Archive for the ‘Volunteers’ Category

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Thinking outside Box: beyond the traditional troop

August 18, 2014

By Ivonne Ibarra-Guajardo, Recruitment Director Cumberland County

Girl Scouts - NC Coastal Pines MultiLevel TroopJuliette Gordon Low had a grand vision for girls when she gathered the first group of Girl Scouts together in 1912. At that time, world was a different place for girls. Many extracurricular activities for girls were simply not offered. Low wanted more for girls – she believed that building strong girls would build a stronger world. And she was right about that!

Since that first meeting, opportunities for girls have grown both around the world and in here Girl Scouts. Girls are meeting every day with their Girl Scout troops all over the country and all over the world. Following the same values Juliette Gordon Low established over 100 years ago, the Girl Scout program offers opportunities for all girls ages 5-17 (grades K-12). In addition to the traditional troop model, Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines also offer two addition troop experiences – multi-level and co-op troops.

Our multi-level troops host a combination of Girl Scouts of varying grade-levels. This particular troop model often has many valuable benefits for its members and meets the needs of many volunteers and girls. A multi-troop environment allows girls to make new friends and interact with girls of different ages. Older girls in the troop have the opportunity to put their leadership skills into action as they mentor the younger troop members.

Sherry Weeks, who has been a multi-level troop leader the last four years, states it best: “Convenience. I have 2 daughters, one Brownie and one Junior. It became increasingly difficult getting them both to meetings and events because they met at different times. It made sense for me to switch to a multi-level troop.”

In Girl Scouts, we value a volunteer experience is easy, flexible, and most of all – fun! Our co-operative model distributes troop leadership equally. Each parent/caregiver of a girl in the troop agrees to coordinate one meeting during the year. Cooperatively, this team of adult volunteers leads the troop through the Journey and badge work, product sales, and other Girl Scout adventures. Co-op troops truly embody the spirit of teamwork to get the job done!

And what job could be better than helping girls discover friendship, follow the fun, and grow stronger together. With a variety of troop models, it’s easier than ever to lead. Start the fun and become a Girl Scout today! Use event code 367F22 when registering online to be entered to win an iPad!*

*Must be first time, new member and registered by 9/30/14 to be eligible to win.

 

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Why I Can’t Wait to be a Volunteer at Camp Graham this summer!

August 4, 2014

By Marsha Kitter, Lifetime Member, Alumnae, Juliette Low Planned Giving Society member

Girl Scouts - NC Coastal Pines VolunteerIn 1969 when I was 15 years old, I had my choice of going to Europe or going to Girl Scout camp. I choose Girl Scout camp.   Camp was the most fantastic experience I had ever had. We slept on army cots in round-up tents with dirt floors. My favorite parts were making new friends and singing songs at meals and around campfires. Many of the camp counselors played guitars as we sang. After two sessions of camp, I knew two things – I wanted to learn to play the guitar and I wanted to work at Girl Scout camp the next summer.

Buying the guitar and teaching myself to play was easy! By the time I went to the camp reunion that December, I was able to join in with the other guitar players as we sang our favorite camp songs.

Working at Girl Scout camp proved harder. Where I lived in New Jersey, you had to be 17 to work at camp.

I shared my disappointment with my high school French teacher. She promptly replied that her sister directed a Girl Scout Camp in New York and she was looking for camp staff. A few weeks later, I wore my Senior Girl Scout uniform to an interview at Girl Scouts of Greater New York. I got the job! I was going to work at Camp Andree Clark in Briarcliff Manor New York as a “Pack Out Clerk”.

The 1970s were thriving years for Girl Scouting’s membership. There were over 300 campers and staff and the dining hall was not large enough to accommodate all the people so two units had to cook out breakfast, lunch and dinner one day a week. As the Pack Out Clerk, it was my job to fill all cookout requests. I also assisted with dining room setup and cleanup. I loved it.

The following summer I returned to Camp Andree Clark as a unit assistant, working full time in a Brownie unit. I spent a total of seven summers working at camp from high school through graduate school. After finishing graduate school, I thought finding a full time job meant my camp counselor days were over …

Flash forward 38 years, and I’m back at Girl Scout camp!

Welcome back, Critter!Last week, I spent a week at Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines’ Camp Graham assisting with the Babysitting/First Aid, CPR and AED leadership unit. If it indicated how excited I was, I took a week of vacation from my full time job to do this!

I used the same camp name “Critter” from my summer camp days. I lived and slept in the unit with 29 girls in the Babysitting & First Aid/CPR group and 3 girls in the Lifeguarding Group. There were 3 other camp staff in my tent. During the first night’s “Meet the Counselor’s” event, I taught my all-time favorite camp song, “The Cat Came Back”. It was an instant hit and was sung at least two times a day for the rest of the week.

So in case you are wondering if going back to camp was all I expected, it was even more. As far as the campers were concerned, I was a counselor just like everyone else. At the closing ceremony in front of the parents, I was presented with a homemade plaque signed by all the camp staff and the girls in my unit that said “Critter, the cat who came Back.”

I can’t wait to volunteer again next year!

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