I was just musing on the work our Volunteer of the Year, Barbara Mitchell, has done over more than 20 years with girls. Not her own children, but girls in public housing that became her girls. She provides opportunities for girls they might not have otherwise had.
One of the extraordinary thing about Barbara Mitchell is that she takes those girls everywhere. I attend events all over the council and you can often see her with a pack of girls on any given Saturday morning. It is always a surprise and delight to see her smiling, happy to be there with the girls she brought. She provides girls a role model, someone other than their parent to listen to them, and care about them. What a wonderful gift to give others!
Each of you is one of our volunteers of the year. Sometimes you think no one else is experiencing the parent who believes the troop meeting is uncompensated babysitting, or not paying is acceptable. Then there's the girl who always tests the limits when you have repeatedly tried to politely and quietly worked to deal with the behavior. It is always amazing when we discuss volunteers to discover how their issues are similar. It is someone testing your goodwill and desire to have a wonderful experience for everyone. We realize there are frequent, behind the scenes conversations and troubles that test your mettle; when your desire is to work with girls, not negotiate parental issues.
Building leaders can be a messy endeavor. We understand that sometimes it is the glitter all over your kitchen, the stain on the carpet, or the mess made that wasn't adequately cleaned up when requested. But every one of you does this because you care about the girls with whom you work. Each of them comes with unlimited potential, and you work to shape and form those girls into the confidence, courageous strong leaders who will lead us into the future.
On those days when you feel like this is a burden, remember that some day these girls will become women who will change the world. You are changing their world every time you work with them. They will change those that go behind. Thank you, for your time and investment in helping develop girls who will change the world.