Archive for the ‘Volunteer Services’ Category

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Behind the Green Curtain…

April 14, 2015

Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines Volunteer Appreciation Week

Valerie Jackson, Adult Learning Director

Six years ago, I answered a newspaper ad that would forever change my life. I remember not understanding what or who Girl Scouts was, but something about the ad stood out. As I look back, I feel like it glowed — but then again, that could have been the fluorescent highlighter I was using.

At the time, I was the mother of a 4 month old baby girl and seeking a new position that offered greater work-life balance.  Having worked in the world of politics and city planning, I’d experienced things that left me waiving a white flag.  I’d recently left a very public position and was looking for an employer that could embrace this big change in my life.

Then I met the volunteers of Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines and my, oh my!

I remember being shocked that they volunteered so often and were not paid employees. It was surprising to see people this passionate about something other than money!  I’d worked with volunteers in the past, but what I discovered behind the green curtain was something entirely different.

Girl Scouts is a world of women and men who are selfless. Not only are Girl Scout volunteers dedicated to the girls that they interact with regularly, they are dedicated to our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.  I am proud to see how dedicated they are to each other.

Volunteers and leaders of Girl Scouts not only change the lives of girls, but they change the lives of the adults around them. The volunteers set an example that inspires parents, gives courage to new volunteers, and revitalizes employees like me.

We may not always be with our volunteers in the trenches or working at their side with girls, but I want them to know that we notice their hard work.  We notice their passion and commitment. The light of a volunteer shines so bright at times that it brings light to those who may be operating at a flicker, like me 6 years ago.

Volunteers are appreciated by so many who often never get a chance to say thank you. On behalf of generations of girls, and on behalf of the rest of us who have benefitted from selfless dedication, I want to say thank you to our Girl Scout Volunteers. They have forever changed my life and I am forever grateful for the phenomenon that is the Girl Scout Volunteer.

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Make the Ask! (Troop Leader Tips Series)

March 4, 2015

Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines Family

By Christin Murphy, Troop Support Year 1 and 2

As a new Troop Co-leader, I know you have great ideas of how to teach the girls the basics of the Girl Scout program, all while making it fun and exciting! But, do you find yourself getting bogged down with the basics of troop management, leaving little time for planning those awesome activities, events, and trips? Below you’ll find out just how managing a troop does not have to be a one-man show, but instead, a family affair!

You may be like me – the type that finds it easier to do it all yourself rather than trying to find someone to help or even take over the responsibility altogether. But, trust me, delegating tasks will make your experience as a Girl Scout volunteer more enjoyable and rewarding.

Do you know the number one reason why people don’t volunteer or offer their help? They were never asked! Just imagine that, a whole world of amazing helpers ready to pitch it! So, I encourage you to “make the ask”. When you ask, be specific. Tell them exactly what you need, like I need help making decorations for our cookie booth. Break large tasks down into smaller portions and ask each parent directly to take a piece of the bigger project.

Many troops only hold one parent meeting at the beginning of the year, however, holding several parent meetings throughout the year not only keeps parents informed, but allows you the opportunity to let them know what type of help you need. Have them fill out the Parent Volunteer Interest Survey where they can share their passions and expertise. You never know, you may have a parent that is involved in a local non-profit who could take the lead on a community service project or you might find that an extended family member is a chef and could whip up an activity for the legacy cooking badge. You could be sitting on a goldmine of talent and not even know it!

Do you ever think that since you are the leader, you need to lead every meeting? Not true! Feel free to share your Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting or print out a meeting plan from the Volunteer Toolkit and ask one of your parents to lead a meeting. Not only does this provide you assistance, but allows the parent to feel more involved and see first-hand how Girl Scouts can help mold their daughter into a leader.

Have you thought of “making the ask” to the girls? After all, Girl Scouting is supposed to be girl led, so don’t miss the opportunity to give your girls a little bit of responsibility. Depending on the age of the girls, you could have them collect dues, help in planning an event or even take the lead on earning a badge. If your girls are still Daisies and Brownies, consider “making the ask” to an older girl troop in your area. I bet they would love to come teach your girls some camp songs!

So, what are you waiting for?! Make a list of what you need and then “make the ask”!

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