Results tagged “Leader” from GSSA Leader Blog: The Virtual Volunteer


I was a Girl Scout. For many years, my own mother was my leader. Naturally, that motivated my choice to be a leader for my own daughter. And many times I compare my leadership experience with hers. She took us to Kiwanis for Camporees. She even served as Service Unit manager a few years. We did service projects and fun things. I participated in the council's Spotlight Girl program, and I did radio spots to promote Girl Scout Cookies. When I was a Cadette, I got on a plane and flew to National Center West for a Wider Opportunity. I earned my Gold Award. When I graduated from high school and went on to college, those experiences went with me. I like to think that my Girl Scout experiences, along with others, helped me earn the scholarships that sent me to college.

Fast forward quite a few years, and I became a Girl Scout again. My own daughter wanted to be a Girl Scout, and we joined a troop here in our hometown. I assisted with the few Juniors in the troop, while the leaders focused on the Brownie activities. My daughter is now a Girl Scout Senior, and I have been involved in her troop from the beginning. I have served with my service unit as Secretary and even helped plan service unit events.

My troop loves to go to new places and experience new things. Badges are okay, but plan a trip and they are all in. At times I have struggled with whether my troop is being done "right." But it is girl-led -- we do what they want to do. We have spent the night at the Georgia Aquarium, at the McWane Center (three times!), in the Battleship, and at Fort Gaines. We have been on Mini-Destinations at Dauphin Island Sea Lab (twice!) and at Space Camp. They have learned how to make tasty goodies and decorate cakes, they have gone on hikes, and they swam with dolphins this summer. We collect food for our sponsoring church's Christmas boxes each November, we donate to the church clothes closet, and we participate in the church-sponsored Slapout Clean-Up each spring. We hope to learn about falconry next year, and we are signing up to participate in the council's Dozing with Dolphins event. If I can get them there and we can afford it, we go.

So, you may be asking, how has this journey benefitted my family or changed my life for the better? I can truly say that Girl Scouts has enriched my life. I have had opportunities that I would not otherwise have had. I have done things I probably never would have if I had not been a Girl Scout or a Girl Scout leader. And, now, as a leader, I am truly blessed to be able to share these opportunities and experiences with my own daughter and a few girls I have watched blossom into amazing young ladies over the years. I hope every day that my leading them enriches their lives. I want them to see amazing things, experience amazing things, and to do amazing things. Watching girls grow into young women of courage, confidence, and character is beyond enriching. Seeing it happen touches the soul. I cannot speak for other leaders, but I suspect that they feel similarly. That feeling is why we come back year after year. Because it truly matters.

     -- Marcy Perdue


As the council's COO, it's not my job to play favorites when it comes to troops. I have to admit, though, that there are several that are near and dear to my heart. My own daughter's troop is a source of great joy for her, and as such, it certainly makes me happy, too. I love watching this precious group of girls learn new things, develop skills and simply have fun.

There's another troop that never fails to make me smile, as well, and it involves a special group of girls in Ozark. For several years, we have had a troop at the Vivian B. Adams School, which provides educational opportunities for mentally and physically disabled individuals.

While nonetheless faithful in their love for Girl Scouts, the girls at Vivian B. Adams are a little different in some ways than the ones in my daughter's troop. For starters, they range in age from about eight years old to more than 50. They may walk a little slower and sometimes have difficulty communicating, but they smile just as brightly and sing just as sweetly as all the other Daisies and Brownies I know.

Over the years I've visited Troop 9230, I've watched them receive their Daisy petals, sing lots of songs and talk about what they love about Girl Scouting. Attending their celebrations and presenting them with their certificates is one of my favorite things to do each year. I love seeing the mothers of these girls cheer for them as they receive their patches, and watching the troop repeat the Girl Scout Promise always touches my heart.

Now Troop 9230 needs our help. Because this group is typically led by a volunteer and grant funding has diminished, we are in need of a new volunteer. These girls currently do not have a leader, and we fear they may no longer be able to be participate in Girl Scouting without the right person stepping up to help. If you or someone you know in the Ozark area might be interested in leading these girls or your troop might be willing to "adopt" them, please contact Cheryl Miller, our volunteer liaison.

The girls of Troop 9230 already make the world a better place, now they just need a special person to lead them. Is that special person you?

liz_brent.jpgI was out with some Daisy Girl Scouts last weekend who were selling cookies.   They were squealing with delight, surrounded by a group of people eager to purchase cookies, while I spent some time chatting with the leader, discussing where our cookie funds go.  


As a reminder, your Girl Scout registration of $12 each year goes directly to GSUSA to fund their operations.   That means that almost all of our council's funds are derived from the cookie program, which accounts for 75% of our council budget.   It covers camp properties, staff salaries, utility bills, insurance and other operational expenses.   Approximately 23% of the council budget is derived from United Way agencies within our council boundaries.  


A Girl Scouts of the USA All Abouts cookie wit...

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So, as you are standing outside the Wal-Mart, wondering where the money goes, know that the cookie program funds most of what we do.   And it is making a difference.  For example, as we looked at the data, so far this year, the program team has provided 55% more council-wide programs than last year.   Hopefully, it all feels worthwhile as you watch girls learn to be entrepreneurs, which is what I saw a group of Daisy Girl Scouts do.   Thank you for your hard work.
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Our staff has been out at council programs, service unit programs, camporees and girl events lately.   As we attend these events, we are always stunned and amazed at what our volunteers can do.    In more than one case, we saw the same volunteers with a different troop one weekend after the next.    They were sharing their insights, gifts and patience.

In a different situation, a staff member was working with a leader to plan a camporee for her service unit.   It is unbelievable the amount of time and work that goes into such an endeavor, but what fun the girls will have.   It was such a pleasure to hear the girls discussing what the events of the camporee will be and how to make it a special weekend for their friends.   Girls learning to share their gifts with other girls, as they are shaping the leaders to come, is truly a special thing.

As Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama looks toward the upcoming 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting, we ask that all Girl Scouts, past and present, join in the celebration. If you were once involved with Girl Scouts or would like to learn more about this extraordinary organization, now is a great time to reconnect!  Just send us a note at  

On this National Girl Scout Leader Day, and everyday, the staff would like to thank you for all you do to shape the future leaders you work with.   We appreciate all the frustration, heartache, effort, time and resources you give to make our world a better place. Our work would not be possible without you!



GSSA Staff

If any of your older girls are interested in getting their Silver or Gold award, then you need to attend the training for leaders and advisors. This is open to all leaders and advisors of Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. During the training you will receive a step-by-step explanation of the tools you need to assist your girls and ensure their success. This training will also provide useful tips and pointers.


This will be the last training session on the 2006 Studio 2B standings; training for awards using the Journeys will begin this summer. There will be two simultaneous trainings on Tuesday, Feb. 23. One training will be at the Montgomery Service Center at 6 p.m. and the other at the Auburn Scout Hut at 6:30 p.m. If you are interested in attending please contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz by email or by phone at ext. 1202.

Girl Scouting is now officially recognizing two special weeks in the calendar year to commemorate volunteer service--"Make a Difference Week" and "Volunteer Appreciation Week."


Many people around the nation celebrate Make a Difference Day--"America's largest day of doing good." Held on the fourth Saturday in October, the day highlights how people engaged in public service have the power to transform their communities and our world. Girl Scouting is now instituting it as a week-long event.


In addition, several countries around the world participate in National Volunteer Week celebrations--and Girl Scouting will continue to join in on the fun.  During National Volunteer Week, which includes National Girl Scout Leaders Day (April 22), Girl Scouts of the USA pays tribute to innovative volunteers for making a difference. For 2010, National Volunteer Week will be celebrated Sunday, April 20 through Friday, April 25.


For more information on special dates in Girl Scouting, visit: And, to learn about products you can purchase in support of Girl Scouting, check out your local Girl Scout council store or visit the GSSA Shop on-line:

Join other older girl leaders during Purple Pearls Sunday, October 11 from 2 - 5 p.m. at the University of South Alabama. While the girls enjoy the activities, we will discuss all of the programs and opportunities available to older girls and brainstorm some new ideas!  RSVP if you would like to do an Older Girl Award training by October 8, or if you would like to just brainstorm, we'll see you there!

For more information, contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz at extension 1202.

Girl Scouts honor their leaders on Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day, April 22 (during National Volunteer Week). These devoted leaders unselfishly

donate their time and energy to plan and lead fun and educational troop meetings and outings for the members of their troops. Girl Scout leaders

possess caring hearts and creative minds, doing everything within their power to help expand the girls' horizons, giving them countless

opportunities they normally would not come across. These experiences can range anywhere from organizing programs for special needs

individuals to community services to learning about various cultures of the world at an international fair to grooming horses on a farm. These

seemingly tireless leaders dedicate themselves year round to helping girls develop into self-assured, resourceful young women.


For those of you who have a daughter in Girl Scouting, please take a moment to think about their leader (or leaders). Think about how at each

troop meeting the leader is prepared to have your daughter experience new challenges and gain positive skills for the future. Think about the

amount of time the leader devotes to preparing for meetings and field trips while balancing her own family, career and other time constraints.

These women make such a difference in the lives of girls. They are essential to making Girl Scouting the outstanding and successful program

it is known to be. There can never be enough of these amazing women.


We invite you to comment below and recognize your Leader and Co-Leaders, and let them know how much you appreciate all that they do.

Q.  I am the Service Area Manager and I can't get any of the other leaders to help!


A.   To keep from burning out, a Service Area Manager needs to build a good Service Team.  Here are a few tips that come from some of our most successful Service Teams:


·         Be willing to delegate.  When someone offers to do a job, explain what you want them to do, give them a little guidance, and then step back and let that person do the job the way they want to do it. 


·         Don't ask for help, offer opportunities! Look beyond the Troop Leaders: talk to assistant leaders, parent volunteers, former troop leaders, new teachers, and people you meet other places every day (bank tellers, librarians, nurses, etc.)  Many people, who don't even have children, love the opportunity to get involved in small ways.


·         Be specific about what you want someone to do, and, if possible, indicate the time commitment.  Break big jobs into several smaller jobs.  We have five people who work together to handle the cookie sale.  One coordinates the team and handles paperwork that troops turn in, one does cookie training for the Troop Cookie Chairs, one schedules booth sales, one is in charge of the cookie drop, one handles all requests for additional cookies.  


·         Be willing to let certain things go undone if no one volunteers to do them.  A year without a fall camporee or a day camp will help people realize that without their involvement, things may not happen.


-- Cheryl Miller, Learning & Volunteer Services Manager 

While you're getting things together and getting organized for this new Girl Scout year, you will find all the forms you need, on the Council web site.

From the main page, if you click on Forms and Resources, you will find lots of forms and publications under a number of sub-headings.  Under "Programs & Events Forms", there are Single and Multi-event Permission forms, Girl and Adult Health History forms, Overnight Trip forms, etc.  Take a look at the Multi-event Permission form; that's  a very handy organizer that also serves as a record of events that each girl attends throughout the year.  If you already know that your girls will be participating in certain Council or local events like the Christmas Parade, Thinking Day, etc., you can go ahead and type the information onto that form, print a copy for each girl, and have that ready for the parents to sign at your troop parents' meeting this fall. 

Many troop leaders create a folder for each girl, where they place the information that the parents need to sign or pick-up when they arrive at the meeting with their daughters.  That's a great place to keep this form throughout the year.