee Island, where they learned about ecology.
Bader said her favorite part of being a Girl Scout leader is getting an opportunity to encourage the girls to use their gifts and talents. Both Bader and Johnson have enjoyed seeing how the girls’ leadership skills have grown through the years. They have seen their granddaughter grow from a shy little girl, to a young lady who can present to a group of people.
“Becoming a leader is really a gift you give yourself,” said Bader. “You get to be a part of different girls’ lives, see how they grow as individuals, watch them develop their talents and become a member of the team with them.”
These experiences Bader speaks about not only create lasting memories, but life lessons the girls can take with them through each stage of their life.
To learn more about starting a Girl Scout troop or joining Girl Scouts, contact Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont Triad recruitment managers at 336-274-8491 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, girls and parents can also find informational events near them by searching an online zip code locator at www.beagirlscout.org.
About Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont
Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont, a United Way agency, is one of 112 councils nationwide chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA to deliver Girl Scout program within specific geographic boundaries. The local council serves nearly 14,000 girls and 6,400 adult volunteers in 40 counties and maintains three camp properties and four service centers offering unique experiences for girls and adults.
About Girl Scouts of the USA
We’re 2.8 million strong—2 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe girls can change the world. It began over 100 years ago with one woman, Girl Scouts’ founder Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low, who believed in the power of every girl. She organized the first Girl Scout troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, and every year since, we’ve made her vision a reality, helping girls discover their strengths, passions, and talents. Today we continue the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs for girls from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to do something amazing.
*Sponsored by Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont