This afternoon I have a training session for Girl Scouts. I've been volunteering with Girl Scouts in some capacity for the last five years. I've been a troop leader for the last three. Somehow a training I should have had at least three years ago got overlooked, so now I am getting caught up.
I also volunteer with 4H as a project leader in my children's club. The two things keep me pretty busy. And for the most part I really don't mind.
I never actually wanted to be a Girl Scout leader. But when my younger daughter, Meg, wanted to join Girl Scouts, it was either volunteer or she wouldn't have a troop. How could I tell her that her older sister could go to Girl Scouts, but she couldn't? So here I am years later.
What makes me sad is that there are still so many girls in our area that don't have troops. They want to be a part of Girl Scouts, but there aren't enough volunteers. Some people just truly do not, and will not volunteer. Others mistakenly think it is too hard or they aren't qualified or have some other misconception that keep them from stepping up.
Let me tell you, as much as I did not ( and some some days still do not) want to volunteer with Girl Scouts, it has been easier and more rewarding than I could have imagined. It's such a great feeling when girls and their parents tell you how much they enjoy coming to Girl Scouts.
It's also been a great thing for my confidence level. I have always struggled with speaking in front of people, even if they are kids. Even though I still have a little anxiety over it when adults are present, I am so much better and more composed than I was three years ago. It also doesn't take as much time as I thought it would. The leaders decide how often and where to meet.
The hardest part of being a Girl Scout Volunteer is cookie sales. I am honestly not overly fond of this part of it. But with each year it has gotten easier and really does not seem like such a big deal this year (don't tell my co-leader I said that!!). And there are always other volunteers to lend a hand or give advice.
Now my son is joining Cub Scouts. I have to admit that I am so glad my husband is going to take control of this one and take him to his den meetings. This way HE can get roped into volunteering instead of me. It's not that I wouldn't love to help, but I'm already stretched and fear if I added something else right now all areas would suffer.
I do wish more parents would realize how easy it is to volunteer though. We have so many girls in our areas who need someone to step up. What's worse is some parents actually will get irate and rude to other Girl Scout volunteers when there isn't a troop available for their daughter's age level, but they offer no help in finding a leader or refuse to volunteer themselves.
So please, if you would like your children involved in an organization such as Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, 4H, etc., remember that it can only exist if volunteers step up and help. Even if you can't run a troop, den, or club you may be able to help ease the burden in other areas. Never be afraid to ask for information, you might be surprised what you can do.